According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ annual report, over 40,000 women in the United States have undergone breast reduction surgery in 2013 for cosmetic reasons alone, and experts estimate problems associated with extremely large breasts affect nearly 1 million women nationwide. Most are aware that breast reduction surgery usually relieves the physical discomfort and pain caused by large breasts while making the breasts smaller, firmer, lighter, and more evenly proportioned. However this plastic surgery procedure can often provide a number of additional long term health benefits.
In addition to putting strain on the shoulders and neck, excess weight on the chest can actually cause changes in the body’s normal anatomical structure. As women get older or gain weight, their shoulders naturally roll forward, narrowing the area where the ribs, shoulder blades, and nerves come together. The larger the breasts are, the more the shoulders roll forward and the more compression occurs. This can eventually compress the nerve fibers enough to cause chronic pain. Many doctors, including Mark Jewell, MD, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), have observed that the excess weight on the shoulders pulling on nerves behind the collar bone can cause numbness in the arms and even nerve tingling, or paresthesias, in the fingers and hands. Eventually the symptoms can progress to the point where patients can experience difficulty breathing, and their shortness of breath can contribute to the development of migraine headaches.
The weight of excess breast tissue can also impair the ability to lead an active life. The self-consciousness and physical inconvenience often associated with having large, pendulous breasts may cause some women to avoid outdoor activities and aerobic exercise, both of which may be awkward and uncomfortable. This, in turn, can potentially lead to higher risks of obesity and even depression. Moreover, excessively large breasts can sometimes make sleeping difficult, preventing the body from getting the rest and rejuvenation that it needs and contributing to a host of related health problems.
Most doctors agree that large breasts can pose a clear and recognizable health concern and that the way to alleviate the symptoms is with breast reduction surgery. Since the surgery only requires the removal of skin and superficial tissue, and does not involve any muscles or organs, there is a relatively short recovery period and minimal postoperative discomfort. In addition to the external scars, scarring inside the breast can also occur. For many years doctors were concerned this might interfere with the accuracy of a mammogram. However, improvements in imaging techniques have alleviated this concern by making it easier to tell scar tissue from disease.
If you are interested in learning more about Atlantic Plastic Surgery, P.C. or the procedures our plastic surgeons perform, contact us at one of our Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming, or Newnan offices. Additionally, we provide a variety of options for financing, including Care CreditSM, in order to assist you. Please contact us with any questions you may have concerning the financial planning of your procedure and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest news.