What are the main benefits of breast reduction surgery?
Posted on 1st March 2022 at 08:38
In 2020, medical journal Body Image published a study which surveyed almost 19,000 women across 40 different countries. Of these women, a massive 70.7% expressed dissatisfaction with the size of their breasts. The conclusion that they drew was that “breast size dissatisfaction is a global public health concern linked to women’s psychological and physical well-being.”
When we think about breast size, it would be easy to assume that all these women wanted larger breasts, thanks to pressures from societal trends. However, over 23% of respondents to the study actually wanted smaller breasts, and of all of the countries surveyed, British women expressed the most dissatisfaction with their breasts - no surprise, given that British women statistically have some of the largest breasts in Europe.
There are many benefits to having breast reduction surgery, some of which we’re going to explore here:
One of the main reasons that women want to have their breasts reduced is the size of their chest is having a knock-on effect on other parts of their body. Back and neck pain is strongly associated with larger breasts, as well as permanent grooves in your shoulders from the weight of your breasts in your bra.
Skin conditions and infections are also not uncommon with larger breasts. The skin under your breast folds over onto the skin of your upper abdomen, causing friction, moisture and heat. It's a prime area for fungal infections and chafing, which if left untreated can be very painful.
A lesser known, but surprisingly common, side effect of larger breasts can also be blinding headaches. Migraines seem to be a result of the weight of your breasts on the muscles in the shoulders and neck - having a reduction has proven to be effective for many women in reducing these migraines.
Breast reduction surgery has been found to have hugely positive effects on the mental health of patients. Aside from the constant physical strain that larger breasts can put on the body, the mental effects can also be overwhelming.
In addition to feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious about their body, women who have larger breasts often find themselves unable to participate in certain sports and leisure activities because their breasts get in the way.
Many women with larger breasts also report feelings of depression related to being unable to find clothes that fit them properly and feeling as though they are out of proportion because of their breasts.
Believe it or not, having a reduction can also help you to take care of your breast health in a number of ways. Women who are dissatisfied with their breasts are shown to be less likely to perform self-exams for lumps and other changes to their breast tissue, which means that when a malignancy is found it’s often later than women who perform regular checks.
Aside from the lack of inclination to self-check, having larger breasts can simply make it more difficult. Women with larger breasts often find it more difficult to identify lumps and anomalies with their breast tissue, especially given that larger breasts are often slightly more fibrous and can feel “lumpy” anyway.
While it’s true that almost 50% of women in the survey we mentioned above wanted larger breasts, there is still a stigma surrounding the issue and this is something that many women struggle with.
The preconceived notion that women with a larger bust are somehow “showing off” if they wear anything other than a turtleneck may seem like something from Victorian times, but it’s a surprisingly prevalent attitude which still raises its ugly head today. Many women with larger breasts also report being underestimated, in terms of their intelligence, as though having an ample bosom somehow detracts from their brain power!
While bowing to the pressures of other people is never a good reason to opt for major surgery, this is just one branch of a very complicated network of issues which often contributes to a woman’s desire for breast reduction.
While things have come a long way in the past couple of decades, there is still a lack of decent affordable and attractive bras out there for women with larger breasts. While it’s possible to find some bras for DD+ cups on the high street, they’re often slightly industrial looking and rather matronly, lacking the colour and styles of smaller designs.
According to a survey in the Daily Mail, the average woman owns 8 bras at any one time. Larger bras usually come with a much larger price tag, especially if you want to find something which is properly supportive AND looks nice. There are plenty of high-end lingerie retailers who sell well-fitted bras which last, but many women simply don’t have the budget to spend hundreds of pounds on their undies!
Sleep is another area where women with large breasts can suffer negatively. Many women who are large-chested find it difficult to find comfortable positions in which to sleep and are also more likely to wear restrictive bras in bed because of this. Some women have even reported sleep apnoea-like symptoms because the weight of their bust can lay heavily on their upper chest and make their airways feel constricted. Additionally, the weight of excess breast tissue on the chest can actually mean women have to work harder to breathe. This is because the breasts are constricting the natural movement of the diaphragm by weighing down the muscles and ribs.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to have breast reduction surgery can only be made by the patient themselves. They may agree with all the reasons above or none of them; some women have completely different issues upon which we haven’t even touched in this article. No one patient is ever the same and their reasons for wanting breast reduction surgery will also be unique and personal.
If you feel that you would benefit from breast reduction surgery or would like to discuss with us your needs and issues, please get in touch.
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