Wherever you turn nowadays, it seems that big breasts are where it is at. Magazine articles, advertisements in all media including even on billboards, and marketing materials intentionally display alluring, voluptuous women. Television and movie actresses, anchorwoman and even hostesses at many finer restaurants are well endowed in clearly disproportionate numbers. Breast augmentation usually ranks as the number one plastic surgery procedure among women. Why then would a woman choose to reduce the size of her breasts? Could this apparent lack of judgment be caused by drinking too much bottled water or is it the result of a never before recognized side effect of global warming?
The real answer to this is that naturally large breasts can be very big problem. Their sizable weight can be associated with neck, back and shoulder pains, skin irritation and rashes, unpleasant odors, numbness in the extremities, fatigue, and even impairment of breathing. Some women are forced to sleep propped up in bed or in a recliner as their breasts are so massively enlarged (gigantomastia) and heavy that breathing is a chore. With time, many women develop arthritis of the neck, deforming postural changes and deep, painful grooving of the shoulders from the bra straps relentlessly digging into their skin. Exercising can be extremely difficult, painful and even embarrassing so many forego it. I have had patients tell me that they need to wear two or three sports bras just to attempt to feel more comfortable. Many give up on vigorous activities and as a consequence, gain weight. Some of that increased weight goes to their breasts and so it becomes a vicious cycle. An extremely high proportion of women with large breasts, therefore, are well above their ideal body weight which can also lead to other health issues. Finally, many find themselves being gawked at or the target of unwanted comments or ridicule.
Clearly for these women, large breasts are not a blessing but a curse. This is why many seek to have their breasts made smaller through an effective breast reduction procedure (reduction mammoplasty). By reducing the size and weight, recontouring and lifting them, most if not all their symptoms can be alleviated. They can start exercising again, engage in sports that they had to avoid previously, and can address weight issues more effectively. Self-image and confidence improve significantly.
In over 20 years of practice and performing a large number of breast reductions, I find that women who have undergone this procedure are among the happiest and most satisfied of any of my patients along with those who have had a breast augmentation.
To learn more about breast reduction, breast augmentation or other cosmetic surgery procedures, please contact Dr. Turkeltaub at 480-451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona