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When is Breast Reduction Medically Necessary?

When is Breast Reduction Medically Necessary?

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

Although many patients undergo a breast reduction for aesthetic reasons alone, the cosmetic procedure can provide ample relief from a range of medical concerns. 

In this article, we will discuss when  breast reduction is medically necessary.

Chronic Back, Shoulder, Neck Pain

Large breasts can cause aches and pains across the back, shoulders, and neck as a result of the excess weight.

Chronic pain can be defined as pain lasting over one year that interferes with the ability to complete day-to-day activities. For patients struggling with chronic pain as a result of large breasts, a breast reduction may be deemed necessary to alleviate discomfort and boost quality of life. 

Irritated Skin Under Breasts

Large breasts can lead to irritated skin underneath the breast crease. Rashes and infections can develop on the skin due to trapped heat and moisture.

A breast reduction can make the skin under the breast crease easier to access and reduce the risk of skin breakdown and irritation. For this reason, a breast reduction may be considered medically necessary to treat this issue. 

Abnormal Spine Curvature and Posture

Some women develop painful kyphosis, an abnormal curvature in the spine, as a result of large breasts. This can lead to poor posture, causing women to walk hunched over instead of standing tall. Overall, this can lead to additional chronic pain and stiffness in the back, shoulders, and neck. 

By removing the excess breast tissue and taking weight off the spine, women often find relief from back pain and poor posture. 

Paresthesias

One side effect caused by large breasts in some women is tingling and numbness in the arms, hands, and/or fingers. This is due to nerve compression in the neck when the breasts place too much strain on the area. 

However, paresthesia can be caused by a multitude of health conditions and warrants further investigation to determine the exact cause. If this is found to be large breasts, it may be deemed medically necessary to undergo a breast reduction. 

Shoulder Grooves from Bra Straps

Finding a well-fitted bra when you have large breasts can be a challenge. For some women, this can result in bra straps digging into the skin on the shoulders as a result of the extra weight, causing grooves that can be particularly painful. 

By reducing the weight of the breasts through a reduction, the tugging of the bra straps on the skin is lessened, reducing discomfort.

Inability to Exercise

Many women find it hard to exercise with larger breasts for several reasons. First, it can be hard to find comfortable workout clothes adapted to larger busts. This can put women off exercising completely. 

Secondly, the movement of large breasts when engaging in cardio can also be uncomfortable and can cause some women to feel self-conscious. 

Overall, not engaging in physical activity can increase the risk of a large variety of health issues. As a result, a breast reduction may be deemed necessary to help some women get physically active. 

Is Breast Reduction Available on the NHS?

The availability of breast reduction surgery on the NHS is determined by your local integrated care board and its eligibility criteria. 

Typically, a breast reduction is only available through the NHS if it is done for medical reasons and not for cosmetic concerns alone. 

Does Insurance Cover Breast Reduction?

Whether a given insurer will cover a breast reduction will vary between different companies, as well as the reasons for the cosmetic procedure.

In general, this procedure is normally considered a cosmetic procedure, meaning breast reduction won’t be covered by insurance. It is, however, important to consult with your insurance company to ascertain whether your cosmetic surgery will be covered. 

Other Benefits of Breast Reduction

A breast reduction also comes with several additional benefits:

Improved Sleep

A breast reduction can make sleeping in different positions, particularly on your stomach, more comfortable. Lying on your back should also be more comfortable with the extra weight on the chest reduced.

Improved Self-Esteem

Large breasts can upset the proportions of the body and can impact self-esteem. By addressing aesthetic concerns of patients through breast reduction, patients can feel more comfortable both physically and mentally. 

Improved Clothing Fit

A lot of women with larger breasts struggle to find bras and clothing that is suited and fitted to a larger chest. After undergoing a reduction, it is usually easier to find well-fitted clothing for a more proportionate frame. 

Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today

If you have aesthetic or medical concerns as a result of larger breasts, you may wish to undergo a breast reduction.

At the CREO Clinic, Dr Omar Tillo has a track record of designing bespoke surgical solutions to his patients’ unique needs. Book a consultation with Dr Tillo today and get on track to a healthier and happier body.

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