You may be thinking of having a breast reduction for purely cosmetic reasons to help you improve your self-image with a breast size that is more in proportion to your body. However, apart from the artistic improvement in your breasts’ shape and their balance with the rest of your body, significant physical benefits can also come from the operation.
Very often, as a result of the surgery, there is a dramatic reduction in physical discomfort and a significant improvement in body mechanics. Large breasts can cause chronic pain, discomfort, back problems, sleeping difficulties, and other health concerns. If any of this sounds familiar, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Florence Mussat in Chicago, IL, is standing by to help you.
Whatever your specific reasons may be for wanting to undergo breast reduction surgery, here are three essential ways you can prepare for this big day.
1. Get Preoperative Testing
Your preoperative testing may include a breast exam, chest X-ray, mammogram, blood tests, and other health screenings based on your age and medical history. A baseline mammogram taken before your procedure is crucial to monitor your breast health and detect any future mammogram changes.
2. Prepare for Your Procedure
To give your body the best chance to heal well and avoid complications, focus on following a healthy lifestyle, including quitting smoking and losing excess pounds. Dr. Mussat may also suggest that you stop taking specific medications or supplements.
Your preparation includes planning for medical leave from your job and most other commitments. Dr. Mussat can advise on how long you should plan to be off work, but expect to take a break of two to four weeks.
3. Prepare for Your Recovery
Arrange for a ride home after your procedure, and for someone to stay with you the first day, as well as to bring you to your first post-op appointment.
Before your surgery, buy a couple of sports bras. These will give you support and compression as you recover. For sizing, go one cup size smaller, but leave room for bandages and swelling. Make sure the size you choose is comfortable, because you’ll need to wear it 24 hours a day for up to about six weeks.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to lift heavy objects for a week or two after your surgery. Plan to have things in smaller containers at home, so you can more easily manage them. Since you may also have a limited range of motion, move any items on high shelves to easy-to-reach places.
You’ll also need comfortable clothes, such as slip-on shoes and loose shirts that are easy to get on and off. Have plenty of gauze and clean washcloths on hand as well.
Why Choose Dr. Florence Mussat for Your Breast Reduction?
Dr. Florence Mussat, as a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in downtown chicago, has a passion for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery and has been in private practice for over 20 years. With her help, you can soon be on your way to having smaller breasts, finding clothes that fit, and having less discomfort during physical activities. Schedule a personal consultation with her online or by calling (312) 751-9000 today!
Women with large breasts often blame the extra weight on their chests for upper back pain. Sometimes large breasts are a factor and sometimes they aren’t. If you have upper back pain, there are steps you can take to relieve it. One of those steps might be . But there are others that don’t involve surgery.
It’s worth making an effort to understand all of the possible causes of your back pain, and trying out some simpler remedies may help you avoid surgery. Of course, you may have other reasons to consider breast reduction surgery — to enable a more active lifestyle, for example, or to bring the contours of your body into better balance.
What Is the Connection Between Large Breasts and Back Pain?
Large breasts exert a gravitational force on the chest, and that force must be balanced by muscles that keep the back and neck straight and the shoulders pulled back. If you have D-cup breasts, their combined weight is probably between 16 and 24 pounds. For some women, that weight can lead to muscle strain and chronic pain in the shoulders, neck, or upper back.
Your posture can also be affected by large breasts, which may cause your back and shoulders to curve forward, adding to back strain and discomfort. The discomfort that builds over time may come from muscle fatigue, or it might be from a self-conscious effort to make your breasts appear less prominent.
Your bra may be a factor, too. If your bra is too tight or the shoulder bands too narrow, the straps can dig into your skin. You might subconsciously adjust your posture in unhealthy ways in an attempt to find relief from an ill-fitting bra.
Finally, large breasts can make it more difficult to get the exercise you need to manage your weight, build muscle strength in your back and shoulders, and improve flexibility in your torso. The pressure your breasts place on your chest cavity can also make it more difficult to breathe deeply while exercising, causing you to become winded more easily.
Steps You Can Take to Address Breast-Related Back Pain
Shop for a well-fitted bra. You want a bra that supports your breasts but isn’t too tight. And you want one with wide shoulder straps to spread the pressure. If you can’t find a well-fitted and comfortable bra from your usual stores, extend your search to sports bras or consider being fitted for a customized bra. The right bra can make a huge difference in your comfort.
Lose weight (if you have some to lose). When you’re overweight, you’re likely to have extra fat in your breasts and your abdomen, increasing the gravitational pull that your back has to counter. Sometimes, the solution to upper back pain is sustainable weight loss with healthy eating and regular physical activity.
Strengthen the muscles in your core. Exercise has all kinds of health benefits, from weight management to heart health. Exercises that strengthen the muscles in your core — your back, abdomen, and shoulders — can improve your posture and reduce back pain. A physical therapist or personal trainer can teach you exercises that address your specific needs. You might try yoga, which can help build strength and flexibility in ways that reduce back pain. Pilates is another exercise system that focuses on building up your core.
If you’re near your ideal weight and still have back pain after trying the remedies listed above, you might consider breast reduction surgery. The procedure isn’t specifically aimed at eliminating back pain, but many women find relief of their back problems. It’s a way to bring your body contours into better balance, free yourself to become more physically active, improve your posture, and help you feel better about yourself. By reducing the strain on your back and shoulders, breast reduction surgery often has the effect of addressing upper back pain.
Choose a Chicago Plastic Surgeon You Can Trust
Dr. Florence Mussat is a board-certified plastic surgeon in downtown Chicago with extensive experience in breast surgery, including breast reduction and breast implant removal. Call our office at (312) 751-9000 today or contact us online to schedule a personal consultation.