San Francisco, CA-Women who have suffered with large breasts will tell you of several conditions that cause them continued misery. Both physical and psychological symptoms of macromastia may affect the quality of life.
Having the extra weight that large pendulous breasts pose, women tend to lean back for support. Leaning back will disrupt the body’s natural support structure around the spine and puts a lot of strain on the lower back muscles which will affect; bending, sports activities and even sleeping. Exercise can be very difficult, jogging with bouncing breasts can be painful and even walking, to the point that many women will avoid exercise all together which will only lead to weight gain and larger breasts.
The resulting poor posture may lead to chronic nerve problems such as numbness and tingling in the arms and hands. Efforts to get extra support from a specialty bra will include large straps may cause grooving into the shoulders, and possible rashes and the extra pressure on the shoulders may result in neck pain.
It is hard to keep the area under large breasts dry which ultimately leads to rashes and yeast infections. In addition, the extra breast weight on the chest may cause breathing difficulties and possible pain in the lungs from the added pressure. However, it is possible that something other than large breasts could be causing breathing problems and needs to be evaluated by your physician.
Unwanted attention from the opposite sex can result in a great deal of mental stress which may lead to low self-esteem and loss of self-confidence resulting in depression and poor quality of life.
Shopping for clothes can be very frustrating and become a chore; it is very difficult to find clothing that fits properly around the chest and then correct for the rest of the body.
Treatment for macromastia without surgery would be with anti-inflammatories, chiropractic adjustments, massage, heat packs, physical therapy, etc. but such treatments rarely will bring lasting permanent relief. Large breasts get progressively heavier with age and gravity.
Fortunately, most insurance companies cover breast reduction surgery for women. Unlike gynecomastia, the condition of breast enlargement for men, where insurance companies will rarely approve male breast reduction surgery.
That is not to say that women won’t have to jump through many hoops to get insurance coverage for their breast reduction surgery, they will, but for a cosmetic plastic surgeon that is used to the ins and outs with the insurance companies, approval can be obtained in most cases. There are exceptions; some insurance companies have a specific exclusion for breast reduction surgery, or they may have a required minimum of breast tissue that needs to be removed. Some insurance companies require documentation of methods tried before approval such as; weight loss, physical therapy, good support bras, analgesics, etc.
In the disappointing event of the insurance company denying coverage, the experienced breast reduction specialist will make an appeal on your behalf. In this case, the insurance companies usually have a medical doctor review the case and speak to the referring physician. I have done this for many patients with the result that approval has been granted on appeal in most instances.
Breast reduction surgery provides one of the highest satisfaction rates with patients experiencing almost immediate relief of symptoms after surgery.