age 30, mother of 3, 5'6, 200 lbs, wear a size 38DD bra. wear a regular bra and a sports bra on top. never feels like i have enough support. my bras cut into me and thats painful sore underneath my breasts. my neck and shoulders hurt bad all the time. I can just feel the sagging and tugging on my neck and shoulders. desperate for help.
Can't Get Enough Support for 38DD Breasts
Doctor Answers 12
Breast Reduction Candidate?
Based on your description you may be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery.
Sometimes this procedure is covered by health insurance. The best way to obtain insurance coverage for breast reduction surgery involves some “hoops” to jump through. The more documentation you have (for example, from your primary care doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor etc.) the better when it comes to obtaining insurance “authorization” for the procedure. This documentation and letter/pictures from your plastic surgeon will help you obtain authorization. Make sure you're working with a well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.
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Breast reduction decreases
Sounds like you will benefit from a breast reduction surgery. For best results, get a consultation when you are stable at your ideal weight for at least 6 months.
Breast reduction for 38DD breasts
Large breasts can restrict your lifestyle and cause a variety of medical problems. Even drastic weight loss won't result in more than negligible shrinkage. Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue and reshapes the contour of the breasts so that they are smaller and perkier.
I commonly use a minimal incision technique (Le Jour), eliminating the need for large scars while providing a pleasing breast contour and shape that is proportionate to the patient’s body. Your surgeon knows exactly how much tissue he or she is taking out, because it is weighed after removal. The good news is that this procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and twilight sedation instead of general anesthesia, but some doctors still use a general anesthetic. And breast reduction comes with an added bonus: the extracted breast tissue is always sent to the lab and examined by a pathologist for signs of cysts or cancer. Having smaller breasts can take years off your appearance!
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Breast reduction for heavy breasts
You would be well served by losing 20-30 pounds and having a breast reduction. The combination of these would put you into an entirely different frame of reference to your body and your heavy breast symptoms would be gone. Bra selection would be easy. While it isn't simple, it is best to lose the weight BEFORE the reduction for the best result. Just take in less calories, maintain your protein intake and increase your walking.
Obesity and Symptomatic large breasts
From my calculations you are about 70 pounds overweight with a BMI of 32.3 or obese. A lot of your symptoms would be improved with a significant change in lifestyle and weight loss. If after losing this weight you continue to experience pain from large breasts, you need to see if your health insurance plan pays for breast reduction surgery and if so, which local Plastic surgeons are in your network. Most insurance companies will not authorize breast reduction in women your size unless there has been a weight loss but you would need to consult with a local plastic surgeon to see what your company requires.
Sounds like with your symptoms you may be a candidate for a breast reduction. You should see a plastic surgeon to be evaluated.
Breast reduction for pain in the shoulders and neck
Clothing is made for about a “C” bra cup since that is the average. It is also the most functional. At that size, the breasts need minimal support and bras for that size provide what that support without cutting in to your neck and shoulders. There are two ways of reducing breast size, and you may need both.
The first and most important is weight reduction. You are presently at a BMI of 32.3, which puts you in the significantly obese category. You need to weigh no more than 155 lb. even with large bones. If you are smaller boned, you need to weigh less. There are relatively easy ways to accomplish this, but this forum does not accommodate that discussion. If, after weight loss, you still have larger breasts than reasonable, then you are a candidate for breast reduction, a reliable procedure that will leave you with smaller, perkier breasts that do not cause the symptoms you now have.
Breast Reduction (by lifestyle change or surgery) is in order...
You are experiencing many of the classic symptoms of women with mammary hypertrophy.
Your best bet is to try to lose some weight- in many women like yourself, weight loss will lead to a reduction in breast size that improves their symptoms.
Even if significant weight loss does NOT cause a reduction in breast size or improvement in your symptoms, you will be healthier as a result of the weight loss and a better candidate for surgery.
Furthermore, you will find that many insurance carriers will refuse to pay for a breast reduction in patients who are significantly overweight... So losing some weight will also make it easier for you to obtain insurance coverage for your breast reduction if you do eventually go down this road.
If and when you decide that surgery is your best option, remember that there is a reason Board Certified Plastic Surgeons train for so many years- in order to be safe and have the pleasing outcome you want, locate a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and visit for a consultation.
Start with a diet
At your height and weight you are very much overwieght. Don't look for shortcuts - you need to loose some weight -- your breast will get smaller - in the end you may need a reduction but the weight loss will help your health.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.