Will Breast Reduction Help Asthma, Back Pain?

23 years old, 5'2", overweight, Chronic Asthma, Bra Size 44! is breast reduction a good idea, would like to go down to a small C cup. pain in head and neck is effecting nerves. Poor posture, back and arm aches. recent mild/not often tingling of hands and fingers. Bad Asthma, hypothyroidism. Thanks to all!

Doctor Answers 8

Asthma and Surgery

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If your asthma is optimally controlled the risk is very small and you can undergo major surgery without significant asthma complications. Most anesthesiologists I have worked with will recommend that you take your asthma medicine the prior to surgery with a sip of water and bring your inhalers to the surgery center. In addition, steroids are given just prior to anesthesia in most patients any way which helps prevent asthmatic complications.
On the other hand, if your asthma is poorly controlled, or you are steroid-dependent, you are at increased risk and therefore it is recommended that your asthma specialist provide any needed specific medical preparation prior to surgery including a written plan to give to your surgeon and anesthesiologist regarding asthma medication recommendations pre- and post-surgery. This will include a complete pre-surgical evaluation including pulmonary function test results, physical examination, and review of your medications and past medical problems. If your pulmonary function tests are not optimal your asthma doctor and/or anesthesiologist may choose to postpone surgery until your asthma is under optimal control prior to giving surgical clearance. In addition, it is advisable that you contact that anesthesiologist beforehand to discuss any issues that might arise and their management. . This is because surgery may cause an asthma flare or related bronchospasm during or immediately after surgery. Make sure you tell the anesthesiologist and your surgeon the amount and type of steroids you take so additional steroids can be given to prevent adrenal insufficiency which can result in a sudden blood pressure drop.


The benefits of Breast Reduction?

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Thank you for the question.

Breast reduction surgery has been shown to help alleviate neck, back, and shoulder discomfort that is exacerbated by the larger breasts. They will not help with the other medical conditions you have listed.

Although easier said than done,  weight loss will be instrumental in helping you with many of the medical conditions and allowing for a safer/ better breast reduction experience.

Best wishes.

Breast reduciton, back pain and asthma

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It is quite likely that a breast reduction will ease your back and neck pain. However, I am not able to comment on the effects on asthma. Disc uss this with your primary care provider. Consider drafting a letter to insurance carrier to ascertain your level of coverage.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Breast Reduction should improve some, but not all symptoms

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Hi there-

I agree with my colleagues that you could reasonably expect improvement in back/neck pain after a breast reduction, but it would not be reasonable to expect asthma, thyroid disease, or peripheral nerve problems to improve after surgery (although in the case of peripheral nerve dysfunction this may help).

Your results and long term satisfaction are likely to be better if you could get closer to a healthy weight before surgery.

Breast reduction

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You did not mention your cup size.  Breast reduction surgery has no impact on asthma as far as I know. It may help back and neck pain and bra strap grooving.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Reduction would have NO effect on Asthma, Obesity, hypothyroidism or carpal tunnel syndrome

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The reduction of very large breasts may help relieve weight on the neck and shoulders and alleviate weight related pain in these areas. There is NO evidence that the operation would have any effect on Asthma, Obesity, hypothyroidism or carpal tunnel syndrome. Weight loss, exercise would probably greatly improve your health. 

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Symptomatic relief from breast reduction

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While it is possible that your bad and neck pain might be alleviate with a reduction, the fact that you admit to being overweight suggests that you should first ry to improve your lifestyle and to lose and keep off what weight you can first. Asthma is a physiological condition and will not change this condition although it might relieve the additional burden of excessive weight on your breathing mechanism. One test you can do is to cradle your breasts in your arms and see what relief you get from your back and neck pain. I suspect that because of your age that you do not have intrinsic spinal disease causing your pain unless you had a congenital condition or trauma.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction can help with neck and back pain

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You've got quite a constellation of symptoms- breast reduction can help with neck and back pain reliably- but I don't think it would impact your asthma. Perhaps some dieting, exercise and weight loss? Drop some weight and visit a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for a consultation.

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.