Can a Breast Lift Help Back Pain?

Iam 21 y/o and have a size 36D breast(height 5'8'', weight 155lbs). I have elongated breast that sag due to weight loss. The skin from my color bone to nipple has little elasticity. When I am consitant in the gym I can reduce my back pain significantly. I am wondering if a breast lift along with exercise/pt would be an alternative to a reduction. It would be less invasive and help my feel better about the shape of my breast. My consulatation is tomorrow so I'll know more then. Any advice?

Doctor Answers 9

Breast Lift and Back Pain?

Thank you for the question.

Based on your description of improvement of the back pain with 'consistency in the gym”  I think  consistent strengthening and range of motion exercises  of the neck, shoulder, and back muscles  should be a priority. I have also found that occasionally is not so much the size of the breasts  but the position of the breasts  on the chest wall that causes a drag or pull on the neck and shoulder areas (and the resulting pain). If this is the case,  consistent use of a supportive bra and/or breast lifting may be helpful in reducing the discomfort.

I hope this helps.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,504 reviews

Breast lifts as well as breast reductions can help with back pain

It is well documented in the medical literature that breast reduction surgery can relieve symptoms such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder strap pain and rashes under the breasts.  The latter is also improved with breast lift surgery but pain relief with breast lifts has not been clearly shown. It is generally believed that it is the weight reduction with a breast reduction that allows for the relief of pain. That being said, I have had plenty of patients who have stated that they got relief of shoulder and back pain after their breast lift.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Can a Breast Lift Help Back Pain?

A breast lift will not improve your back pain as the procedure lifts and makes the breast look better but does not decrease the size of the breast.  Breast reduction on the other hand helps most women with back pain since it reduces the amount of weight on your back and shoulders. 


Having said that I think you already know the answer to your back problems and that is to work out in the gym.  I would suggest you talk to a back expert to find out the best exercises for your problem areas.   Furthermore by working out you will not only help your back  but will assist you in reducing your weight .  Weigh reduction will also help your back(your BMI is 23.6 which is at the upper end of normal).   If you are able to obtain back pain relief with this approach then I would suggest you talk to a board certified plastic surgeon about a breast lift to make you feel better about your breast shape.  If you are still having back pain despite a working out then consider having  a breast reduction.  

Donald M. Brown, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast Lift and Back Pain

A breast reduction has been shown to improve back pain in some women.  Predicting who will get improvement from back with a breast reduction, however, is very difficult.  A breast lift, on the other hand, usually has little impact on back pain as the breasts are usually not made smaller.  The key to decreasing your back pain appears to be exercise and physical therapy as you noted above.  Optimizing your core muscles and maintaining good posture, lifting techniques, etc... will have much more impact on improving your back pain than a breast lift.  Stay healthy and consider a breast lift to improve your breast aesthetics and body image.  Best Wishes!!!!!!!

Louis DeLuca, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Can a Breast Lift Help Back Pain?

Possibly but you are going to an in person evaluation where you will receive better advise than over the internet. Seek 2 or 3 more in person opinions from boarded PSs in your area. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Breast lift can improve back symptoms

Although most women who have large breasts requiring breast reduction report an improvement in back pain, there is very little correlation between the amount of weight that should be removed to improve symptoms.  In fact, in my experience, many women who receive breast lifts (with removal of less than 100gram of tissue) report a significant improvement in neck discomfort if they were DD size or greater.

It is important to define what is the source of the neck and back pain, as a D cup breast is very unlikely the cause but may be a contributing factor.

With self-supporting technique like the spiral flap and the internal suspension bra the breast can be lifted and supported by permanent internal sutures that decrease the pressure on the skin but do not change the weight distribution.

Many women who have some back and neck discomfort report an improvement in their symptoms after breast lift. 

Mario Diana, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breast lift and back pain

Though breast reduction has been shown to reduce back pain and cervical strain, breast lift is not proven to do the same. The new look will certainly make you look and feel better about yourself.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast lift and back pain

Theoretically with a breast lift, the breasts are not made significantly smallr, but they are lifted. So, it should not impact your back in  a positive or negative way. A breast reduction may improve your back symptoms.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

New breast lift technique helps with back pain


Although loosing weight can decrease the size of your breasts, potentially decreasing back pain, there is another option. As you already know, loosing weight also makes your breasts a lot saggier. There's a new technique called the Ultimate Breast Lift that lifts breasts by attaching  them to your chest muscles using permanent sutures, thus successfully transfering the weight onto a stronger structure other than your skin. Most, if not all, lifting techniques rely on the skin envelope to lift the breast mound which does not have any holding power. Muscle handles weight better than skin alone. Patients have reported immediate back pain relief following this procedure. I hope this helps. Kind regards, Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 224 reviews

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.