Breast Reduction with Dense Breast Tissue?

I am 42 Y.O., 5'6" and 145 lbs., and have maintained at or near a consistent weight my adult life (I also exercise daily). With age, my breast tissue has increased in density and size and I am troubled with frequent neck pain. Even the mammogram has a hard time getting a read on my dense breasts. Can a breast reduction be successfully performed when the actual breast tissue is very dense?

Doctor Answers 11

Breast Reduction Candidate?

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Thank you for the question.

You may be a great candidate for the breast reduction procedure;  this procedure is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

Patients with dense breast tissue actually tend to end up with aesthetically pleasing results after surgery.

It will behoove you to seek consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

Best wishes.

Breast Reduction for Dense Breasts

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Breast reduction is certainly possible in women with heavy, dense breast tissue, and may very well lead to improvement of your neck pain.  It is often also covered by insurance so I would recommend meeting with a plastic surgeon who accepts your health insurance for an evaluation-- he'll also be able to give you his opinion as to what type of result you can expect from a cosmetic standpoint.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Do Dense Breasts Interfere with Breast Reduction Surgery

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Women with dense breasts are very good candidates for breast reduction surgery.  In fact some of the internal shaping can be facilitated by the denser breast tissue. 

Leo Keegan, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction for dense breasts

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Certainly, breast reduction can be done for dense breasts.  In fact, this is usually the case when it is done on teenagers whose breasts are often extremely dense.

Dense breast tissue and breast reduction surgery

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Patients with dense breast tissue actually get very nice results from breast reduction surgery!  And, a breast reduction will certainly help alleviate any neck and back pain and improve shoulder grooving.  Breast reductions do have effects on mammograms.  You should have a baseline mammogram within a year prior to surgery, and a repeat about 6 months after your breast reduction.  

B. Aviva Preminger, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Dense tissue is actually better

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As stated by the other experts, dense breast tissue is not a problem for patients seeking breast reduction and lifting.  In my experience, the dense quality of the tissue allows for better shaping of the breast and better longevity of the outcome.  It's very likely most if not all of your symptoms related to your breasts will be improved following the procedure.  Good luck!

Dense breasts is a non issue for breast reduction surgery

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Yes! successfully and with better results! I have developed a revolutionary technique that takes the weight off the skin and trasnfers the weight onto your chest muscles.

  • This relieves back, shoulder, and neck pain instantly in all my patients.
  • I also take the excess skin and design an 'internal bra' that helps keep the newly moved breast mound in a permanent position.
  • An internal cone is also designed to give more upper fullness that is similar to that of a breast implant.
  • The scars are completely hidden and there is NO VERTICAL SCAR!

Dr. Gary Horndeski


Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Breast reduction in dense breasts

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Breast reduction can be done in dense breasts.  The surgery is a little more difficult (for the surgeon) than a reduction in a fatty breast.  The upside is that dense a.k.a. fibrous breasts, in my experience,  hold their shape better over time.  Breast reduction is a great operation and patient satisfaction is usually really, really high.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Breast reduction for dense breast tissue

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The short answer is yes, breast reduction removes tissue whether it is heavy and dense or softer and less glandular. And women with dense tissue sometimes get more effective relief of their symptoms. So make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your individual situation. Good luck.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Dense breast tissue and breast reduction

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A breast reduction could certainly help the symptoms you describe and is not contingent on the type of breast tissue that you have.  I find that women with "denser" breasts are often more troubled with the symptoms of heavy breasts.  The breast reduction may also make mammography somewhat easier and also easier to examine your breasts both for you and your doctor.  Although the breast reduction surgery will add some scarring internally, most mammographers will be able to render reasonable studies after this surgery.

Jerry Lugger, MD
Southlake Plastic Surgeon

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.