I am 51 years old with shoulder and neck pain, am I a candidate for breast reduction?

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Reduction Candidate

Hello and thank you for your question. Being a candidate for surgery is based off of many factors. Most importantly are you healthy enough to undergo surgery? This is something your primary care physician will see your for and give you clearance. Also, are you at a healthy and stable weight to go ahead and proceed with surgery? This is also very important as a breast reduction is a big operation you only want to do once. So making sure your weight is stable and your BMI is in a healthy category is something you and your doctor will want to discus. Best of luck in your future surgery!

Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Breast Reduction help with should and neck pain

Should and neck pain can be symptoms relating to large breasts that you may benefit from by reducing.  Breast reduction is sometimes covered by insurance provided you plan does not exclude it.  Insurance companies generally follow the Schnur scale which your height and weight is used to calculate how much breast tissue must be removed for insurance to cover your procedure.  A board certified plastic surgeon can examine and evaluate you to see if Breast Reduction would benefit you.  Good Luck.

Eric Schaffer, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

I am 51 years old with shoulder and neck pain, am I a candidate for breast reduction?

As you are aware, there are quite a few conditions that may cause neck and shoulder pain, heavy breasts being one of those and although you have given us no information regarding your physique, I assume it is breast enlargement that causes your question. To determine the answer to your question you will need to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in that procedure. Hope that helps. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast reduction

You would need to be seen in person to be properly evaluated.  You can also check with your insurance company to see what the criteria are for approval.

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

Breast reduction for shoulder and neck pain

Shoulder, back, and neck pain are common symptoms of women with large, heavy, pendulous breasts. A breast reduction has been shown to relieve these symptoms in over 95% of patients. It is an excellent procedure in the right candidate.

Gustavo E. Galante, MD
Schererville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Breast reduction

Your query omitted the most important facts-height, weight and bra size.  All are essential elements for the analysis of whether this procedure is appropriate, not to mention the question of whether it might be covered by insurance. 

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Candidate for breast reduction?

Thank you for the question. Based on your description, you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery: this operation tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. Of course, “official” recommendations of course would necessitate in-person consultation.

“Typical” patients who present for breast reduction surgery are women who have disproportionately large breasts, causing problems such as neck/back/shoulder discomfort, postural changes, bra strap grooving, skin irritation/rashes under the breasts, and/or difficulty with activities of daily living and/or exercise etc. There may be both physical as well as psychosocial “stress” caused by the disproportionately large breasts.

 By removing “excess” breast tissue, adipose tissue, and breast skin  this operation reduces and lifts the breasts to a higher position on the chest wall. When a breast reduction is performed, a breast “lift” occurs as part of the procedure. Patients often find improvement in neck, back, and shoulder discomfort and find it easier to form their activities of daily living and exercise. 

 Ultimately, whether or not to undergo breast reduction surgery will be a very personal decision best made after carefully weighing the pros/cons associated with the procedure.  The pros are listed above. Some of the risks/potential complications associated with breast reduction surgery include:  infection, bleeding, seroma, hematoma, wound healing problems, abnormal scarring ( hypertrophic or keloid),  loss of sensation, inability to breast-feed, breast asymmetry, necrosis of tissue or skin,  unsatisfactory cosmetic results, unpredictability of exact cup size postoperatively,  recurrence of the breast hypertrophy, and the potential for further surgery.



My best suggestion: seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you will be pleased with. Once you have selected your plastic surgeon, communicate your goals carefully. I suggest that you do not communicate your goals in terms of achieving a specific cup size. For example, a “C cup” may mean different things to different people and therefore may be a source of miscommunication. In my practice, I ask patients to communicate their goals with the help of goal photographs.

I hope this, and the attached link, helps.  Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,501 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.