I am a 40DD and considering breast reduction because of neck and back pain and the grooves in my shoulders.

I am also a pretty healthy 71 year old. I have high blood pressure and about 20 lbs overweight. If I have this done what is the recovery time and how sore are most people after surgery and about how long does the pain last.

Doctor Answers 2

I am a 40DD and considering breast reduction because of neck and back pain and the grooves in my shoulders.

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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 to perform. However, much more information is needed to determine whether you should proceed with surgery, and if so when (timing).  In my practice, I individualize the “timing” of surgery based on a lot of information that is transmitted during the consultation process.  

“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.

Reducing breast tissue mass and elevating the breasts on the chest wall tend to improve or alleviate many of the symptoms associated with the disproportionately large breasts.

Patients considering breast reduction surgery should also consider the potential downsides (risks/complications) associated with the procedure as well.. Poor scarring, for example may be associated with the procedure.  Additional surgery may be necessary in the short or longer term for a multitude of reasons.

When the time is right, I suggest that you seek consultation with well experienced plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you would be pleased with.

Then, I would suggest you visit a few surgeons whose practices concentrate on aesthetic surgery. Ask to see lots of examples of their work and preferably speak/see patients who have had similar procedures done.  Once you have chosen your plastic surgeon carefully, it will be important for you to communicate her goals carefully as well. In my practice, I asked patients to use as many “visual aids”, such as goal photographs, during the communication process. Be careful about utilizing terms such as “ideal” ( there is no such thing), “B or C cup” and/or “proportionate"… these terms can be confusing, since they may mean different things to different people.  Once you have communicated your goals,  your chosen plastic surgeon will be able to give you an estimate of how much breast tissue will likely need to be removed to achieve your goals.

I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast reduction surgery concerns), helps.  Best wishes.

Breast reduction

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Breast reduction is a great procedure for the right patient.  The recovery is usually pretty straight forward and most can go back to light duty work within a week.

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