I Have Large Breast That Are Causing Me Pain and Have Bad Disks in my Neck?

Is there help for my problem?

Doctor Answers 6

I Have Large Breast That Are Causing Me Pain and Have Bad Disks in my Neck?

Excessively large breasts do cause back, shoulder, and neck pain, which can lead to cervical disc problems.  The more dense and heavy the breasts, the more severe these problems can be.  It is for these reasons that the breast reduction operation was mainly developed and by the same token some insurance companies will cover at least some of the expense.  Of course guidelines vary from one company to the other.  So, my advice to you, consult with an experienced plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who is know for his/her breast reductions, can show you different examples of before and after photos, and has a good reputation in the community for his/her care, bedside manners, etc.  Best of luck.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Weight transfer to eliminate breast pain

There is a new technique called The Ultimate Breast Reduction.  This technique reshapes your breast tissue creating upper pole fullness, elevates them higher on the chest wall and more medial to increase your cleavage.  This technique will reduce the breasts to the size you desire and relieve pain by transferring the weight of the breast to the underlying muscle.  This technique maintains nipple sensation, ability to breast feed and avoids the ugly vertical scars of the Wise pattern, which was developed in 1956. 


Best Wishes,


Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Pain relieved with breast reduction

The main indication for breast reduction surgery are physical symptoms relating to the excess weight of the breasts that cause:

  1. Neck and upper back pain
  2. Headaches
  3. Painful groves in the shoulder area from the bra straps
  4. Rashes and infections under and in between the breasts
  5. Numbness and tingling of the hands and fingers
  6. Breast pain (mastodynia)

Other reasons for undergoing this procedure include:

  1. Difficulty exercising
  2. Difficulty finding clothes to wear
  3. Teasing and embarrassment

There is no guarantee that your symptoms will go away, but they should improve dramatically, especially since you have bad discs in your neck.

Good Luck!

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Large breasts and back pain

Large breasts can cause back pain and if this is the case, breast reduction usually reduces the pain significantly if not completely. You have another cause for neck pain so a reduction may not completely eliminate your pain but it should help. You should seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who can examine you and give you an opinion as to what a breast reduction can do for you. He or she will also be able to help you determine whether or not your insurance will cover your surgery. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Large Breast That Are Causing Me Pain

Most patients who come in requesting breast reduction complain of pain in their neck and upper back or shoulders along with other symptoms. It is hard to find a patient who underwent breast reduction that is not thrilled with the results, both from relief of symptoms as well as other benefits such as clothing fit and easier to exercise. To see if you would be one of these patients would require a consultation and physical exam. If you have health insurance they may pay for part of the surgery although that is rapidly becoming less common.

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

I Have Large Breast That Are Causing Me Pain and Have Bad Disks in my Neck?

Thank you for the question. Based on your description, you may be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery. “Official” recommendations of course would necessitate in-person consultation.

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. 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. By doing so, patients often find improvement in neck, back, and shoulder discomfort and find it easier to form their activities of daily living and exercise.

Timing of the operation will depend on the patient's life circumstances. In general, it is best to do this procedure ( like all other elective body contouring the stages,  when patients have reached their long-term stable weights.  In doing so, there is an "improvement" in the safety of the procedure and the need for further surgery ( in the event of weight gain/loss after the breast reduction procedure) is minimized.

Sometimes breast  reduction surgery is covered through health insurance. The best way to obtain insurance coverage for breast reduction surgery involves some “hoops” to jump through. The more documentation you have (for example, from your primary care doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor etc.) the better when it comes to obtaining insurance “authorization” for the procedure.
 This documentation and letter/pictures from your plastic surgeon will help you obtain authorization.

When the time is right,  seek consultation with well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeons. Ask to see lots of examples of their work and communicate your goals clearly.

I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 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.