Is It a Mistake to Get Get Larger Implants when I Already Have Moderate Back Pain Some Days From a Herniated Disc?

I work out about 5 days a week and about 3 years ago I had a herniated disc in my lumbar region and ever since then I have back pain if I work out two hard or how I sleep. I have made the decision to get breast implants but I want larger ones to fit my frame and fill out the deflation that has occurred since have kids. I am a little concerned about the possibility of back pain. Is this a common thing for women with larger implants?

Doctor Answers 5

Implants and back pain

While it is unlikely that moderate sized implants will aggravate yoru back condition, I think that if you are concerned, you should have the back issue evaluated better.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Do the Weight of Breast implants contribute to back pain?

Any added weight can be an aggravating factor for back pain.  Although it is not particularly common for women with breast implants to come to their plastic surgeons for back pain, we certainly see lots of large breasted women seeking breast reduction for back pain.  As an athletic person, you may want to resolve your back issues before the augmentation so that you will not regret the choice.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Breast implants are an unlikely cause of back pain

Large breast implants can be 'heavy' however we don't hear about back pain after breast augmentation even with a very large implant. If you can exercise as well as you indicate the breast implants should not be a worry.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Back pain and breast implants

The most common complaint and room in seeking breast reduction his back pain, and most of those having that procedure get improvement in symptoms. It is felt therefore that large breast size is a factor contributing to back pain and many women.

Saying that, in my practice I have done breast augmentation for several thousand patients and to the best of my knowledge none has complained to me about back pain. (Some may well have had pain and not complained, or may have referred the issue to their primary physician, as back pain is very common.)

Nevertheless, since you already have a problem with back pain I would think hard about putting in very large breast implants. Although there is no test that can determine your risk, I would suggest getting a hold of a pair of gel implants about the size that you might choose and wear them in a sports bra for a period of time (weeks) as a trial.

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Larger Breasts Implants and Back Pain?

Thank you for the question.

It would be in your best interests  to be examined by well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your goals. Generally, the larger the breast implant the more potential problems with upper spine,  neck,  shoulder  discomfort. Furthermore, the larger the breast implant the more potential for interference with activity,  including exercise.

Having said that, it is unusual for patients  who are generally fit to have  increased lumbar spine problems after breast augmentation.

In your case, you may want to strive to achieve your breasts size  while avoiding “going too large” to interfere with your activity level.

I would suggest that you do your due diligence carefully and choose your plastic surgeon wisely.  then allow him/her ( after you have communicated goals clearly with him/her)  to choose the breast implants that will best meet your objectives. 

In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “larger" etc means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
 Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.

I use  intraoperative sizers and place the patient in the upright position to evaluate breast size. Use of these sizers also allow me to select the breast implant profile (low, moderate, moderate plus, high-profile) that would most likely achieve the patient's goals. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
 I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 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.