Too Much of a Good Thing? Options for women throughout Baltimore to alleviate pain associated with large breasts through female breast reduction.

shutterstock_131719940On one side of the plastic surgery coin are women who wish to increase their breast size through breast augmentation. On the other are women who wish to undergo breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction procedures have become more popular with patients traveling to Dr. Birely’s Lutherville offices from throughout Baltimore and greater Maryland each of his past 20+ years in practice. Why are so many choosing this safe and effective breast reduction procedure?


The medical term for large breasts is macromastia, and when large breasts cause pain and other physical problems, the condition is called symptomatic macromastia.



For a woman with macromastia, gravity is the enemy. A large breast becomes progressively longer due to the effects of gravity. As a result of decreased activity, patients tend to gain weight and their breasts get heavier. Furthermore, breast skin is heavy and contributes to total breast weight, which is permanent and not reversible with weight loss.



The symptoms of macromastia can include chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain; chest wall pain; headaches; poor posture; shoulder grooving; numbness and tingling of the hands; shortness of breath, sleep disturbances, rashes under and between the breasts and in the bra strap grooves, and low exercise tolerance.



Heavy breasts can cause symptoms similar to those of neck arthritis or disk problems, thoracic outlet syndrome, migraine headaches, sleep apnea and a variety of other conditions.



Occasional and mild symptoms may be relieved by anti-inflammatory medications, heat packs, massage, chiropractic, physical therapy, etc. Unfortunately, for women with more severe and persistent symptoms associated with larger breasts and excessive breast tissue, such treatments rarely provide permanent relief.



What other non-surgical options do women have? Support bras are not always beneficial; wearing one can aggravate the neck, chest wall and shoulder symptoms. And while often desirable for health reasons, weight loss has been repeatedly shown not to be an effective treatment for symptoms related to heavy breasts. Often breast reduction surgery is the best or only option.



Dr. Birely often performs breast reduction surgery, also called reduction mammaplasty, in Baltimore and Belair Maryland.. Reduction mammaplasty is a highly effective treatment for symptomatic macromastia, because it deals directly with the cause of the symptoms. While breast reduction is a surgical procedure, it is simple and safe enough that patients not only from nearby Lutherville and Towson select Dr. Birely, but women from throughout Maryland as well as Virginia, Washinton D.C., and Pennsylvania select Dr. Birely for his expertise and convenient location. Women who have undergone reduction mammoplasty enjoy both physical benefit ( improved physical functioning, pain relief, improved skeletal stability, improved quality of sleep, reduced headaches, and improved breast visualization on mammography) as well as psychological benefit (they look like they have lost more weight than just the weight of the breast tissue, they are able to wear clothes they were not comfortable wearing before, and are much less self-conscious about their overall appearance).



One of the biggest challenges for many women contemplating breast reduction surgery is obtaining insurance coverage of the surgery. If you are considering breast reduction surgery, first read your insurance policy. If your insurer lists reduction mammaplasty as a policy exclusion, you may not be covered for a consultation to discuss whether surgery is appropriate for your symptoms. Dr. Birely can and often does perform breast reduction surgery on Maryland residents even if they are not approved by insurance, assuming they are comfortable paying the inevitable out of pocket costs associated with surgery. With payment options for breast reduction surgery and finance plans that can fit most budgets, the majority of women seeking superb and natural outcomes from a highly trained Johns Hopkins educated board certified plastic surgeon, can have their goal become a reality at the offices of Dr. Birely.


In most cases, insurers require Dr. Birely to write a letter describing the patient’s symptoms and physical findings, estimating the breast weight to be removed, and requesting coverage. This should be done prior to scheduling surgery, because the insurer may not be obligated to pay if surgery was not preauthorized.


If your insurer denies coverage by labeling breast reduction surgery cosmetic, Dr. Birely will educate the insurer about symptomatic macromastia and explain the difference between breast reduction and its cosmetic cousin, breast lift.


For more information about Dr. Birely or his expertise in, and reputation as a top doctor in the Baltimore area, performing breast reduction surgery contact us today.

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Dr. Brent Birely is a board-certified plastic surgeon with offices in Lutherville and Bel Air, serving patients from Baltimore, Towson, Columbia, Westminster, and other Maryland cities. He is a very well regarded leader in cosmetic surgery and patient safety, and specializes in procedures including breast augmentation, tummy tuck, mommy makeover, facelift, and body lifting procedures after weight loss.

*The content/images on this website are not a guarantee of individual results. Individual results may vary. The information provided on this site is for general informational purposes only and does not replace the need for a formal consultation with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon before undergoing a surgical procedure or skin care treatment.

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