I had a wonderful opportunity to speak to health care providers at Providence Milwaukie Hospital this week about breast reduction. Breast reduction has been proven in clinical studies to provide effective and long lasting relief for symptoms like back pain and shoulder pain. In addition, women often find that they are able to engage in physical activities that they couldn’t do before.
I had some great questions after the talk from other doctors:
1) What do you say to woman who are childbearing age or interested in having children in the future?
I have a frank discussion of that breast reduction can change the ability to breast feed in the future. However, if her symptoms and limitations from large breasts are severe, women may choose to perform the breast reduction sooner rather than waiting until after childbirth and breastfeeding are completed.
2) Is there some unique disease of the breast that causes macromastia (enlarged breasts)?
There is no specific pathology that can be seen under a microscope which identifies this condition. It occurs in women due to a hyperactive end-organ response to circulating estrogen.
3) Do you recommend breast reduction in a woman who has undergone radiation (for breast cancer)?
I do not recommend breast reduction in the setting of radiation because radiation changes the ability of the tissue to heal. Women who have undergone breast reduction and irradiation are at much higher risk of wound healing problems.