One of the main reasons women seek breast reduction is the stress on their lower back and the pain and even disability that can result over a lifetime of stress caused by the weight of large breasts. Large breasts, described as micromastia, is a recognized medical condition, and for some women it may be covered by insurance. A recent study published in the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) shows that breast reduction is a good treatment for women who have large breasts and may improve their overall health.
The study evaluated women before and after breast reduction surgery. It looked at kinematic data for the women performing an unconstrained lifting task, and modeled the maximal compressive forces in the lower back. It also used the functional ratings index (FRI), a subjective ratings system, to gauge the women's results. The FRI is a tool commonly used by chiropractors and others to evaluate a person's back and neck health. The study showed that compressive forces on the back were reduced by 35 percent by breast reduction surgery. The FRI showed an improvement of 76 percent after breast reduction, with most women reporting the greatest improvement for the frequency of pain and pain during travel.