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Dear Dr. Togba,

Q.  My breasts are huge and cause constant neck and shoulder pain. Is breast reduction surgery safe? Does it work?

A. Breast reduction surgery is one of the most frequent operations I perform on the breast. As you have experienced, excessively large breasts can cause increasing neck, shoulder, and back pain and results in progressive disability, particularly as one ages. This surgery is the only real solution to the problem of excessively heavy breasts when overall obesity is not the cause. With this procedure, blood loss is minimal and there is rarely a need for blood transfusions. Surgery can be performed at any age, from the time the breasts stop growing in the late teens on into the 70s, as long as one’s overall health is good. Breast reduction is often covered by insurance lans here in the Bay Area. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Interestingly, many of my breast reduction patients ask to perform other cosmetic procedures at the same time, particularly liposuction, since the cost of doing the cosmetic procedure is markedly reduced when another procedure is performed.

 Dr. T