Common Reasons Why Women—and Men—Undergo Breast Reduction

Dr. David Stoker

Woman contemplates a breast reduction after suffering from back pain.

While large breasts are desirable for many women, breasts that are too large can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing. Men can also be affected by unwanted breast tissue, whether as the result of obesity, illness, medication, or for no discernible reason at all. At my plastic surgery practice near Los Angeles, I see people from all walks of life who are interested in reducing the size of their breasts—and they have a lot of different reasons.


Physical discomfort and chronic pain are big motivators for women who see me for breast reduction. Breasts that are disproportionately large and heavy can cause long-term issues in the back, neck, and shoulders. Oversize breasts have also been linked to other issues like headaches and nerve problems in the hands. Carrying around the extra weight of large breasts doesn’t just hurt—it can also cause poor posture, which comes with its own set of problems.

Daily Inconveniences

Beyond the physical aspect, extremely large breasts can make everyday tasks frustrating, challenging, and even emotionally taxing. Women with oversize breasts often say they feel self-conscious when engaging in physical activities like running and swimming. It can be difficult to find a supportive swimsuit or sports bra that offers the type of coverage these women need. I’ve seen patients who are so frustrated by these limitations that they sometimes wear 2 bras at a time to participate in their favorite activities!

Finding clothing that’s flattering can be a challenge. For many such women, button-up tops are completely out of the question—and anything cut too low becomes immodest. Breast reduction is a wonderful option for simply easing the difficulty of shopping for clothes that fit.

Then there’s the issue of unwanted attention, too. Sadly, many women with excessively large breasts say they have been subject to rude stares, comments, and gestures all their lives. And that’s not OK. While I wish these individuals didn’t have to resort to surgery, I fully understand why they go for it.

What About Men?

Men also undergo breast reduction. In the male population, the development of breast tissue is actually a medical condition called gynecomastia. Affecting as many as 40% of men, it can have a number of root causes but often develops for no reason. Gynecomastia can be extremely distressing and can cause intense feelings of self-consciousness, particularly during intimacy or when working out. Men require a modified version of the surgery to achieve good results. This can be achieved through liposuction or complete removal of the breast gland. In the long term, men who undergo gynecomastia surgery report improved confidence and self-esteem.

Breast reduction is a sensitive topic, but we are here to help you change your life for the better. Please reach out to my practice with your questions and concerns.

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