Should a female athlete reduce the size of her breasts to gain a competitive advantage? It’s a question we’ve discussed at our practice south of Saratoga Springs after an athlete had plastic surgery for breast reduction because her 34DD breasts hindered her performance as a pro tennis player and caused her significant back pain.
First, it’s important to point out the decision to have any plastic surgery is personal, and we support the choices our patients make. But as we’ve seen younger female athletes get breast reduction surgery in an effort to improve their performance, it’s important to talk about the lifelong consequences of that decision.
Women who get breast reduction surgery at The Plastic Surgery Group in Albany are typically among the most satisfied of all of our patients. The physical and emotional relief they feel is amazing. They have also carefully considered the pros and cons of surgery and made a thoughtful decision to have the procedure.
Although most stories about what experts see as a trend focus on elite athletes who are trying to gain an edge, it’s an issue that resonates with women who want to put in miles on the treadmill, play weekend tennis, or comfortably enjoy an afternoon of beach volleyball. In one study of women racing in the 2012 London Marathon — cup sizes AA to HH — about one-third reported breast pain from exercise. Research also reveals there’s a self-selection process by which some women end up on the court while others — disproportionally, those with bigger breasts — are relegated to the stands.
If you’re an active woman considering breast reduction surgery, think about the following issues before making your decision:
- Are your expectations realistic? If running or other activity is painful, breast reduction surgery can likely improve your experience.
- Do you understand the risks? Although unusual, complications from breast reduction surgery can include the loss of sensation in your nipples or breast, unevenly positioned nipples, and the inability to breastfeed after having the surgery.
- Are you comfortable with scars? Breast reduction surgery always leaves visible scars. Although the incision locations are hidden by a bra, some women have more noticeable scars than others.
Ultimately, the decision is yours and should be based on your desires, but it’s wise to consult with a qualified surgeon beforehand.