Post-pandemic lifestyle changes
Dr. Gregory Greco, ASPS president and chairman of the division of plastic surgery at Monmouth Medical Center in New Jersey, credits post-pandemic lifestyle changes for the overall increase in breast reductions as plastic surgeons observe a greater trend of ”body contouring.” He views it as a response to the different ways that people’s bodies changed with the emergence of COVID, whether that’s weight gain or weight loss over the years.
Larger breasts can be a hindrance
Larger breasts have been an ”unintended consequence of weight gain” in some patients, Greco says, while other women have come to view their chests as a hindrance to ”becoming more fit and active.” This has been proved by a study published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Jerry Chidester, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon based in Utah, offers anecdotal evidence: ”I’ve had women who say, ’My natural breasts are so big and heavy, I just want to be able to play pickleball or play tennis and not have to worry about it.'”
Renewed interest in overall well-being has also shifted priorities. ”They just want to have smaller breasts to feel more comfortable, they want to be able to wear clothing comfortably, they want to not have to worry about going to four different shops to buy the right bra,” says Greco. ”They also have the bad back, neck and shoulder pain, they have the bra strap grooving. We have evidence-based proof that the majority of patients experience dramatic lifestyle improvement from breast reduction surgery.”
As for mental health, Greco adds: ”It’s really transformative when it comes to the psychological effects of having size H breasts.”
”People can be very self-conscious about the way they look,” Dr. Ashley Amalfi from the Quatela Center for Plastic Surgery in Rochester, N.Y., previously told Yahoo Life. ”Plastic surgery for some of these things can have a dramatic and positive impact on mental health.”
There’s increasing awareness of surgery as a part of a ”holistic solution” to mental health concerns, thanks to social media.
”There is more of an awareness, partly because of social media and celebrities talking openly about their breast reduction surgery and how it’s helped them functionally,” says Chidester. ”Women now know what’s available and out there.”
The ASPS report also credits Instagram and TikTok as platforms that allow candid conversations on the topic. Greco notes that advancements in technology and surgical techniques mean ”minimal downtime and shorter scars” for patients, making breast reductions more manageable and attractive.