Will Smaller Breast Implants Help Relieve My Back and Neck Pain?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I have had breast augmentation with saline implants filled to 450ccs. This gave me a 36 D bra size. I had it done five years ago and have been very happy until recently. I have noticed that my breasts seem to be getting lower and my neck and back is hurting more. I am wondering if you think this is because of their weight? I am considering having them replaced with smaller implants that would take me down to a C cup which I assume is around 3255cc to 350ccs. My question is if I do have them reduced will one cup size smaller help them sit higher and reduce my back pain?

A: Your question is an interesting one but I doubt if your breast implants are a primary culprit of your neck and back pain. Contrary to the perception of many, the most common reason why large breasts cause musculoskeletal pain is because of their severe sagging and not just their weight. In most women with breast implants, the implant makes up a large percent of their breast size and the ‘sagging’ they may get with time is more skin relaxation and not true breast tissue ptosis. While I don’t know what your breasts look like, you would have to have a lot of breast tissue sagging off of the implant to cause these problems. Therefore downsizing your implants, short of complete removal, does not seem like it would prove beneficial for pain relief.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana