American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
5 years ago

Ehlers Danlos and breast reduction?

I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos as a toddler, I am now 42. I also have very large breasts and have been experiencing back pain over the last 6 months. Could either of these be contributors to my back pain? If a reduction would help, would EDS be a containdication for surgery? Thanks for any input. Betsy

Procedure: Breast Reduction
Location: Leland, NC

Replies 4

Debra Johnson
ASPS Surgeon

Large breasts, particularly those that are droopy, are known to cause back, neck, and shoulder pain. Certainly your Ehlers-Danlos could also be contributing. If you can hold your breasts up with your hands, and feel relief of some of your back pain, then a reduction would likely make you feel better. The tradeoff is the surgery, recuperation, and permanent scarring. As long as your primary care doctor feels you are in good enough health to undergo this outpatient surgical procedure, then find a local board-certified plastic surgeon and discuss your options. Use the Find-A-Surgeon tool on this website to find an ASPS member surgeon near you.

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Gary Culbertson
ASPS Surgeon
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Agree with Dr. Johnson. As I remember there are at least six different subtypes of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. Consider starting with the practitioner that manages your EDS to see if surgery is ok for you. Consider having them document this information for your surgical team. Next, if you desire your insurance carrier to cover your Breast Reduction give them a call to make sure it is a covered service. Their insurance coverage requirements to qualify for a breast reduction are often on-line. Best,

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Jon Ver Halen

Hello and thank you for your excellent question. Yes, it is absolutely possible that your breast size could be contributing to your back pain. And no, EDS is not a contraindication for surgery. It is best to answer your question during a face-to-face evaluation, when you can discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure, and you can have a physical examination to evaluate for that procedure. I recommend that you find a board-certified, or board-eligible plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable. Be sure to have all of your questions answered during a face-to-face meeting with your surgeon, and review before and after pictures of similar patients whom have had this procedure. Good luck!

Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your question. Your enlarged breasts could certainly be contributing to your back pain over the last several months and a reduction may very well be the answer to help. EDS is not a contraindication but workup and clearance will be required prior to surgery. Hope this helps.


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