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What is the cause of heavy breasts?

Large, heavy breasts are most commonly caused by genetics and are completely normal and nothing to be worried about.

Tagged: Body & Breast

Date: 11th December 2020

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 13th December 2023

Large, heavy breasts are most commonly caused by genetics and are completely normal and nothing to be worried about.

If they are causing any stress, physical or emotional, then you should consider breast reduction surgery as a quick, safe and effective procedure to reduce them to a smaller, more manageable size.

On rare occasions, there can be other factors causing heavy breasts. Again, in most cases, it is nothing to be concerned about, but these can include.

  • Fibrocystic breast changes are a common cause, with symptoms including the accumulation of water in the breast tissue. When breasts swell and fill with fluid, they feel heavier than usual.
  • Certain hormonal medications, such as the contraceptive pill and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) are known to cause the breasts to feel heavy as fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone can lead to fluid retention.
  • Breast infections, known as mastitis, are common among breastfeeding women and this comes with other symptoms including breast pain, swelling and fever.
  • Periods, pregnancy and breastfeeding are also common causes of breast heaviness.
  • Very rarely breast heaviness can be a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer. This is an aggressive form of cancer that comes on suddenly and presents with other symptoms.

How can I lose weight from my breasts?

Exercise can help to lose weight off large, heavy breasts. Because the breasts contain fat, cardio and high-intensity exercises can help shed weight faster from problem areas. Aerobic exercises are good for all-around fat loss.

Breast reduction surgery can help a woman to lose weight from the breasts which can help ease back pain and shoulder and neck pain.

In cases where women have excessively large breasts or heavy breasts, breast reduction surgery is often the best means to permanently

Can heavy breasts be treated by surgery?

Yes. Large, heavy breasts can be treated by way of breast reduction surgery, otherwise known as mammoplasty. It works by removing excess tissue in the breast, as well as fat and skin to lighten the weight and prominence of the breast. As part of the procedure, the nipples will be reshaped or raised, along with the breast. This will create a perkier breast shape.

Here at the Cadogan Clinic, we regularly perform this procedure in combination with a breast uplift procedure to restore the optimal positioning of the breast post-surgery.

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Does weight loss help?

Weight loss, through exercise and diet, can help to shed breast fat. However, breast reduction surgery is the quickest and often the most effective way of achieving this goal.

How can breast reduction surgery help?

Breast reduction surgery reduces the volume of the breast, making them feel lighter. Breast reduction surgery can help ease or eliminate a host of physical and psychological problems experienced by women who have heavy or very large breasts.

These include:

  • Backache
  • Shoulder or neck pain
  • Skin irritation
  • Rashes and skin infections under the breasts
  • Grooves on the shoulders from bra straps
  • Psychological distress, such as low self-esteem or depression
  • An inability to exercise or take part in sports

Some women may be concerned about their ability to breastfeed following breast reduction surgery. Here at the Cadogan Clinic, our highly-skilled surgeons take care to retain connections between the remaining breast tissue and the skin. This will help to preserve breastfeeding capacity.


Treatments mentioned in this article



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