What Causes Large Breasts?

Close-up of a woman with a large chest, wearing a black camisoleWhile many associate full breasts with femininity and sensuality, those with breasts that are too large in proportion to the rest of their bodies often face a variety of concerns. Overly large breasts can cause strain on the back, neck, shoulders, and other areas of the body, and can make shopping for clothing and bras very difficult. In extreme cases, they can even cause problems with posture and mobility. More distressing yet, disproportionately large breasts can be the source of self-consciousness and embarrassment for some patients, regardless of their gender. 

Uncomfortably large breasts can be caused by a number of biological and lifestyle-related factors, such as:

  • Hormonal changes. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can play a role in developing overly large breasts.
  • Genetics. Studies have shown that large breast size may run in families. 
  • Weight fluctuations. Some patients find that a significant amount of weight is distributed in their breasts, causing the bust to appear unflatteringly large.
  • Drug use. Certain drugs, such as marijuana and anabolic steroids, can cause breast enlargement in both men and women.

When enlarged breasts prove resistant to diet and exercise, patients can often find comfort in breast reduction surgery. This popular procedure is designed to relieve women of the immense burden posed by overly large breasts, but some patients also seek this surgery for cosmetic purposes. Generally, breast reduction involves the removal and/or reconstruction of excess breast tissue to simultaneously relieve discomfort and enhance the figure. Alternatively, male patients with overly large breasts (a condition known as “gynecomastia”) may benefit from male breast reduction surgery.

Our board-certified Encino plastic surgeon, Andrew Cohen, MD, has extensive experience in breast reduction and related surgeries. If you are interested in breast reduction to improve both your appearance and quality of life, schedule a consultation today.