A London press release on May 29th went like this: "Junior French Open champ Simona Halep is set to undergo a surgery to reduce her 34DD boobs. The 17-year-old feels they are a disadvantage and has vowed to have a reduction later this year. "The breasts make me uncomfortable when I play,” the Sun quoted her as saying."It''s the weight that troubles me - my ability to react quickly," she added. However, fans of the Romanian tennis player didn’t seem too happy with her decision. They flocked to sign an online petition: Save Simona Halep Boobs. One stormed: "It will be a crime against nature."
Simona Halep, as you may or may not know, is from Romania and is a budding Junior tennis player. She is ranked #258 in the world. She won the Junior French Open tennis tournament in 2008, and although not yet fully developed as a professional, she reached the second round of the qualifiers for the Senior French Open in 2009. In May 2009 she received widespread media attention all over the world for expressing her desire to go through breast reduction surgery in order to perform better on the tennis court. I found it surprising to read on blogs and sports pages online how much fans and readers did not understand the purpose and benefit of breast reduction surgery. Comments ranged from disgust to outrage to frank misunderstanding of what the indications and outcomes are for breast reduction surgery.
Constant back and neck pain, gouges in your shoulders from bra straps, difficulty with clothing fit, and deteriorating posture and an inability to participate in certain activities rank among the common complaints of women with large breasts. Breast reduction surgery (reduction mammaplasty) may help relieve these symptoms. As technology advances, more women are seeking consultations from plastic surgeons to discuss options for adjusting their breast sizes to a healthier and more comfortable level. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 104,000 breast reduction surgeries were performed in 2006. Breast reduction is often considered a medically necessary treatment due to its interference with the activities of daily life and physical symptoms, so third party payors and referrals from primary care physicians are often involved.
So, what are the indications for breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is for women who have large breasts and want to resolve one or more of the following associated problems:
Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain
Skin rash under the breasts
Deep grooves in the shoulders from bra strap pressure
Restricted levels of activity
Difficulty wearing or fitting into certain bras and clothing
Women can have breast reduction surgery at any age, but it's generally advisable to wait until you're at least age 17 or 18, by which time your breasts are likely to be fully developed. However, sometimes surgery is performed in teens who suffer significant emotional and psychological effects of having too-large breasts (called juvenile breast hypertrophy). Patients are often advised that if they want children and wish to breastfeed, they may consider postponing breast reduction surgery until afterwards. Changes to breast tissue during pregnancy could alter your surgical results. Also, after the surgery, breast-feeding may be difficult.
As you can see in the above photo, in Simona Halep's case, it is clear that her very large breasts are causing a functional interference with her tennis game. Her swing is somewhat impeded by what is in the way, and she just can't move as quickly with her figure as it is now. There is no doubt that Halep's game will improve after a reduction of her breasts, and likely make her able to swing more quickly and react on the court faster. This is not for vanity, it is for comfort and to function in a more effective manner.