Did 15,000 Indian women undergo breast reduction operations in 2021?
While breast implants have been receiving a lot of attention across the world in the past few years, serious physical and psychological problems compelling an increasing number of women in India to undergo surgery to reduce their heavy breasts cannot be undermined.
A 31-year-old corporate lawyer underwent a reduction operation last December, fulfilling her 15-year-old wish. Pooja said she always felt her body was out of shape because of her breasts, consequently making her extremely conscious and lose confidence. “I chose to swim only when I was the only one in the pool,” she added.
Nevertheless, the lawyer isn’t the only one. Estimates suggest roughly 15,000 Indian women in 2021 decided to remove the fat and glandular tissue from their breasts, while 11,520 opted for another procedure called ‘breast lift’ which tightens tissues instead of removing them to provide a smaller look. More than 31,000 women got implants in the same year.
Plastic surgeon Dr Devyani Barve from Nanavati Hospital in Juhu provided key insights from her practice in the last five years, revealing she has done double the number of breast lift and reduction surgeries compared to augmentation.
Meanwhile, Dr Anil Tibrewala from Hinduja Hospital in Mahim highlighted the noticeable increase in the demand for breast lift and reduction surgeries in the past three years. The surgeon attributed this to a couple of factors: the average size of breasts in India is bigger than in numerous other countries, and today’s youngsters make up their minds early on.
Compared to the Indian trend, the global one is considerably different. While 16.2 lakh women chose breast augmentation, 4.3 lakh and 6 lakh went for reduction and a lift, respectively, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery mentioned.
Reduction operations in India can go around Rs 1.5 lakh in small hospitals and Rs 4 lakh in super-speciality ones. But these procedures aren’t covered by health insurance as they are still seen as cosmetic surgery.
Dr Barve says breast reduction is often a necessity for some Indian women, particularly those whose breast size is not proportionate to the rest of their body. “These women tend to lean forward or slouch and develop lower back pain,” she added.
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Several Indian women struggling with this case also tend to spend thousands of rupees on alternative options, such as steroids, hormonal pills, and firming creams, as awareness about the operation is poor.