While most women, or at least some young women, wish for abnormally large breasts, many women don’t understand the issues that come from having extremely large breasts. When a woman’s breasts experience disproportionate breast growth, leading to enlarged breasts or abnormally large breasts, this is known as breast hypertrophy, gigantomastia, or macromastia.

We’ll cover what makes breasts grow this way, how macromastia is treated, and options for those who suffer from the rare condition of macromastia.

If your body image suffers due to excessive growth of large breasts, the Orange County breast reduction plastic surgeons at Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute are here to help.

Our team, led by board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Daneshmand, is here to help you discover your best self. Call us at (949) 359-8397 to schedule an appointment to address potential macromastia.

What is Macromastia?

Macromastia is a medical condition that affects people assigned female at birth and is characterized by the excessive enlargement of the breasts in relation to body weight. While breast size varies, macromastia goes beyond what is considered normal breast size. Those with macromastia typically have breasts that are disproportionately large in relation to their body weight or frame.

The excess breast weight and other symptoms caused by macromastia or breast hypertrophy can cause a person to experience serious chest, back, and neck pain. Macromastia can also cause skin rashes around the entire breast. It can also negatively affect a person’s body image and decrease self-esteem. 

It’s important to note that the option to “lose weight” in the breasts is not an option for those with macromastia or breast hypertrophy.

What is Breast Hypertrophy?

gigantomastia treatment in orange co

Breast hypertrophy and macromastia describe conditions of abnormally large breasts, with breast hypertrophy, another rare medical condition involving the enlargement of breast cells leading to increased organ size. Breast hypertrophy makes the breasts grow excessively large, often causing neck and breast pain.

Breast hypertrophy is diagnosed when breast weight surpasses 3% of an individual’s total body weight and can result from hormonal imbalances or weight gain, affecting both adults and adolescents.

Juvenile breast hypertrophy, also known as virginal hypertrophy or virginal mammary hypertrophy, occurring during puberty, is a specific instance. Macromastia is a term used to denote the extent of excessive growth, essentially a severe form of breast hypertrophy.

Gigantomastia Meaning

Macromastia is used interchangeably with gigantomastia, a similar condition with a slightly different definition. Both macromastia and gigantomastia are forms of breast hypertrophy but with different levels of severity. 

Macromastia describes excessive breast tissue growth that does not exceed 5 lbs. Gigantomastia occurs when someone has excessive breast tissue that weighs over 5 lbs.

Causes of Breast Enlargement Without Surgery

Macromastia can come in different forms, depending on the patient’s age and the potential cause of the disproportionate breast growth. The different types of macromastia include:

Gestational Gigantomastia

This form of breast hypertrophy is a rare condition characterized by excessive breast growth during pregnancy. This can cause neck pain, poor posture, and potential complications during childbirth and breast-feeding. Gestational gigantomastia occurs because of hormonal changes during pregnancy, and while it may regress postpartum, additional surgery is often considered for relief.

Drug-Induced Gigantomastia

Drug-induced gigantomastia occurs as a reaction to certain medications, leading to abnormally large breasts. Management of breast hypertrophy involves discontinuing the causative medication. Some breast hypertrophy cases may require surgical treatment to reduce breast size and alleviate breast asymmetry and other symptoms.

Idiopathic Gigantomastia

Idiopathic gigantomastia is a condition where there’s a massive enlargement of the breasts without a clear cause. Treatment for idiopathic gigantomastia often involves breast reduction surgery to remove excess glandular tissue.

Juvenile Gigantomastia: Juvenile gigantomastia, or virginal breast hypertrophy, manifests in adolescent girls, characterized by rapid and often painfully enlarged breasts. Virginal breast hypertrophy condition can lead to significant psychological and physical challenges, including back pain and poor posture. Management of virginal breast hypertrophy typically includes breast reduction surgery.

Macromastia Symptoms

One of the most obvious physical symptoms of macromastia is excessive breast size. If an adolescent, young adult, or adult has extremely large breasts that are disproportionate to their total body weight, they could have breast hypertrophy: macromastia or gigantomastia.

Other symptoms can include skin rashes on and around the breasts, as well as neck, back, and chest pain. 

What Causes Excessive Breast Tissue?

breast hypertrophy

Other factors could lead to this rare condition of breast hypertrophy, causing excessive breast tissue growth. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during puberty, pregnancy, and specific phases of the menstrual cycle, can stimulate breast tissue growth due to elevated estrogen levels. Genetic predisposition and family history can also contribute to larger breasts. 

Weight gain, as a result of increased fat storage in the breast area, is another common cause, leading to extreme breast enlargement in some cases. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can lead to temporary breast size increases, and for some individuals, this enlargement may persist post-childbirth. Breast cancer can also increase the size and shape of the breast, which can lead to abnormal breast growth. 

Macromastia Diagnosis

To diagnose macromastia, a healthcare provider will perform a thourough clinical assessment, starting with a physical examination to assess breast size, breast shape, breast asymmetry, and associated physical symptoms. During the physical examination, they’ll inquire about the patient’s medical history, family history, and hormonal factors to identify potential underlying causes. 

In many macromastia cases, imaging studies may be ordered as part of the physical examination to visualize the breast tissue in detail. In certain cases, particularly if there are concerns about unusual breast tissue growth or the presence of breast cancer, a biopsy may be recommended for the clinical assessment.

Breast Enlargement Treatment

There are a few safe and effective treatment options for macromastia or breast hypertrophy. Below are some of the most common breast hypertrophy treatments used to help those suffering from abnormal breast development. 

Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery, or reduction mammoplasty, is a safe and effective treatment option for those who want relief from extremely large breasts. During breast reduction surgery, excess breast tissue, fat, and skin are surgically removed to achieve a more proportionate breast size. 

Breast reduction surgery can significantly alleviate symptoms like chronic neck pain, skin irritation, poor posture, and breast asymmetry. Recovery time for breast reduction surgery varies, but most women can resume normal activities within a few weeks, with lasting results that enhance both physical comfort and aesthetics.


For extremely large breasts or when other treatments have not been effective, a mastectomy may be considered as a last resort. Mastectomy involves the complete removal of breast tissue and is typically reserved for individuals with gigantomastia breast hypertrophy or when there are severe medical complications associated with their condition. 

After a mastectomy, patients may choose to undergo a Bakersfield breast reconstruction surgery to restore their breast shape without the larger breast size.


While medication is not typically a primary treatment for macromastia, certain medications may be prescribed to manage specific symptoms. Hormone therapy can help regulate hormonal imbalances, which may be contributing to breast hypertrophy.

However, the effectiveness of medications in treating macromastia can vary, and these options are often used in conjunction with surgical treatment to provide comprehensive care.

Recovery From Breast Reduction Surgery

Recovering from breast reduction surgery for patients with macromastia or breast hypertrophy is a gradual process that involves careful attention to the body’s healing needs. Initially, patients can expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort that will subside over a few weeks. This can be managed with prescribed medications.

It’s important for macromastia or breast hypertrophy patients to follow postoperative instructions closely, including wearing a supportive surgical bra with thick bra straps and avoiding strenuous activities. Plastic surgeons will also recommend follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process, remove stitches or drains, and address any concerns or complications.

Throughout the recovery period, patients often experience a significant improvement in neck pain and other symptoms, as well as an enhanced sense of body confidence and comfort.

Macromastia Surgery in Bakersfield, CA

Breast size naturally varies among many women, but abnormally large breasts can often cause chronic back and breast pain, poor posture, and body image issues in those who have them. Everyone deserves to live comfortably and confidently, and we want to help those with macromastia reach that goal. 

If you are suffering from extreme breast enlargement, breast asymmetry, or just overall dissatisfaction with your breast size, our board-certified plastic surgeons are here to help.

At Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute, we offer several different breast procedures in Bakersfield and Orange Co, including breast reduction and reconstruction surgeries, which can help treat macromastia as well as other breast conditions.

Reach out to our team at Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute and schedule an appointment with us regarding your breast reduction or reconstruction surgery. Call us at (949) 359-8397 or contact us online to set up your appointment.