Doctors say many women can avoid unnecessary breast reduction surgery by simply wearing the correct size braWomen considering breast reduction surgery could save themselves thousands of pounds - by buying a new bra instead.
Doctors say many female patients who resort to plastic surgery to ease back pain could achieve the same result by wearing underwear that fits.
Investing in new lingerie could save them up to £5,500 - not to mention being a lot more fun than recovering from a major operation.
Dr Alex Clarke of The Royal Free Hospital in North-West London, which routinely offers breast-reduction patients a free bra fitting, said: 'Women have the opportunity to be properly fitted by an expert bra fitter when they visit the clinic.
'This may be the first proper fitting they have had.
"To date, 100 per cent of those fitted have been wearing the wrong size.
"This results in the weight of the breasts being carried by the shoulders rather than the chest and contributes to back pain."
However, others said surgery can have benefits, particularly in the case of women whose back pain is brought on by slouching in a bid to not draw attention to their breasts.
Douglas McGeorge, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: "Women who are self-conscious about the size of their breasts tend not to want to show them.
"It is not just down to taking weight away, it is the whole psychological change.
"They feel more confident about themselves, their shoulders go back, they stand up straight and a lot of their symptoms disappear as a result."
Katie Price, also known as Jordan, recently went under the surgeon's knife to have her breasts reducedLast year, a British Medical Association conference called for free bra fittings to be offered on the Health Service to cut the number of unnecessary breast reductions.
Around 10,000 women pay to have breast reduction surgery done privately each year, while NHS hospitals carry out thousands more.
Each operation costs between �3,700 and �5,000.
Surveys show that up to nine in ten women are wearing the wrong size bra - and 22 per cent have never been measured for one.
It is thought women tend to underestimate the width of their back, while overestimating their cup size.
This leads to their breasts not getting the support they need and pain in the chest, neck and shoulders.
Chaffing from material and wires can also cause discomfort.
Sales of larger bras have almost doubled in the last three years, with a quarter a size D or above.
In November, Marks & Spencer become the first high street store to sell bras up to a J cup.
The chain's best-selling size is now a 36C - slightly bigger than the 34B of five years ago.