When is a Good Time to Have Breast Reduction Done?

I would like to know when it is a good time to have a Breast reduction. I have wanted to have a Breast reduction for a number of years. I used to have a 36 DD on a frame of 5'7" and 145 pounds. I recently had a baby (2 months ago) and am not breast feeding, nor do I plan to do so anytime in the future, if I have more children. I am still maintaining a very large breast size (36 G) and would like to know if I should wait longer to consider having the surgery in hopes that my chest may shrink down some more.

Doctor Answers (15)

Timing for Breast Reduction Following Pregnancy

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I wold wait a minimum of 6 months following pregnancy to make sure your breasts have stabilized and are not changing any more. At that point you would be a good candidate for Breast Reduction .Here are some generalizations as to who are good candidates:
Candidates for Breast Reduction surgery are women who wish to have smaller breasts to achieve a more proportional appearance or to alleviate physical discomfort.  Breast reduction can correct symptoms from excessively large, heavy breasts that may cause the inability to do certain exercises, or create back, shoulder and neck pain, poor posture, bra-strap shoulder indentations and chafing or rashes under the breasts.  Women experiencing these discomforts may benefit from Breast Reduction, also called Reduction Mammoplasty.  Furthermore, large breasts may interfere with normal daily activities or exercise and will be more comfortable when reduced.  Women who feel that their excessive breast size decreases a sense of attractiveness and self confidence, or results in unwanted attention are also candidates.
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Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Timing of Breast Reduction?

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Thank you for the question.

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. By removing “excess” breast tissue, adipose tissue, and breast skin  this operation reduces and lifts the breasts to a higher position on the chest wall. By doing so, patients often find improvement in neck, back, and shoulder discomfort and find it easier to form their activities of daily living and exercise.

Timing of the operation will depend on the patient's life circumstances. In general, it is best to do this procedure ( like all other elective body contouring the stages,  when patients have reached their long-term stable weights.  In doing so, improve the safety of the procedure and minimizes the need for further surgery ( in the event of weight gain/loss after the breast reduction procedure).

There are patients who present with “juvenile” breast hypertrophy will benefit from breast reduction surgery ( for both physical and psychosocial reasons) at an early age ( even as teenagers). Patients should consider  carefully the pros and cons of the procedure as well as the potential need for further surgery if the breasts “regrow” in size.

If at all possible, it is best to wait until after completing pregnancies before undergoing breast reduction surgery. Again, doing so will minimize the chances that patients will require further surgery after pregnancy related breast changes. Patients who seek breast augmentation after pregnancy should wait at least 3 to 6 months after they have stopped breast-feeding  him when they have reached their long stable weight.  

I hope this helps. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 719 reviews

Breast reduction following pregnancy

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From your description, it sounds like you will be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery. However, I always encourage my patients to wait a minimum of six months after delivery to have any breast surgery. In fact, I will have them wait even longer if they are actively breast feeding (at least six months after completing breast feeding). A woman's breasts change a great deal over a 40 week gestation and it commonly takes about the same amount of time for them to decrease back to their baseline size. Further, you don't want to be having breast surgery while your breasts are actively producing milk if you can avoid it.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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Ideal Timing for a Breast Reduction

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ANY body shaping is best done when the person has reached STABILITY; in her weight and in her life. There is no point in putting expensive windows in walls that will be changed or torn in 1-2 years. If you are planning on further pregnancies, if your weight will fluctuate widely or if you are not ready psychologically I would postpone the surgery until these factors have been met.

As regards to pregnancy, although Breast Reduction could be done earlier, it is best to wait 6 months for the breasts to reach their permanent status before modifying them.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Breast reduction after pregnancy

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Many surgeons prefer that you wait a minimum of 6 months following pregnancy. There is some variation in the anatomy of one woman versus another, so I would recommend a consultation for recommendations for your specific body type and overall situation. 

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Ideal time for a breast reduction

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The ideal time for a breast reduction is when a woman is no longer breast-feeding and is that a stable and ideal weight. Patients who participate in losing a significant amount of weight are encouraged to delay their breast reduction until they have reached their goal weight and have been stable at that rate for these for six months. This will prevent undue changes in the breast after significant weight loss after such a reduction.

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Optimal timing for Breast Reduction

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As a generality, a woman will experience significant volume and shape changes at three periods of her life: a) menarche, when as an adolescent, your breasts erupt; b) post pregnancy and lactation, when your breasts are subject to significant hormonal variations; & c) menopause, when your breast composition changes to a predominantly fatty component. Most of my best reduction patients have waited to schedule surgery until after they have done a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Some of the issues they need to have covered include: a) Is the trade-off of scars for a smaller, more shapely, functional breast ok? b) Do I have adequate time to recover from the procedure? c) Is insurance going to help me or will this be a self-pay procedure? d) Am I psychologically, physically capable of accepting a smaller breast volume? e) Should I wait until I finish my family, to conserve the ability to breast feed?

There are many other considerations which may be relevant to your case, so I would encourage you to visit with several specialists. Ask to review their best and worst cases, including speaking to patients who have had a similar surgery. After doing your "due diligence" you will be the most qualified to decide the timing of surgery. Most specialists will advise you to wait at least 3-6 months after your delivery to avoid having residual milk complicate the procedure. Good luck

Lavinia Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Breast Surgery after pregnancy

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If your breasts are still somewhat engorged after having children, you should wait about 6 months or longer until they have come back to their normal volume before you go ahead and have a breast reduction.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Wait a minimum of 3 months before having surgery

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I would recommend waiting at least 3, preferably 6 months, before having surgery. You want to give your breasts an opportunity to stop lactating and shrink in size. You should be aware that breast feeding can be effected by breast reduction surgery. If you are not planning to breast feed now, or in the future, having the surgery should not be an issue for you.

David A. Robinson, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

It's probably a good time to get the breast reduction

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It usually take a month or two depending upon the insurance company to get a procedure approved. By then you'll be 4 months out and could look at scheuling. I agree that the 4-6 month window is a good time, as long as you have help with the baby. You will be sore and unable to lift the child for a while.

Good Luck!

Scott Tucker, MD
Winston Salem Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.