Is Exercise an Effective Way to Reduce Breast Size?

I am a college student who desperately wants breast reduction surgery but can't afford it at this time. I also have no desire to spend an arm and a leg on a special fit bra that is so ugly my grandmother wouldn't wear it. Will exercise be effective? Something is better than nothing.

Doctor Answers (8)

Exercise Not Usually effective for Breast Reduction

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Exercise Not Usually effective for Breast Reduction

Diet and exercise may result in weight loss with some reduction in breast size. Unfortunately if you do not have good elasticity of your skin or have dense breasts this may result in more drooping. If you do not loose weight, then your breasts will remain the same size. Breast Reduction surgery by a board certified plastic surgeon is required for most patients for the best result.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Breast Reduction with Exercise?

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Thank you for the question.

Unfortunately, based on the description of your current breast size, it is unlikely that you will have a significant benefit with exercise in regards to your breast size and/or position. It is always best to achieve a long-term stable weight prior to undergoing surgery ( so a healthy diet and exercise program is always  encouraged).

When the timing is right for you please make sure you seek consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

Best wishes.

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

Weight loss and breast reduction

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If you need to lose weight, and your breasts are large and perhaps have a significant fatty component, then weight loss may indeed reduce the size of your breasts.

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

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Will weight loss cause decrease in breast size.

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AT your age, it is most likely tha the vast majority of the breast is glandular tissue rather than fat. However, remaining closer to your ideal body weight can minimize subsequent breast enlargement and is always a good idea.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Breast reduction and insurance and costs

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Excercise by itself will not cause the breasts to decrease in size but weight loss may, depending on where you lose the fat from. If you are younger, the breast is mostly fibrous and will not reduce that much with weight loss though. I am offering a recession temporary price reduction. My fee for a reduction is about $6000 plus the operating room and anesthesiologist fees. We also offer excellent low interest financing. Go watch my video also.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Exercise to reduce breasts

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In some women the fat in their breasts is "depot" fat, meaning that the size of their breasts increase and decrease in relation to their body weight.  In others this is not the case.  If you are in the former group and you exercise sufficiently to result significant weight loss, you could expect some decrease in the size and weight of your breasts.  This would probably be accompanied by some increase in the sagging of your breasts.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Exercise wil not achieve breast reduction.

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 Insurance Coverage for Breast Reduction

Answer by George J. Beraka, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
80% of breast reduction questions on RealSelf are about insurance coverage. Here are some helpful points.

1) Insurance companies try very hard not to pay for breast reduction, even though they should. Even small breast reductions relieve many symptoms such as back pain and shoulder pain, and even some types of headaches.

2) Very big reductions (like from an F cup to a C cup) will usually be covered.

3) Many policies will pay for breast reduction if 500 grams (a little more than a pound) or more are removed from each breast.

4) Some policies take your height and weight into account. So that if you are tiny, smaller reductions will be covered. Find out the details of your policy.

5) DON'T get too much of a reduction just to satisfy the insurance company. You will be unhappy with tiny breasts.

6) Your surgeon needs to request pre-certification IN WRITING, and attach as much evidence as possible.

7) Evidence includes letters from your internist, orthopedic surgeon, and/or chiropractor stating that breast reduction will relieve your symptoms.

8) Some companies require that you try "alternative treatments" such as weight loss and physical therapy first.

9) Don't give up. If the first request is denied, demand an appeal.

10) If there is no insurance, and you cannot afford to pay a private surgeon, go to the plastic surgery clinic of a teaching hospital. There, residents do the surgery under supervision, and the cost is minimal. In New York City, we train residents and fellows at Lenox Hill Hospital, and they do good work.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Exercise does not usually affect breast size very much

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Unfortunately, there is no way to "spot reduce" any part of the body with exercise, including breasts. Your genetically determined body fat distribution will lead to fat reduction in some areas more than others, regardless of the exercise regimen. There are some women who seem to lose weight more in the breasts when they are reducing overall body weight but it isn't under your control. Wish I had better news but I wouldn't want you to put a major effort into something that isn't going to help.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 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.