I'm a 5' 2" 160lb W/ 36G Sagging Breasts W/ Neck & Shldr Pain. Should I Lose 20lbs Before Having the Reduction?

I was a 34DD prior to my first pregnancy but after having my first child I grew to 36G. Despite working out and losing some of the baby weight from my first and second children, my breasts have remained a 36G. My husband and I plan to have one more child in the next year or so. I intend to ask my doctor to submit my case to my insurance carrier for coverage.

Doctor Answers 16

Wt. Loss Before Breast Reduction

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I always inform my patients that they will get better results the closer they are to their ideal weight. But youy also have to be realistic whether you will actually loose the wieght. before surgery. In your case I would postpone your reduction until after having your next child as you are going to stretch out the breasts after your next pregnancy.

Folsom Plastic Surgeon

Breast Reduction

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Yes, you would benefit from a breast reduction procedure.  Ideally, you would lose your weight first and reach your goal because if you perform the breast reduction surgery and the surgeon achieves the look you want but then lose weight, the breasts will also get smaller. Probably best to wait until you are done having kids to have the surgery UNLESS it is so uncomfortable for you but you have to realize that things may change again after you have your last child.  Each insurance company is different with what they require to "authorize" the breast reduction surgery through insurance.  I write a letter and send photos of the patient when trying to get authorization (I am sure most plastic surgeons do this as well).  Also getting supporting letters from other doctors who can document that you have had neck, back and shoulder pain and/or rashes due to the large breasts. Supporting documentation is usually very helpful.  

Breast reduction and weight loss

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Although breasts are comprised partly of fat, even drastic weight loss won't result in significant shrinkage in that area (and even then, the breasts will still be saggy). Many doctors ignore a crucial dilemma: When your breasts are so large, exercise is a miserable, if not impossible, option. Being overweight doesn't exclude you from having breast reduction surgery. In fact, it will motivate you to lose weight by improving your body image and freeing you to exercise with minimal bouncing and flopping.

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast reduction

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You certainly look as though you would be a candidate for breast reduction based on your photos. Ideally, you would want to be in a healthy and stable lifestyle. Going through a pregnancy means you won't be stable for a number of months if not a few years. However, you have to measure this against the discomfort you are experiencing now. G in for a preliminary consultation with a plastic surgeon to see how to address your situation.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction questions

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There are many things that can cause a breast lump after a breast augmentation. Since you are thin and the implant was placed above the muscle you may just be feeling the edge of the implant. This may also be a totally unrelated breast mass or cyst. Best to check with your plastic surgeon and have this area examined.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Reaching Your Ideal Weight Before Proceeding With Surgery

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         In the perfect world, every breast reduction patient would be near their ideal body weight and be done breast feeding prior to surgery. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Occasionally, women are unable to lose weight prior to breast reduction and some times have unanticipated pregnancies and as a result breast feed.


         We encourage patients to reach their ideal body weight prior to surgery. If they know they will become pregnant in the near future, we ask them to delay surgery until they’re fully recovered from pregnancy and are no longer breast feeding.


         When patients are asked to lose weight prior to breast reduction surgery, the majority are unsuccessful. Ironically, after breast reduction many patients have increased exercise tolerance and subsequently lose weight.


         When patients are not successful losing weight, breast reduction should still be a consideration. The benefits of breast reduction in patients who are overweight are significant. The procedure can improve quality of life and has long term health benefits.


         In patients who are over weight and considering breast reduction surgery, consultation with a board certified surgeon is appropriate. It’s important that each patient be considered individually based on their unique situation. Although, it’s appropriate to attempt weight loss prior to surgery, it’s also appropriate to proceed with surgery when patients aren’t able to lose weight.

Weight loss, Pregnancy, and Breast Reduction Surgery

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Regarding breast reduction surgery for the circumstances that you describe, I would suggest that you try to loose the weight before your pregnancy, so that you will have a lower starting weight at the time of your pregnancy when will likely gain additional weight.

Whether or not you loose weight before you pregnancy it is certainly best to postpone you breast reduction until after you had your last child.  

This is because your breast will change greatly with pregnancy and therefore, many of the beneficial results  of a breast reduction will be lost.

The best plan is:  (1) Weight loss; (2) then pregnancy; (3) then breast reduction.

Fredrick A. Valauri, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Pregnancy, weight gain and breast reduction

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Absolutely! Have your next child and then lose the weight first for your overall health. If you lose the weight after breast reduction, you could expereince and undesireable loss of breast volume and shape

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Breast reduction and when to do it.

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Your photographs tell the problem.  Your are close to 50 pounds over weight.  Are you serious about getting your weight down?  I would recommend a modified reduction mammoplasty where the bulk of your breast tissue  is removed.  This can be done for about $4000   total cost.  You will not look pretty but the majority of weight is gone and you could take up a vigorous exercise  program to get you to fighting weight.  At that time I would open the old scars and finish the reduction.  You should get a fabulous result.

Gary H. Manchester, MD (retired)
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction

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If you are planning to have another child, I would put off having a breast reduction until after that is accomplished.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.