Can I Lose Weight After Breast Reduction?

I'm 44 5'6, 165lbs w/40ddd sagging heavy breasts that are very dense and I want to be a 38d cup. I have neck and back pains daily. I plan on losing 20 lbs, but my surgery is scheduled this month,if i have the breast reduction and lift now and lose the 20lbs after the surgery will my breast start sagging or have any other problems from losing the weight. I will lose the weight with a daily exercise and healthy eating routine. I cant delay surgery because school starts in January what should I do?

Doctor Answers 16

Losing weight after breast reduction

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Losing weight following your breast reduction may influence your results depending on the amount of weight lost and your unique physiology. It could contribute to sagging or a further decrease in breast size. On the other hand, it may not affect your results at all. It is difficult to say for sure.

I usually recommend that my patients reach their stable and ideal weight before pursuing surgery. This improves surgical outcome and reduces the risks associated with surgery.

Breast Reduction and Weight loss?

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The cosmetic result of a breast reduction is usually stable provided the weight does not change significantly after surgery; should this be the case, the shape and fullness of the breast might be affected.

As this is an important decision and all being well, this is the only breast reduction/procedure you will have, my advise would be to post pone the operation until you are totally satisfied with your wait, to reduce any chance not to be satisfied afterwards.

Best wishes.


Andrea Marando, MD
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

Weight loss and Breast Reduction

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A 20lbs loss after surgery is not likely to change the result much, but there might be the need for a small amount of skin tightening later.

James M. Kurley, MD
Champaign Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Timing of Breast Reduction and Weight Loss

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Hi there-

I have had many patients like yourself over the years....

In most cases, responsible plastic surgeons would agree that having the procedure after your weight loss is complete would significantly lower the risks that your breasts change as a result of the weight loss- causing you to be a bit less happy than you could have been, and increasing the risk of needing a touch up procedure after the weight loss.

On the other hand, I have had many patients in your position remind me how difficult it is to exercise for fitness and lose weight with heavy breasts hanging off of your body, and indeed know that many women's weight loss was greatly facilitated by having their breasts reduced...

I would say that if you think you are able to exercise, and your school schedule permits, your chances of being happy with a single procedure are greater if you wait until you are at a stable weight.

If you would rather (for convenience's sake, or to simplify exercise) proceed sooner, and are willing to accept an increased risk of needing a revision after your weight loss, then It would be acceptable to proceed now.

I hope that helps you!

Okay to have a breast reduction

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In general, I am not overly concerned with a 20 pound weight loss.  Usually  there is no much of a change in breast size with this degree of weight loss.  A 40 pound weight loss can make a difference.  Before any body contouring procedure it is always recommended to be a  stable weight, but this does not always work out.  My recommendation would be to have the reduction at this time.  The change in your body shape and the way you feel will far override all of the other possibilities.  

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

Breast Reduction Before or After Weight Loss

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As women lose weight, so do the breasts. This may lead to some sagging or #ptosis of their breasts. Often, those who experience sagging are ideal candidates for breast lifts. A #mastopexy or #BreastLift operation is designed to improve the shape and position of the breast without reducing the size. It is used for breasts which #sag or droop (#ptosis). Some patients have a better shape to their breast such as increased superior fullness if an implant is used at the time #mastopexy. Additionally, the procedure can also be combined with a minor breast reduction to reduce the breast width, if desired. Also, the procedure will create nipple and areolae of the desired size and at the correct height.

With this in consideration, your options may change if you continue to lose more weight.
After all, gravity will continue to have an effect and the breast skin will tend to stretch over time. The degree of stretching and sagging varies between women: generally, women with smaller breasts experience less recurring sagging. Heavy and large breasts may lead to recurrent sagging and may require the removal of a small amount of breast tissue to achieve an optimal shape and size. One key to a satisfying result is realistic expectations.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Weight Loss Can Increase Probability Of Sag

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Breast hypertrophy can be a disabling condition.Women with breast enlargement often have decreased exercise tolerance.This often causes their weight to increase.Following breast reduction their exercise tolerance improves and they become more active.This often results in increased activity levels which may cause weight loss.Unfortunately this may result in loss of breast volume and breast sag.
When this situation arises secondary surgery may be necessary.In some cases, either a breast lift or secondary breast reduction may be indicated.Even when secondary breast surgery is necessary because of continued weight loss, breast reduction patients report high satisfaction rates.
For these reasons, it’s extremely important to discuss these issue with your plastic surgeon prior to surgery.Your surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and aesthetic goals.

Lose Weight after Breast Reduction?

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Thank you for the question. Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery. It is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

It is usually best to be as close as possible to your long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with this operation. Additional weight loss after the breast reduction surgery may result in  additional decrease in breast size and or “drooping”. These changes may necessitate further surgery.

You should weigh these potential changes associated with weight loss after breast reduction surgery  against your school/time off scheduling factors.

I hope this helps.

Weight Loss Before or After Breast Reduction

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It is usually better to lose the weight before your surgery because your breast can change after losing the weight post-surgery. You don’t want to have the procedure and then not be happy with your final results. However, many women find sticking to a diet/exercise program is easier to follow through with after having a positive cosmetic surgery experience.

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Weight loss after reduction

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Lose the weight first and then have your reduction.  This will give your surgeon the best shot at the size and shape of breast you want and you will be healthier to under go surgery at a lighter weight.  Overweight and obese patients have higher risks and complications.  Remember, this is a procedure that is going to affect the rest of your life.  You want to go about it the right way.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 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.