What Body Type is a Good Candidate for Liposuction Rather Than Just a Traditional Breast Reduction?

Are younger patients more ideal for liposuction to reduce breast size without a breast lift? What other factors are considered?

Doctor Answers 12

Breast Liposuction vs Breast Reduction Surgery

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There is a small subgroup of women with symptomatic breast enlargement who will be candidates for breast reduction with liposuction alone. In general these will be younger women with good skin tone and the nipple should be well positioned on the breast.  One should expect a more modest volume reduction with liposuction alone.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Breast Reduction and Liposuction?

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Thank you for the question.  Unfortunately without direct examination is not possible to give you good advice.  

Yes, generally younger patients are better candidates for liposuction surgery but there are many other factors involved in the decision making process. These variables involved including the amount of adipose tissue versus breast tissue in your breasts,  the quality of skin elasticity that is present,  the degree of ptosis (drooping) present as well as your overall goals in regards to breast size and shape.  

It would behoove you to be examined in person by a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps.

Breasts that are DD or smaller are potentially suitable to Liposuction Reduction.

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Liposuction breast reduction is a seductive alternative to traditional breast reduction techniques because it avoids the extensive scarring associated with latter. However, there are a limited number of women that have the appropriate anatomy that will allow liposuction reduction to provide a normal breast shape and nipple areola location. The key to whether liposuction alone will provide an acceptable alternative  lies in the overall breast size, position of the lower pole of the breast and the location of the nipple areola complex. If the breast does not hang significantly below the breast and the nipple areola complex is situated at or above the fold level then liposuction for reduction is possible. On average, any patient with more then a DD cup will not have these features and will require a traditional reduction.  It is true that a younger patient is more likely to have the anatomical features allowing for a liposuction reduction. However, the make-up of a younger patients' breast oftentimes has little fatty tissue and is largely dense glandular tissue that will not be extracted by liposuction. Therefore, attempting liposuction reduction on younger patients may result in a disappointing change in her breast size because there is very little fat to remove. A thorough consultation with a Surgeon is needed to determine whether one is a good candidate for liposuction breast reduction.

David A. Ross, MD (retired)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Scarless (liposuction only) breast reduction

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This has been one of my specialty operations for about 10 years. We have done somewhere around 800 at this point. The operation has been performed on a wide variety of ages, cup size, body types etc. whether traditional reduction or the Scarless, each is a compromise with strong points and drawbacks. For someone whose main goal is a quick simple safe operation with an extremely rapid recovery and NO SCARS, this is an ideal option. If someone's main goal is the lift portion of the procedure they are probably a better candidate for traditional production. It is wonderful for patients with relatively mild asymmetry, women before childbearing where breast-feeding is a major concern, older patients whose main concern is the health issue of the weight and not necessarily how they will look in a bikini. The largest reduction we have ever done was 6 cup sizes but a more normal reduction would be between two and 3 cup sizes. Hope this helps

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction versus Surgical Reduction of Breasts

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If you are young and have full breasts which do not hang (ptosis) then you can get a moderate reduction without affecting the shape of your breasts.  If your breasts have loose skin, then you need to have a traditional reduction/lift.


Good Luck.

Liposuction for breast reduction

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Liposuction is great to remove fat.  Much of the breast does contain fat in moderate to large breasts, especially in older women.  However, most women want a breast lift while we are reducing the weight and volume of the breasts during a breast reduction.  For that, just like for a breast lift, we need to make incisions so that we can raise the nipple higher and tighten the skin brassiere.  The scars are a tradeoff for the shape.

Nia Banks, MD, PhD
Washington Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Liposuction is for fat!

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A problem with using liposuction alone is that a good number of women who come to me for reduction have significant fibrocystic changes. Liposuction will not be effective in these breasts. In my experience it can be difficult to determine how effective lipo may be even in younger women who may not have fat replaced breasts. Insurance usually will not pay for liposuction if that is a consideration. Shape and nipple position are important in breast surgery. Simply reducing volume seldom gives a good result. In my practice the real indication for liposuction is in the woman that had undergone reduction then put on weight and is again bothered by the size of her breasts. The nipple position is usually in acceptable position and the skin envelope improved from the previous surgery. In those cases fat is more reliably the culprit and responds well to lipo.

Thomas R. Walek, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon

Am I A Candidate for Breast Reduction Using Liposuction?

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A breast reduction is usually performed to reduce very large and heavy breasts that are causing health problems or extreme self consciousness.

For the vast majority of patients, a breast reduction is performed by directly excising the extra breast tissue. This allows a significant amount of tissue to be removed and the breasts to be reshaped and lifted. The main tradeoff is that scars are left.

For some patients, breast reduction using liposuction may be worth considering. The main advantage of breast reduction using liposuction versus a traditional breast reduction is quicker recovery and much shorter scars. Breast reduction using liposuction is far less popular than a traditional breast reduction, however, because liposuction alone will not improve sagging and can only remove a limited amount of breast tissue, which may not be enough for many patients.

A suitable candidate for breast reduction using liposuction is a patient with:

•Smaller breasts that are more fatty in nature (versus glandular) and require a lesser reduction (eg. one or two cup sizes or less)

•Good skin elasticity

•Minimal sagging of the breasts (or a patient who is not concerned with sagging)

Larry Fan, MD 


Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction only breast reduction works well for moderate reduction.

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You are a good candidate if

1) you don't have much sagging,

2) you want to go down one or at the most two cup sizes, and

3) you have good skin elasticity (so younger is better).

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

YES, lipo breast reduction is possible in some cases

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In general, breast reduction is performed with large incisions and "excising" breast and fatty tissue.  Those who are candidates for liposuction instead of the more traditional procedure have a higher percentage of fatty tissue as well as good nipple position.  Liposuction doesn't remove skin and in fact requires skin to shrink once the fatty tissue is removed.  So, the nipple position must be in an adequate position preoperatively--otherwise, it will end up very low and unsightly.  In addition, liposuction will not remove breast tissue, only fatty tissue--so those with significant breast tissue will not benefit from this modality of treatment.  Hope this helps!

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 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.