Do I Need a Breast Lift or a Breast Reduction? (photo)

Hello, I am a 36DDD. I definitely need a lift but I'm not sure if my size will automatically be reduced with the lift or if I should have a reduction. I don't mind being a D cup but I am 5'3" and have always been curvy so I don't want to go too small and not look proportionate. Any advice? (photo included) Thanks!

Doctor Answers 15

Ultimate Breast Reduction

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You are a size 36 DDD and as you state you definitely need a lift.  If you desire to be a D then you will need to have a reduction performed.  At size 36, each cup size corresponds to 200 grams of tissue.  To go down 2 cup sizes you would require 400 gram removal.  Insurance companies may or may not pay for a reduction of this size.  Reductions are paid by insurance companies based on body surface area.  Unfortunately, you did not give your height and weight so I cannot calculate that for you.  The greatest complication after breast reduction is going too small and not looking proportionate.  The goal of breast surgery is to make more attractive breasts by elevating them on the chest wall.  There is a new technique called The Ultimate Breast Reduction.  The breasts appear larger and breast pain is relieved by transferring the weight to the underlying muscles.  You are a perfect candidate for this new procedure.

Best of Luck,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Breast Lift or Breast Reduction

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Actually the techniques that are employed for a breast reduction and a lift are the same. This includes the incisions and the lifting of the nipple and the areolae.  The only real difference is if the goal is volume/weight reduction or not. So in other words, when you get a reduction you also get a lift. If the goal is to reduce the overall size of the breast than a reduction is procedure you need. If the goal is to maintain the volume but only improve the shape of the breast than a lift is what you need.

Mark A. Jabor, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon

Breast Reduction or Breast Lift: Unload the breast to beat gravity.

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Breast reduction surgery decreases the size of the breast as well as lifts the breast (mastopexy). If you have large breasts like you have described, there is no way that large of a breast can only be lifted without being reduced. After a breast reduction, you want the breasts to fit your body, so maintaining volume should not be a problem despite a fairly large breast reduction and breast lift. This is a procedure that has a very high patient satisfaction, and if you are having symptoms could be covered through your health insurance. This is a no-brainer: breast reduction!

I hope this helps.

Dr. Trussler

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Lift or Reduction?

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Simple answer is that both procedures in you will leave the same scar on the outside. During the surgery the surgeon and you have to decide whether you want less volume or not. Do you like out you look in a good, well fitting support bra? If the answer is yes, then you only need a lift. If it is, "no, I'm too large", then you need a reduction. Unless you are trying to get insurance to cover this, it is just a personal choice. We could get into a lengthy discussion of what effects large breasts have on activity level, back and shoulder and neck pain. We could also talk about whether a lift alone will work very well with quite large breasts (like yours) - it won't. But those are not what you asked. :)  Good Luck. Get a reduction!

Clayton L. Moliver, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Breast Lift or Reduction?

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A breast lift is designed to move the nipple and breast mound upward and a breast reduction is designed to make the breasts smaller. However, a lift also removes a small amount of tissue and a reduction moves the nipple upward as well. So you need to talk with your board certified plastic surgeon who will help you decide what your goals are and how best to achieve them. It is important that you communicate well before your surgery to avoid disappointment afterwards. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Breast Lift vs. Breast Reduction: the Financial Aspect

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In the setting of large and ptotic (saggy) breasts, a distinction should be made between a breast lift procedure that is done primarily to improve the appearance of the breasts and a breast reduction procedure that is performed to relieve symptoms related to the excessive weight of the breasts. In general, a breast lift is viewed by health insurance companies as a cosmetic procedure that will not be covered while a breast reduction may meet criteria as a covered benefit. If you pay out of pocket for a breast lift then you have more say as to how much breast tissue is removed. If the health insurance company is going to pay for a breast reduction they have the last word as to how much breast tissue will be removed.

David S. Motoki, MD
Draper Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast lift~reduction

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In the photo provided, it appears as though you would benefit from a breast reduction which also provides a breast lift giving the breasts a more youthful, perkier appearance. During an examination, your plastic surgeon will determine if your breasts are heavy and dense requiring a reduction or if they are merely ptotic (hanging) which would only require a mastopexy (breast lift).  You and your plastic surgeon should discuss your goals for breast reduction/lift using photos.  Providing your plastic surgeon with visuals to communicate what you consider proportional to one’s body habitus is very beneficial. Using cup sizes is not a good idea; cup sizes are not consistent from one manufacturer to another.  You should also discuss the position of your nipple/areola complex as well as the location of your incisions, recovery time, healing time and risk of complications.





Breast Lift and/or Breast Reduction?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

It is very likely that you will benefit from some degree of breast reduction along with breast lifting surgery. You will need to communicate your goals clearly with your plastic surgeon (I preferr the use of goal pictures) and explain what you mean by “too small and not look proportionate”. These words can be a source of miscommunication;  I would suggest that you select pictures of breasts  that you feel represent a similar look you are trying to achieve, as well as some breasts that are too small and too big.

Again, clear communication with your plastic surgeon will be critical in achieving your goals.

Best wishes.

Breast reduction

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It appears that a small breast reduction would be appropriate for you.  Your surgeon needs to be aware that you do not want to be too small and proceed from there.

Breast reduction/lift

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If you desire a reduction, certainly some tissue can be removed to accommodate your request while the lift is taking place.  Good luck.

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.