Breast Reduction from C Cup to A Cup

I am going for a consultation for breast reduction. I am 39 years old and have been wanting a reduction for some time. I have tried to lose weight as I was advised by my GP but this seemed to make little difference. I am a C cup at present but they are very heavy, causing me back pain and shoulder pain. Is it reasonable to request going down to a small B or A? I exercise a lot and at the moment this is very painful. I am going to a private clinic as the NHS will not assist as they say it is simply cosmetic.

Doctor Answers 22

Breast reduction from C cup to A cup

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Breast reduction is a popular and effective way to remove tissue that may be causing pain and symptoms and contour the shape of your breast.
There are many excellent techniques that can help you recontour the shape of your breast and create a pleasing new breast mound. Many techniques will also minimize the amount of scars that are necessary to place on the skin.
Be sure that you're working with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience in breast reduction surgery so that the specialist can review the different surgical options and help you decide which one is best for you and can help you choose a surgery that will balance your frame.
This is especially important in small patients to help create a harmonious result.

An A cup is unlikely after breast reduction

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There are many factors which must be balanced when considering breast reduction. Cup size is one important one, as is nipple position relative to the fold under the breast. Others are the amount of skin and laxity within the breast, the projection of the tissue (full or soft and long), and the base diameter of the breast. On average most patients will wear a D cup after a significant reduction, often over two thirds of the breast present, The reason is the geometry as it relates to the aesthetics. After reduction we would like the breast to be much smaller, higher with good projection, a natural S line from underarm to breast to chest and fold under, a nipple 2 cm. above the fold or front and center, and a minimum of visible scar.

The A and very often the B cup cannot be achieved because the base diameter of the breast is large at a starting D or DD cup and it is very difficult to reduce to a very small cup without a sacrifice in projection and shape. You might find it helpful to look at several bras while shopping in an A and B cup to notice the differences from your current cup size. If you are indeed a C cup, reduction to a B cup may well work however I suggest that you not set your sights any smaller.

Best of luck,


C cup and back pain

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It is difficult to determine whether your back and shoulder pain symptoms are due to your breast size without examining you, knowing your body habitus and history. In general, C cup breasts do not cause significant back pain. Be sure that there is not another possible cause for the pain, e.g. spine or disc problems. If not, then seek the advice of a plastic surgeon. There may be some restrictions on the amount of tissue to be removed to be considered a medically necessary breast reduction. Good luck!

Breast Size after breast reduction

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There is no " ideal” breast size. It is very important to communicate YOUR size goals with your surgeon.  In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C cup” or "fake looking" means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible.

Best wishes.


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I advocate being proportionate. Now when you say you're a "C" this is somewhat arbitrary as all bras are different. However, if you are athletic it is not unreasonable to get, what I call, a sporty reduction. This means a reduction of 150-400cc that will help maintain a nice figure but at the same time allow you to feel more comfortable while exercising and reduce the strain on your neck and back.

Unfortunately, there's no insurance company that will cover this reduction. See several surgeons as well. Many of us that have been trained later due a superomedial reduction instead of the old inferior pedicle. It's smarter and safer.

Breast reduction from C cup to A cup?

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Hello! Thank you for your question. In general, breast size does not correlate with bra cup size. The cup size itself will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer as well as who is doing the actual measurements. Thus, cup size is never a reliable indicator for your breast size. I typically encourage my patients not to communicate her desires in cup size but more on the actual look and appearance.

Good communication between you and your surgeon of your expectations is warranted - choosing your surgeon wisely is the first step. Discussion of your wishes and having an honest and open dialog of your procedure is mandatory (e.g, incision, lift, use if implant, etc). I have found that photographs brought by the patient is helpful to get a visualization of the appearance you wish for in terms of size, shape, fullness, etc. In addition, your surgeon's pre and postoperative photographs should demonstrate a realistic goal for you. Once this has been accomplished, allow your surgeon to utilize his/her best medical judgment during the procedure to finesse the best possible result for you after preoperative planning and creating the most aesthetically-pleasing breast for you.

Hope me that this helps! Best wishes for a wonderful result!

Reaching Your Ideal Weight Before Breast Reduction Surgery

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         The results of breast reduction surgery are better when patients are near their ideal body weight. When patients are overweight they’re encouraged to lose weight prior to surgery, unfortunately the majority of patients with weight issues are not successful dieting. Despite this, patients who are overweight derive significant benefits from breast reduction. Many have increased exercise tolerance following reduction and are able to lose weight elsewhere. For these reasons, we don’t view excess weight as an absolute contra indication to breast reduction surgery.


         Although it’s possible to perform a breast reduction of this magnitude, it may not be advisable for several reasons. In some cases, removal of large amounts of breast tissue might damage the blood supply to the nipple areola and the surrounding skin and increase the potential for complications.


         It’s also important to consider the aesthetic implications of creating A cup breasts in someone who is overweight. Aesthetically attractive breasts have harmony, balance and proportion with the surrounding structures. For this to happen, larger, fuller breasts will be needed, possibly in the B cup range.


         To obtain the best possible result from your breast reduction, it’s important to discuss these issues with your plastic surgeon before proceeding. This procedure has high satisfaction rates and is associated with long term health benefits.

Breast reduction from C cup to A cup

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Are you having the Breast reduction because of pain or how the breasts look?

If it is the pain, I would rule out other causes of pain, such as nerve root compression at the neck, or musculoskeletal strain that may be treated otherwise. A C cup breast would be unlikely to cause so much pain, unless the breasts were unusually heavy or glandular.

As an aside, it would be unlikely you would be able to get insurance coverage for such a small reduction.

Of course, anything can be done with proper techniques, and going from a C to an A can be done with minimal scar techniques, depending how much skin excess there is.

Is breast reduction indicated?

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Bra sizes are inaccurate but if you are truly a C-cup, then breast reduction may not be the answer. Typically patients are at least a D-cup or larger who undergo breast reduction surgery. Now granted you could be larger and just wearing a C-cup. In that case a breast reduction may be warranted and help you. Going down to an A-cup is not a realistic expectation if you are truly a C-cup. There are limitations to the surgery. Sounds like you need to meet face to face with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine your true breast size relative to your body type and review the causes of your discomfort and whether or not a breast reduction surgery is indicated. Have you looked into other causes for your symptoms? Make sure you bring up all your concerns during your upcoming consultation. Good luck.

Bahram Ghaderi, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

It is easy to make you an A cup, but I wouldn't recommend it.

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With good technique, you can literally be made any size, but it is important to have a good eye for esthetic balance. In Manhattan, we occasionally see a breast reduction patient who is sure she never wants to need to wear a bra again. And we make her an A cup, and she is happy, even if she looks a little bottom heavy.

But this is the exception. It is so important to really listen to the patient. For most women, a B cup is small enough and ages well.

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

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.