Breast Reduction Best Before or After a Pregnancy?

I want a breast reduction, but my biggest concern is I'm only 25 & will have a child within the next few years. Will getting a reduction & then getting pregnant ruin the surgery? Is it best to wait? Also, does having the surgery post-pregnancy hurt your chances of having health insurance cover it?

Doctor Answers 13

Breast Reduction Timing

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There is no right answer to this question - it is nice to have everything be stable and without a planned change in the future.  However, if the size of your breasts really bothers you now, then pregnancy may make it even worse.  Either way works, and usually getting pregnant after having the surgery does not ruin the results.  Also, it does not matter pre- or post- children with regarsds to insurance.  I hope this helps.

Breast Reduction Best Before or After a Pregnancy?

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Thank you for the questions and congratulations on your decision to undergo #breastreduction. Many women that experience complications related to excessive breast size, struggle with the same questions. 

In general when the excessive breast size causes functional problems, #insurance will generally pay for #breastreduction if more than 400 – 500 grams are removed from each breast dependent on your individual insurance company requirements. These problems may include neck #pain, back or shoulder pain, hygiene difficulty, and breast pain. Whether it is pre-pregnancy or post-pregnancy, it does not matter.

If you're thinking about having your breasts reduced but want to be able to #breastfeed your baby, you may want to consider postponing surgery until after you've weaned your last child. A large majority of women can breastfeed after breast reduction surgery, but may experience decreased production. 

The other thing to consider is that pregnancy and lactation can change the size and shape of your breasts. During pregnancy, the volume of the breast tissue generally increases as you gain weight. Typically, this reduces after delivery or when the baby is weaned. There are some women though that this is not the case. Some women complain of larger breasts and many complain of "droopy" breasts.

Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you are far too uncomfortable now, you may want to consider surgery sooner than later. The best advise I can give you is to schedule a consultation with a Board Certified plastic surgeon who will be qualified to evaluate your current breast shape and volume. They will also be able to explain all of your options. Good luck!

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

Breast Reduction Before or After Pregnancy?

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Thank you for the question.

I tried to individualize every patient's care based on their specific circumstances.

Generally however ( everything else being equal) it is best to wait until after pregnancy to have any type of breast surgery.

Best wishes.

Breast Reduction and Pregnancy

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Breast Reductions can be performed at any age following full breast development and in fact, patients have them performed as early as 15 and well into their 70's. It is important to remember that following breast reduction surgery, the smaller breasts are STILL breasts and will respond to pregnancy, weight gain and loss, and aging. I tell my patients that with the surgery we have changed the start point for all of these changes. Certainly if a patient knows they are going to get pregnant within 6 months following surgery, it would be better to delay surgery. If several years will pass before pregnancy, then the patient has to decide if she wants to delay surgery and live with the physical limitations of large breasts or have surgery and accept any post pregnancy changes. If patient's have very large breasts, pregnancy can result in excessively large breasts and increased physical discomfort. Patients should also remember that breast feeding may be less successful after breast reduction surgery. Each of these factors must be weighed by the patient as she makes a decision.

Criteria for insurance coverage vary from policy to policy. You should check the specifics of your individual policy by contacting your insurance carrier. In my experience, post-pregnancy patients are covered to the same extent as pre-pregnancy patients.

Carlin Vickery, MD (retired)
New York Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction before or after pregnancy

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IF you were my relative, I would advise you to have your children first if that is a definitive plan in the next few years, unless you were absolutely miserable.

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

Breast reduction and insurance and costs

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I would suggest waiting after your pregancy for your breasts will change and probably get smaller after. You would then, maybe, need more of an uplift rather than reduction and then the insurance may not cover the procedure. Watch my videos!

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Timing of breast reduction relative to future pregnancy

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Unless the size of your breasts are limiting your normal daily activities, I would recommend breast reduction after pregnancy.  I have seen several breast reduction patients who developed large, heavy breasts after pregnancy.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction timing

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It is a persoanl choice for you. Obviously if you are going to become pregnant soon, I would probably wait. But both young and old patients undergo breast reduction at different stages of their life for varying reasons.

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

Timing of Breast Reduction Surgery

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While it would be ideal for there to be no anticipated changes in your body or breast size, as occurs during pregnancy, for many women the size and weight of the breasts are very difficult to deal with and a breast reduction can dramatically change your quality of life.  In these cases, it is perfectly reasonable to have the reduction.  If however, you plan on starting your family soon, and you can put up with your symptoms from the extra weight of your breasts, I would recommend waiting until you are done having children and then have the procedure.  There is no absolute right answer and it really depends on what your goals are.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Timing of breast reduction

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The timing of breast reduction in your situation probably rests on the reason that you are seeking a reduction.  If you are having significant symtoms (back/neck pain, for example), you may want to go ahead and have your surgery performed now.  If, on the other hand, you are more concerned with aestetics, a pregnancy might undo some of the benefits of your reduction and you may wish to wait until your child bearing is completed.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville 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.