How Many Cup Sizes Can I Lose After 38DDD to C Breast Reduction?

I am a 38DDD... Will I be able to go down to a 38C (Like I was in high school)?

Doctor Answers 39

Breast reduction goal is balance with your body

I think it is very difficult to guarantee a cup size after a breast reduction. The real goal is smaller breasts that have a nice shape and are in keeping with the rest of your body. In other words, if you are a very short, thin individual, we may want to aim toward a slightly smaller size; if you are tall and perhaps a bit heavier, a fuller breast would give you a more natural look. Despite this, there are still limitations to how small we can make the breasts without risking healing problems or loss of sensation to the nipple.

My advice would be to seek out a plastic surgeon in your area with extensive experience with breast reduction surgery, look at his before and after photos, and discuss your goals with him.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Cup size after breast reduction

Yes, you can go down to a C cup with a breast reduction, but it may or may not look good on you. How small you can be is really not the question, because a surgeon can remove all of your breast tissue entirely. What really matters is how small you can be while maintaining a pleasing breast shape that is in proportion to your body. Your overall height and body shape influence how different breast sizes and shapes look on your body.

There are many factors your surgeon will take into account to give you a shape and size that suit your body. There is a balance to maintain in order to end up with nice looking breasts, and includes breast size, shape, cup volume, nipple position, symmetry, chest width, torso height, etc. If you are told an expected cup size after surgery, keep in mind that is only a guess. Most surgeons do not speak in terms of cup sizes because your cup size will vary based on what brand lingerie you buy. Also, when patients describe what cup size they want, they are not just referring to the breast volume they like, but the shape that they like when the breasts are in a bra.

When the breasts are reduced, the relative proportions of the breasts, stomach, hips, etc all change. It's not just the breasts that appear different after surgery. When a large volume is reduced, some patients feel like their stomach looks bigger, or their hips look wider, or their back fat has increased, etc. It's not that the surgeon touched the stomach or hips or back, but now the breasts are smaller so all of the proportions look different. In larger women, from a side view the stomach could even stick out more than the breasts, because the breasts no longer droop over the stomach.

Patients are not expected to know all of these things, but your surgeon should be aware of all of the considerations. If you have really large breasts sometimes the nipple could be at risk for losing some blood supply, and the technique of breast reduction is important in keeping the nipples alive.

I would recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon to see what is a reasonable size reduction for you.

Good luck!

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Shape versus size in breast reduction


I think most breast reduction candidates envision a small final breast volume but with ideal breast shape.  This can be accomplished for certain patients but each persons body and beginning breast shape will dictate what final breast shape will be possible.  It will be challenging and unlikely that a very large breast reduction can accomplish the full and "perky" shape that you may have had when you were in high school.  You will therefore have to decide how important shape will be and how small (or large) are you willing to go to maintain that shape.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Cup size after breast reduction?

Thank you for the question.


Unfortunately, there is no direct correlation between the amount of tissue removed and the ultimate cup size that a patient will wear after breast reduction surgery.
Before undergoing the breast reduction procedure 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.
Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Breast reduction: How much?

The risks of breast reduction generally increase with the amount of tissue removed and most particularly the concerns are for viablility and sensitivity of the nipple and areola as well as the skin.

There are risks to crossing the street or flying in an airplane and, of course, there are risks to any surgical procedure. These risks can occur regardless of surgeon or technique. These include but are not limited to: infection, hematoma, discomfort, wound breakdown, hypertrophic scar formation, asymmetry, unfavorable healing, interference with mammography or surgical evaluation of breast masses, interference with nipple sensation with nursing and aging, discoloration of the nipple/areola, need for secondary surgical revisions, and inabiltity to guarantee a specific cosmetic result. Nipple sensation is usually diminished in large breasted individuals and can increase, decrease, or remain unchanged following surgery

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Cup Size After Breast Reduction

Thank you for your question.

As a matter of practice, I never guarantee a patient a specific cup size that they should expect to obtain following a breast reduction procedure.  I find that cup size is a fairly non-scientific term and that depending upon your bra manufacturer a 'C' cup can mean very different things!  To this end, I spend a long time discussing with the patient what they can expect to achieve based upon their pre-operative anatomy at the time of their consultation.  In discussing what the ultimate surgical and cosmetic goals are for the patient in question, I find that this approach is often more rewarding and significantly more realistic for the patient!

The goal with a breast reduction is to remove some of the excess weight, heaviness and skin of the breasts to provide a patient with a more youthful and perky breast shape.  At the same time, the size of the areolae can also be reduced.  There are limitations with how much tissue we can remove at the time of a breast reduction and this can all be discussed with you at the time of a consultation.  

Please consider scheduling a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your candidacy for a breast reduction and what type of a result you can realistically expect from this procedure.  Be sure to seek a consultation with a well-experienced board certified plastic surgeon!  I hope you find this helpful and I wish you all of the best!

Stephen T. Greenberg, MD
Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews


Breast reduction, or reduction mammaplasty patients are among the most satisfied of all plastic surgery patients. Large breasts (macromastia) can often decrease quality of life for a woman. With breast reduction, you can have smaller breasts that sit higher on your chest wall. You will also find relief in your neck and back with the decrease in weight and more ergonomic position of your breasts.
There are several different variations of breast reduction, differing by size, and amount of incisions; procedure; and the results. The different types of reduction techniques include: The wise pattern breast lift, the anchor shaped incision, and the donut mastopexy.
1. The wise pattern breast lift involves an anchor-shaped incision around the natural contour of the breast. To most patients surprise, this scar is mostly hidden under the inferior aspect of the breast. However, the scar around the nipple/areola is visible. Most patients heal this anchor type scar very well and are satisfied with smaller areola in exchange for the scars. This surgery is used when there is a lot of excess skin that needs to be removed in order to lift the breast and give it a more aesthetic shape.
2. Often times, the anchor shaped incision can me diminished to create a lollipop or J shaped incision. This results in some excess skin at the inferior aspect of the breast near the breast crease that will flatten out over a 6 month period. Some patients are willing to tolerate this excess skin for 6 months in exchange for a smaller scar. This is a personal decision that each patient can make.
3. The donut mastopexy involves creating an incision around the areola and removing a doughnut-shaped area of skin. This surgery can be used for patients that need a smaller amount of lifting. This surgery results in a scrunched-up look to the breast skin surrounding the areola for about 6 months before it flattens out. Patients need to be understanding and tolerant of this in exchange for an areola-only scar. These patients do run the risk of areola widening as well.
Insurance may cover some of these cases when back pain, shoulder bra-notching, and rashes under the breast are present. Insurances vary though and your doctor can submit a report and photos to see if your insurance approves your procedure.
The ideal size depends on the size of your hips and waist. Your surgeon will be able to guide you in this decision.
The risks of the procedure include bleeding, infection, bruising, poor scarring, pain, swelling, and changes to nipple and areola sensation, and rarely, partial or total nipple loss. The recovery time is usually a couple weeks if all goes well. In general, however, breast reduction patients are some of the most satisfied and grateful plastic surgery patients. This is truly a life-changing procedure. In my area, the cost ranges from 6700-8500. Best of luck!

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews


It may be possible to make you a C cup, but you should use it more as a guideline for your plastic surgeon.  This way they will know what tissue to remove at the time of the surgery.  Ultimately, they will need to reshape the breast, so you may end up somewhat larger than a C cup.  These are all things that are set as parameters before surgery, but will only become apparent to the surgeon as they are doing the procedure.

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 135 reviews

What will your breast size be after reduction?

Most women come in seeking breast reduction asking to be a C cup.  Unfortunately, there is no standard for what that really means. A C cup at Victoria's Secret is vastly different than with other manufacturers. Additionally, the goal in most cases is either a reduction in symptoms, an improvement in the appearance of the breast or, typically, both.  If aesthetics are important then the goal should be to match your result to your body. This is where the skill and attention to detail of the surgeon is critically important.
Take some time to find a good plastic surgeon who does multiple variations of a breast reduction and who can match the procedure to your body. Find someone you trust and an office you feel comfortable in then trust that staff to get you looking your best.
Dr. Pyle

Jeremy Pyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Breast reduction size changes - Los Angeles

Size and contour are two important considerations in breast reduction. We would recommend that you balance size with the overall natural look of your new breasts. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 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.