Will Getting a Breast Reduction Make Me Look Larger Around The Middle?

I'm 5'4 and 172 pounds. I carry most of my weight in my chest, arms, and my middle area. However, having large breasts has always given the illusion of my gut being smaller and less round than it actually is. I'm a cumbersome 36 H, and I'm getting a reduction within the next month. My surgeon said he would take me down to a D/C. Would the drastic reduction in my chest area fit with my body? And mostly, could it actually make me look larger in my middle?

Doctor Answers 11

Breast reduction will change your proportions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In general you are correct that your proportions will change after breast reduction, and your mid-section may appear more prominent.  However, as already pointed out, many women go on to lose weight after breast reduction and this will hopefully restore a nice proportion.  In addition, there are other benefits from the breast reduction which will most likely outweigh the potential adverse impact on your proportions-such as reduced neck, back and shoulder pain, improved ability to exercise, etc.  In general breast reduction patients are very happy with their results.  Hope this helps.

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast Reduction and body proportions

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In general breast reduction patients are exceedingly satisfied with their overall results.   After a breast reduction, your breasts are smaller and people frequently ask if you have lost weight!  The surgical goal includes making your breasts more proportionate to your body.  Additionally, you should be able to exercise more efficiently hopefully leading to weight loss. 

But with the breasts lifted off the abdomen, the stomach may be visualized more.  Be that as it may, it is not uncommon to perform abdominal liposuction or abdominoplasty simultaneously in good candidates to enhance your overall results.


Breast reduction and body

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is not uncommon for some large patients to not see their abdomen too well with the large breasts.   Not uncommonly, once the breast are reduced, they notice their protuberant stomach.

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

Breast reduction can change body appearance greatly, but usually for the better

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your question is a very interesting one.  Reducing the breasts can change all sorts of things in body appearance.  Patients are often able to stand up straighter, hold their shoulders up better, and overall move more comfortably. Exchanging a hunched over, round shoulder appearance for one that is more square shouldered and upright is a nice change.  I did have one patient ask me postoperatively what I had done to make her belly bigger.  I was puzzled, because I had not operated on her abdomen in any way.  Later on, I realized that in reducing the breasts that had hung down to her belly button, I had probably uncovered her large belly, allowing her to see it without the distraction of the breasts.  So, it is possible that your belly may appear more full to you after the breast reduction, but weigh that against the improvement in comfort you will have with smaller breasts.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Breast Reduction necessarily alters proportion between breasts and abdomen

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi there-

Because a breast reduction results in a smaller breast profile, without any change in the rest of your torso (abdomen), there will always be a change in the relative proportions of the bustline and abdomen.

If you are already concerned that your abdomen is larger than you would prefer, it is indeed likely that making your breasts smaller will leave you feeling even more so.

This is not to suggest that you should not proceed with reduction- only that it would be wise for you to expect this probability and prepare a plan for its management (diet and exercise, or a tummy tuck as appropriate to your situation).

Breast reduction and abdominal fullness

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There is greater risk in the crease incision separating when a reduction is done on a patient with a fuller abdomen because the belly can rub on the new incision and irritate it.  Also, suddenly you can see the actual size of the tummy and this might surprise you.  Believe it or not, a patient years ago in Georgia actually tried to sue their doctor "for making them fat."

Getting a breast reduction will actually make you look like you've lost weight

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi Shelby,

Reducing your breasts and lifting them off your abdomen does make your mid-section more apparent. However, having a breast reduction does give patients an overall slimmer 'look'. Many have commented that because they fit better in smaller tops, they actually are perceived by friends and family to have lost weight. Having the weight of the breasts reduced allows patients to stand straighter and taller helping with this illusion. This is what my patients tell me all the time. Glad to share, Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Breast reduction procedure can reveal more abdominal contour than some patients want to see

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A good breast reduction will reduce the size, weight and length of your breasts - your abdomen will be more visible after this procedure. To date, I have had several patients comment on this fact, but nobody has regretted doing the breast reduction procedure because of the aesthetic and funtional benefits that they derive from it.

Breast Reduction and Appearance of Abdomen?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question and congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery. It is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. No doubt you will find that there will be many benefits to rid yourself of “cumbersome 36 H” breasts.

It will be important to communicate your goals with your plastic surgeon. You should communicate your concerns that the “chest area fit with my body”. The use of goal pictures may be helpful given that communication may otherwise be in accurate ( for example, different  letter of cup sizes  may be interpreted differently by different people  or by different bra manufacturers).

Don't be  surprised that,  despite best efforts,  you notice your abdomen more after the breast reduction surgery.  it is not unusual for patients to return for work on this area after successful breast reduction surgery.

I hope this helps.


Appearance of abdomen after breast reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Many women have exactly this concern. Given your weight and height, the proposed reduction would greatly improve your appearance and proportions. Breast reduction has one of the highest satisfaction rates of any surgery I perform. Some patients do go on to have tummy tucks at a later date but this is dependent on many factors including the condition of the abdomen and one's finances as the abdominoplasty is not covered by insurance.

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.