How Small Can I Go for Breast Reduction?

I am a 42J, 5’4, 180 pounds, 22 yeard old, and planning to have a breast reduction. Would it be possible for me to go to a C cup, or is that too drastic?

Doctor Answers 9

Breast Reduction to C Cup?

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Thank you for the question.

Yes, it is very likely that you'll be able to achieve your size goals with the  breast reduction surgery.

Before undergoing the breast reduction procedure it is very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon.  Most patients, like you, wish to achieve a enough of a reduction to help with their symptoms while remaining proportionate with the remainder of their torso. 

With the goal of improving communication with my patients I find the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small)  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.

You can have any size of breast you want with breast reduction.

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Any size of breast is accomplishable with a breast reduction.  The magnitude of the reduction will influence the technique chosen.  Those techniques might have some unwanted side effects (anesthesia of the areola) which will be explained to the patient.  Nevertheless, in the end, the patient determines the final size.

Final size after breast reduction surgery

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Your final size after breast reduction surgery depends on the technique that your surgeon uses and your own personal goals. For a large reduction, you need to discuss with your plastic surgeon would size they recommend that would fit with the rest of your body from. Once you've agreed to a goal cup size, discuss with your plastic surgeon the techniques that they may use to accomplish this. Your plastic surgeon will also be able to tell you the configuration of the scars that you can expect. In our practice, 95% of our patients received either a periareolar scar or a lollipop incision. However for very large reductions a lateral extension of the lollipop incision may be necessary.

D cup after breast reduction is good because you are so large.

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You have very large breasts and you are overweight.  So I would not recommend such a drastic breast reduction.  A D cup would be nice for you, and if you lose weight, your breasts will get smaller.

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

Breast Reduction

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I think that very large breasted women should not be made too small, especially if they are are a bit heavy. Remember, if you lose weight, the breast will get smaller too. In addition you have to carrry the nipple and skin flaps on a certain amount of tissue for it to heal well. Figure at least a larger C or a D cup minimum.

C-cup sounds like a nice size post-op

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Your surgeon should be able to perform a procedure that will establish better proportions, relieve back, neck & shoulder discomfort, and make your life more comfortable. Your surgeon may not be able to assure you a specific post-operative cup size. Your surgeon will not be able to give you the breast you had in high school.

Breast reduction patients are among the happiest patients. I hope you achieve the same.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Satisfactory size will be different for each individual

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I usually get two different responses from breast reduction patients when trying to determine size after surgery

  • I've had big breasts all of my life and I would not care if there was nothing there or
  • I've had big breats all of my life and I want something there that is proportionate to my size and shape
  • Also must consider what weight must be removed to give you relief from symptoms.

The ultimate decision on size is based on many factors including your height, weight, size of breasts and length of your breast. There can be technical reasons for not making the breast overly small. There is a very standard blood supply at the base of the breast but as the breast gets longer the blood supply becomes more random. This may place some restrictions on the final size.

Discuss size issues with your plastic surgeon your size concerns. During this conversation your plastic surgeon will advise you about how to perform the procedure in a safe manner and get you the desired result.

Goals of breast reduction

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Think about why you are having the reduction. Is it the weight, the discomfort, the shape, the size? Each reduction should be tailored to your goals. Most of the time it is a combination of relieving symptoms related to weight and also shaping cosmetically but it can be biased to one or the other goal more or less for individual patients. Actual shape is important since different reduction techniques give different shapes. Theoretically speaking, you could go to having no breast (such as having a mastectomy) or on the other extreme, you can shape the breast without removing much weight (that wouldn't help your symptoms much).

In general, the more you reduce, the more potential complications as the surgeon removes more and more normal tissue and reduces the innervation and the blood supply to the nipple more and more. You obviously will have a significant reduction but if you goal is an approximate C cup, make that known to your surgeon. It will do no good to have a reduction and still be large enough to have symptoms and not small enough to be happy cosmetically.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

How low can you go? Breast reduction

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IT depends on what your want and the risks you are willing to take. As more and more breast tissue is resected, there is a greater risk to compromising the blood and nerve supply to the nipple. The more agressive results could essentially be a mastectomy but then the nipple and areola would be treated as a graft and get you down to an A

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.