My Breasts Are Still Huge Post Surgery.

I'm 26, 5'4'' and 112 pounds and I was a 32DD, and wanted a reduction. I had surgery 6 days ago; my doctor called it a 'lift,' and said he removed a lot of skin and 100 mgs of tissue. They are still HUGE. I would have traded all these scars, recovery time, and pain, for the small breasts that I've wanted for a decade, but not for nothing! Is it possible that this is just swelling, or is 100 mgs per breast really nothing and did he decide himself that I only needed a lift? After reading about grams, this seems like nothing. I'm devastated. I'm one week post-op and still feel lots of weight there. It it possible he's right and the skin was to blame? I'm about to lose my mind with that fear. 

Doctor Answers 13

Breast Reduction

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Breast Reduction is a complicated procedure that is best done by those with the most training and experience. It is very difficult to determine the resultant cup size and shape based solely on the number of grams that are removed from your breast to best match your ideal breast image without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. Not just any board certified plastic surgeon, but one with many years of frequently performing breast reduction and lift surgeries, including different approaches, techniques and even fat transfer and implant choices if you are lacking superior breast fullness.
This is because several measurements—not to mention breast characteristics such as density—are needed to determine how much and where to remove breast tissue to meet your goals. Without knowing your existing breast shape, dimensions, and the density of your breast tissue, it would be difficult to make this determination. For example, the same volume of breast tissue will weigh different amounts (measured in ounces or grams) in different people depending on its density. The existing base width of your breast and what you will ultimately want to look like will determine, in many cases, the maximal volume and weight that will need to be removed for the best result.

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Breast Lift or Reduction?

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Thank you for the question. Sounds like you and your surgeon had a serious miscommunication. Basically you had a breast lift done when you're hoping to have a breast reduction performed.

If revision surgeries aside upon it will be 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" or "top heavy" 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.

If your surgeon is a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon I would continue communicating your concerns as calmly as possible.

I hope this helps.

Breast reduction tissue weight is difficult to estimate

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Breast reduction tissue weight can vary depending on the technique used to do the breast reduction. I've found that vertical breast reductions tend to remove less breast tissue than other techniques applied to the same patient. It sounds like there was some difference in understanding between your doc and you regarding the amount of breast tissue to be removed and the post-operative size estimate that you were interested in. Allow your tissues to heal at least 6 months before attempting a revision.

Breast lift vs. breast reduction

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It is most important to have a clear line of communication between the patient and the doctor. It is quite clear that you had a breast lift and not a reduction(with only 100 grams removed from each side). Perhaps your doctor did not understand what you really wanted, perhaps he tried to explain that you only needed a lift and not a reduction. But somehow there has been a big misunderstanding.

At 6 days after surgery, there is a lot of swelling to settle. So there is still a small chance that you might be after all satisfied with the outcome - I would suggest having a frank chat with the surgeon and perhaps giving it at least six months. Good luck!

Anindya Lahiri, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

My Breasts Are Still Huge Post Surgery.

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Based upon your description you have some issues. First, a lift is not a reduction or removal of breast tissue or parenchyma. Second, communication and the consents you signed should explain in detail your operation, if it is a lifting than it will describe skin removal with very little breast tissue removal. If a reduction the consent describes tissue and skin removal in larger amounts. So which or what did you sign? Finally, these informed consents are very important and if your chosen surgeon deviated from the "plan" you must understand why. 

100gm is not a reduction

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100gm of tissue removal does not qualify as a reduction but is often the volume of tissue removed to shape a breast with a mastopexy (breast lift).  There appears to be a communication gap resulting in disparity with your desired outcome and the intervention objectives.  You should discuss this with your surgeon.

Chen Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Breast lift or breast reduction

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It does sound like you had a breast lift with a very small amount of tissue removed rather than a true breast reduction.  If your surgeon called it a "lift" rather than a "reduction", then that sounds like what you had.  Once in a while there can be technical factors that restrict how much we can safely reduce a breast and still maintain good blood supply to the nipple and the skin flaps.  However, if you had a true DD cup, in most cases more than 100 grams could be removed. Why you and your surgeon had this misunderstanding is hard to understand.  I assume that you signed a consent, and I assume that it said "breast reduction" and not "breast lift" or you wouldn't have signed it.  Although this probably is small consolation to you, you can in fact have a reduction performed, though it would be best to wait a few months.  I would assume that the surgeon would be willing to do this at a discounted price for you, perhaps not charging a surgeon's fee, although you may have to cover OR and anesthesia fees. 

It sounds as if you had a breast lift, not a breast reduction

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Removal of 100g from each breast canno be considered a reduction. That is probably the weight of the skin removed during a breast lift or mastopexy. It is impossible to know exactly what conversations you had with your doctor but clearly the two of you were on very different pages. Any swelling you have certainly will not make a big difference in your breast size. You need to have a discussion with your doctor and see exactly what happened. Unfortunately, if you want your breasts to be significantly smaller, you will need another surgery. M. Schulman MD. NYC

Breast reduction will remove over 300 grams

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Even at 300 grams the reduction would be considered a small one and average breast reduction surgery will range 450 to 650 grams. The reduction of 100 grams per breast is not 'much' and it seems that your procedure was breast lift rather than reduction.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

The average reduction is more than 100 gram

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There have been a misunderstanding between your expectations and your surgeons surgical planning. You need to wait at least three months and then if not happy with the size get a redo. Your surgeon and you need to have a frank discussion and do not lose your trust in your surgeon till you have given him the opportunity to reduce your breasts to the size that you want.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 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.