Doctors Will Not Do Breast Reduction Until Weight Loss?

Im a 30 year old female in good health, 5'6, I weigh 215 at this time. I'm trying to get in better shape & I finally decided to get the reduction I've wanted for 10 years (40G). After my 4 month wait for my appt, my dr says I'm a great canidiate & insurance would likely approve me, but he isn't willing to do surgery until I'm 175 or less. Exercise worsens my back & neck, dr flat out said I should "skip meals." I'm so disappointed at the thought of waiting so long. Is weight a common dr request?

Doctor Answers 5

Breast Reduction and Weight Loss?

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Your surgeon is giving you advice that is in your best interest.  Achieving a long-term stable weight prior to undergoing breast reduction surgery will increase the safety of the procedure performed. Also, achieving this long-term stable weight will help improve the outcome of the procedure and minimize the need for additional surgery down the line.

 Best wishes; hopefully you will be very pleased with the outcome of the procedure eventually performed.

Weight loss and breast reduction

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Whiile a breast reduction can be done, some surgeons prefer that you lose weight to lower your body mass index.  Best to be seen in person to be evaluated.

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

Weight and breast reduction

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Your surgeon is likely trying to optimize your surgical profile and has your safety in mind.  Higher BMI (body mass index) has been shown to increase your risk of complications, whether related to surgery and recovery or anesthesia.  Many outpatient surgery centers have restrictions based on BMI.  However, you can always seek a second opinion. 

Elizabeth Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Healthy weight minimizes surgical risk

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Many if not most plastic surgeons recommend that for elective surgery such as breast reduction, the Body Mass Index (BMI) should be less than 30 (yours is 34.7). More than that has been shown to relate to increased risk of surgical complications, some of which are serious. Also, it is difficult to shape the breast in reduction if you anticipate additional weight loss.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast reduction pending weight loss

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It is not unreasonable to request patients lose weight before surgery but some patients cannot lose weight.  That being said, my patients have to be at a weight they can maintain before surgery is done.  Some patients are heavier than ideal and this does contribute to more complications and possibly poor long term results should you lose a significant amount of weight post-operatively (your breasts become too small for your body and then you want implants now).  So your doctor is looking out for your best interests but if you cannot lose weight through dieting and exercise, you can look for a doctor who will do the surgery for you at the increased risks for complications and simply accept that.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 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.