How Do Doctors Know How Small You Can Go?

My doctor looked at my full D breasts and suggested a C cup for my breast reduction. I asked to go smaller, and he said "Sure." I've read other's stories and they must stop at C and not go smaller, so I feel lucky, but wonder why everyone can't go as small as they want?

Doctor Answers 5

Breast reduction, how small can you go?

The eventual cup size dose depend on individual preferrence, however reduction is indeed limited by the geometry of the breast, and chest width. There are many reasons or factors which leave most breast reductions at a very full C or small D cup. As the reduction is 'pushed' to acheive a smaller cup the breast can lose projection and shape, sensation, or even circulation to the breast remaining. We prefer balance and aesthetics over the quest for the smallest cup. Before you feel lucky be sure to go and check out B-cup bras to see what you are asking for.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast reduction

It is usually a matter of a surgeon's experience when it comes to knowing how small to make your breasts.  I have noticed, however, that there can be a tendency to over reduce the breasts and that the size often  continues to decrease during the several months after surgery.  I would look at photos of,the surgeon's work and you that a a guideline.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast Size after Breast Reduction?

I would suggest that you be very careful about discussing your goals and/or basing your satisfaction with the outcome of surgery on specific cup size. As you know, breast cup sizes may vary from one bra manufacturer to another;  therefore using cup size as a means of communication can be confusing.

In regards to the smallest size achievable safely with breast reduction surgery,  the concern is related to the blood flow REMAINING  after the breast reduction surgery. The concern with the amount of tissue removed is related to blood flow to the remaining tissue;  if too much tissue is removed in one operation the blood flow to the remaining tissue (including nipple/areola)  may be compromised.   Part of the tissue that is left in place is called the “pedicle"; this segment of tissue is responsible for delivering the blood supply to the nipple/areola tissue. If the pedicle is made too small (in the effort to reduce the breasts as much as possible)  then patient will likely have problems with tissue survival.

Generally, I advise patients undergoing breast reduction surgery to go small enough to alleviate symptoms related to breast hypertrophy as much as possible while retaining as much breast tissue as necessary to maintain proportionality between the upper and lower torso.

Best wishes.


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

Size After Reduction

You certainly go have a reduction resulting in smaller than C cup in most instances, although the amount of tissue needed to support adequate healing does factor in.  Most experienced plastic surgeons can give you an educated estimate of your post-op cup size.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

How Do Doctors Know How Small You Can Go?

Honestly, I can tell you after doing breast reductions and breast enlargments for30 years, no one can guarantee a specific bra size. We try and create a certain look and proportion. If you think about it,  D bras from different manufacturers all fit differently. This is because cup "size" is not really a size at all, it is more of a proportion. Take photographs of women who have the look you want and your surgeon will be able to tell you first of all if your desire is even realistic. Then he can use the photos as a model while he is doing the surgery. Now understanding that you can't really pick a bra size you want ofter surgery, I can tell you that it would be hard to find a breast reduction patient that is unhappy after surgery.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.