Do I Need to Lose Weight First?

Hello, I'm 34, 5'2 with a 36/38 DD and I weight 174 pounds... Would I need to lose first before looking into Breast reduction... I have all the symptoms, back, neck, and shoulder, breathing problems. My PD is sending for PT and has done X-ray and breathing test and this has been going on for a year now.

Doctor Answers 9

Weight loss not required prior to Ultimate Breast Reduction

There is a new technique called The Ultimate Breast Reduction.  This technique avoids the ugly vertical scars of the lollipop or boat anchor shaped incisions and transfers the weight of the breast to the underlying muscle.  This technique provides immediate relief of your neck, back and shoulder pain.  It will not matter if you lose weight since the weight is transferred to the underlying muscle.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 224 reviews

Breast reduction and losing weight

It is always better to lose weight first before undergoing a breast reduction.  Certainly you can go for a consultation now as well.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Weight loss prior to breast reduction surgery

You weight does not seem to be to disproportionate for a woman seeking a breast reduction.  If you are having symptoms they most likely will not be resolved by loosing weight.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Losing Weight Prior to Breast Reduction Surgery?

Thank you for the question.
Breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. By removing “excess” breast tissue, adipose tissue, and breast skin  this operation reduces and lifts the breasts to a higher position on the chest wall. By doing so, patients often find improvement in neck, back, and shoulder discomfort and find it easier to form their activities of daily living and exercise.
Timing of the operation will depend on the patient's life circumstances. In general, it is best to do this procedure ( like all other elective body contouring the stages,  when patients have reached their long-term stable weights.  In doing so, improve the safety of the procedure and minimizes the need for further surgery ( in the event of weight gain/loss after the breast reduction procedure).
If at all possible, it is best to wait until after completing pregnancies before undergoing breast reduction surgery. Again, doing so will minimize the chances that patients will require further surgery after pregnancy related breast changes. Patients who seek breast augmentation after pregnancy should wait at least 3 to 6 months after they have stopped breast-feeding  him when they have reached their long stable weight.  
I hope this helps. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,502 reviews

Weight Loss and Breast Reduction

We always recommend that patients be within 15-20 pounds of their ideal body weight and adapt a healthy lifestyle prior to surgery. By doing so, this will help patients to achieve the best results possible. Losing weight is unlikely a substitution for a surgical breast reduction. The breast is a combination of fatty tissue and glandular tissue. In general, the closer a patient is to their reproductive years, the more glandular and resistant to weight loss the breasts will be. As the patient moves away from reproduction years, the glandular elements will begin to regress.  During this time the breast will transition into a fatty tissue and become more susceptible to weight loss. At any age, there is a distribution of women who have a fattier breast and some women who have a more glandular breast. In the chance that an individual is able to achieve weight loss from their breasts, it is more likely to leave a lax skin envelop and not provide the youthful appearance that is often enjoyed after a breast reduction. All the best –Dr. Lickstein


Larry Lickstein, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Weight loss prior to Breast Reduction

It is always best to be at your ideal body weight for any surgery to optimize healing and recovery; however, if you are having back pain due to large breasts, you do not necessarily need to loose weight prior to the surgery.  Refer to a Schnur normogram and calculate your body surface area which is based on your weight and height.  Determine from the chart how much breast tissue needs to be removed by your surgeon and discuss with him wether this minimum amount is reasonable to expect.  If this is the case, you should be able to proceed with insurance coverage.

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Breast reduction.


I would recommend losing weight as this will give you a better result post operative.  If you have a reduction prior to all your weight loss , it may be that you then lose more weight off your breasts making you even smaller and giving you droopy breast again.

Stephen Salerno


Do I Need to Lose Weight First before breast reduction?

Many thanks for the question.

With the data about your height an weight I don't think you need to loose weight before breast reduction.However it would have been better if you posted your pictures.Wish you good luck for your hunt for a good surgeon.



You will benefit by breast reduction even if you are overweight.


Women with very large breasts look better and feel better after breast reduction, even if they are overweight.  Losing weight is very hard.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 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.