Lose Weight, Get Breast Reduction, or Both (photo)?

Okay so I'm 19 and I've wanted a breast reduction since I was 15. But I'm thinking that I should lose weight before getting a reduction because I am very overweight. I'm 5"7' and weigh 183 and I want to lose 40 pounds. Anyway, I'm hoping weight loss will get me to the size I want without surgery. Also my breast size cause a lot of scars underneath my breast which are UGLY! Cyst and pimples come and go leaving their scars. So what should I do?

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Support after Weight Loss

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At 5'7 and 183 lbs, your BMI is approximately 28.5, which makes you overweight.  If you lost the 40 lbs you desire and weighed 143 lbs, then your BMI would be 22.5, which is normal.  Weight loss is very difficult to achieve.  In my own practive, 95% of my breast reduction patients are either overweight or obese.  If you lose weight, then your breasts will hang even more and create more rashes and scarring.  You will eventually need a breast reduction or a lift if you do lose weight.  There is a new technique called The Ultimate Breast Reduction, which transfers the weight of the breast to the underlying muscle.  The advantage of this technique is even if you do lose weight, support is maintained by transferring the weight to the underlying muscle.  Good luck with your weight loss.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Weight loss before or after breast reduction

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Although in general it is better to be at your ideal weight before any surgery, I have found with my patients that often a breast reduction provides the incentive to lose weight. Not only is it easier to exercise, but I think that many patients use the extra weight to camouflage their large breasts. So when the breasts are a more normal size, the tummy looks bigger and I have had several patients who said that when they could see their tummy, it made it more obvious that they needed to lose weight. From your pictures, I think you will probably need a reduction even if you lose weight since your breasts will still be too large for your frame. And it seems like you never lose the weight where you want to anyway!. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Weight loss or breast reduction

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The discoloration and induration under your breasts are symptoms of intertrigo; the skin becomes inflamed because the sag of the breasts prevents the area from breathing.   It should be treated topically with antibiotic ointment and powder.  Weight loss at your age is strongly advisable as a first step.  Try a recognized weight reduction program before making a decision for breast reduction surgery.  Given the sag already demonstrated by the breasts, I think you will be a surgical candidate but whether for lift or reduction is uncertain at this time.

Weight loss is a great plan before breast reduction

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If you are overweight, weight reduction is the best plan before your breast reduction. Weight loss may help with a modest reduction in breast size and a stable weight is the best time for any procedure.

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

Losing weight before breast reduction

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It is a good idea to achieve a stable weight before undergoing breast reduction.  The procedure and the final size outcome will be more predictable.

If losing weight turns out to be harder than planned, a breast reduction will increase mobility and make exercising more fun and easier, therefore making weight loss more likely and achievable.

Mario Diana, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon

Breast Reduction and Weight Loss

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Based on the information given and photos, you are a great candidate for a Breast Reduction.  Losing the weight is a good plan.  Sometimes patients who lose lots of weight prior to surgery just need a lift, and not a reduction.  Good luck on your weight loss.  Be sure to consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) to discuss your concerns and expectations.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Breast Reduction and Weight Loss?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

I think you have a great plan in mind. Lose weight first  and then re evaluate your situation. More than likely, you will still wish to undergo breast reduction or lifting surgery. Achieving your long-term stable weight prior to undergoing any type of body contouring surgery will minimize the risks of surgery while decreasing the chances that further surgery will be necessary down the line.

 As you lose weight you will have a chance to do your homework and learn as much as possible  about  breast reduction surgery and the potential risks and complications associated with  the procedure.   

Unsatisfactory scarring is  one of the potential complications. Make sure you also understands that further surgery may be necessary in the future (for example if the breasts were to grow in size again).

On the other hand, breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform and I think that for the right teenager (enough symptoms) it may be an excellent option (regardless of the age).
Sometimes breast  reduction surgery is covered through health insurance. The best way to obtain insurance coverage for breast reduction surgery involves some “hoops” to jump through. The more documentation you have (for example, from your primary care doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor etc.) the better when it comes to obtaining insurance “authorization” for the procedure.
This documentation and letter/pictures from your plastic surgeon will help you obtain authorization.

When the time is right,  seek consultation with well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

I hope this helps.


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.