Is my doctor being honest with me? (photos)

Is it true that there are patients where the max that can safely be removed still leaves the patient with such large breasts? PS removed 290g from each, leaving me about a DD (there is still swelling) down from E/F. He states the pedicle was narrow as he was comfortable doing (7.5cm) and "scraped all the tissue out," noting that I had very dense breast tissue. No liposuction as it was $1K oop. After seeing so many women who had similar/larger sizes end up a C, it's frustrating to still be a DD.

Doctor Answers 9

Each operation is unique to each patient

Plastic surgery results are dependent on several factors, but mainly on what you looked  like to start with,  and your surgeon's abilities.  The end point that is possible is also anticipated and hopefully communicated to you, the patient,  beforehand so that you  yout understand what result will  be possible.

Bottomline...Ultimately it is limited by what you looked like before the operation, assuming your surgeon is fully trained and capable as a plastic surgeon.

Based on your photo I think you have a nice improvement. If you end up wishing you were smaller, your surgeon can always revisit and make adjustments if he/she  feels it will help to improve the aesthetic outcome. 

It's important to trust your surgeon's skill level. 

Good luck to you. Be patient. It's a nice size currently.

Greenbrae Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Your surgeon can only deliver what he/she feels is safe

and your surgeon did that in your situation.  If you wanted  maximum reduction, you could have considered nipple grafts but this would result in numb nipples.  And this requires a lot of communication with your surgeon.  We cannot guarantee results as to what cup you will have but you could have directed your procedure by letting your surgeon know if you wanted an aggressive reduction or a more standard reduction.  At this point, you must heal and if too large still, and if your breasts were 'fatty' and not fibrous, you could have further reductions accomplished with office liposuction with minimal discomfort.  You should be letting your surgeon know of your concerns so options can be considered if needed.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Your doctor is on the level

Thank you for your picture.  Your surgeon must use his or her judgement to determine how much that can be safely removed.  Your has no reason to deceive you.  Your size may end up be just fine.  Size is best judged at 3 months in my opinion.

Breast reduction limits

Looking at your picture, the result of your breast reduction seems absolutely fine. There are always limits to the amount of breast tissue that can be safely removed, and I am sure your surgeon explained the limitations preoperatively. In most breast reduction procedures trying to go too small will result in a shape that is not particularly nice or, worse, in problems with the survival of the areolas. Try not to judge the result of your procedure purely on cup size. Bra size is notoriously unreliable and setting a very precise target for it is almost always cause of disappointment after cosmetic breast surgery (either reduction or augmentation).

Ciro Adamo, PhD, MD
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Your doctor is being totally honest

It is so important to understand that there is only so much breast that you can reduce before killing the nipple and having a disaster. If your tissues are also firm, they will be more prominent than in softer tissue patients. Give it 6 months of healing and don't measure your happiness by cup size. 


Thank you for your question and if you trusted your surgeon to operate on you you should trust his opinion now.  That said I try to obtain from the patient prior to surgery how much breast they want removed prior to surgery so there is no confusion after

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Is my doctor being honest with me?

It appears that you are still healing from your surgery, and may still have significant swelling.  It is true that there is a limit as to how much breast tissue can be removed without compromising the blood supply to the nipple or skin.  Further this amount can vary among patients.  I agree with Dr. Pousti.  Your best approach will be to work constructively with your surgeon.  But, first give things time to heal and for the swelling to subside.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Yes i think he is

Sorry you aren't happy after your surgery.  Breast reduction surgery is usually a great experience for most patients.  It has the highest patient satisfaction of all plastic surgery.  I think a lot of what your plastic surgeon said is probably correct if he is being honest with you.  Its hard to know without actually being there in the operating room.  

Honestly, I know its just one picture but I think your breasts look great!  They are still swollen and will get smaller over the next 6-12 months.  You may be totally happy once the swelling goes down, or you might be like a lot of woman, and wish you were bigger like when you first had the swelling.  

Its all about expectations and good communication.  Ultimately your surgeon has to make the final decision in the operating room.  He/she definitely took your desires and wishes into account, but ultimately he has to decide what he thinks will look best.  Also, sometimes you have to make a judgement call, because if you remove too much breast tissue, you can put the nipple at risk for losing its blood supply and possibly dying.  

I would talk with your plastic surgeon and give this some time before getting to worried about it.  Worse case scenario you have a small "re-reduction" or maybe some liposuction to get down to the size you want.  

Good Luck!

Is my doctor being honest with me?

I may be somewhat old-fashioned, but I assume that once a patient and physician have developed a relationship strong enough to proceed to the operating room, that there would be some trust present.  In other words, if I were you I would probably trust the plastic surgeon who has operated on me more than I would online consultants who I do not know at all.

 A review of some of the issues surrounding breast reduction surgery may be helpful to you. The part of breast 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.  

The other concern with overly aggressive breast reduction surgery is patient dissatisfaction afterwards. It is not unusual for patients who have lived with very large breasts to want to have as much as possible removed. Care must be taken to be judicious in this removal to avoid an outcome where the breasts are too small in relation (proportionately) to the patient's other body parts. Again, it is not uncommon, for patients' breasts to become smaller ( after the breast reduction procedure) with time and/or weight loss- breast augmentation may become necessary to achieve the patient size goals.

My best suggestion: communicate your questions/concerns directly with your plastic surgeon in a calm and constructive fashion. Hopefully, he/she can clarify for you. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be pleased with long-term.

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.