Is breast reduction right for me?

I am 25, 5'5", and 150 lbs, and I have constant back and neck pains which have gotten worse. I was pretty thin until I was 15, whic is when I had my growth spurt. It was almost all in my breasts. At 15 I went from a size 32A bra to a size 34D.l in about 3 months. I am now wearing a 36D (sometimes 36DD depending on the brand), and I've struggled with these pains since that spurt happened. I've been contemplating breast reduction for a few years now. Would it be right for me?

Doctor Answers 11

Breast Reduction Candidate

Based on your description, it appears as though you would be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery. With that being said, the only definite way to tell whether you're a good candidate for a surgical procedure is to consult with a plastic surgeon in person. I have treated many patients with similar concerns as you, who have in fact noticed a significant improvement in both the size and shape of their breasts. If you're considering undergoing this procedure, I would recommend finding a highly qualified, board certified plastic surgeon to speak with in person. Together, both you and your surgeon will determine an outcome that best suits your body and your lifestyle. Good luck!

Breast Reduction Candidate

Thank you for your question. Without photos it is difficult to give a proper recommendation, mostly positive for a breast reduction. I suggest seeking a board-certified surgeon to discuss options, whether you will need a reduction and lift together, or just the reduction itself. However, more often than not, they may increase in size again and most require another reduction. Best of luck!

Norman H. Rappaport, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Is breast reduction right for me?

Thank you for the question. Based on your description, you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery. This operation tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. 

“Typical” patients who present for breast reduction surgery are women who have disproportionately large breasts, causing problems such as neck/back/shoulder discomfort, postural changes, bra strap grooving, skin irritation/rashes under the breasts, and/or difficulty with activities of daily living and/or exercise etc. There may be both physical as well as psychosocial “stress” caused by the disproportionately large breasts. Reducing breast tissue mass and elevating the breasts on the chest wall tend to improve or alleviate many of the symptoms associated with the disproportionately large breasts.

Patients considering breast reduction surgery should also consider the potential downsides (risks/complications) associated with the procedure as well. Poor scarring, for example may be associated with the procedure. Additional surgery may be necessary in the short or longer term for a multitude of reasons.

When the time is right, I suggest that you seek consultation with well experienced plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you would be pleased with. Ultimately, careful selection of your plastic surgeon will be the most important decision you make.

To this end, I would suggest you visit a few surgeons whose practices concentrate on aesthetic surgery. ***Ask to see lots of examples of their work and preferably speak/see patients who have had similar procedures done. 

With the goal of improving communication with my patients I find the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “B or C cup” means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful. Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup size may also be inaccurate. 

I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast reduction surgery concerns), helps. Best wishes.

Breast Reduction

Thank you for your question. Your rapid breast growth and the symptoms you describe are typical for a woman who might benefit from breast reduction. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon as a consultation is necessary to determine if you are a candidate for breast reduction surgery and whether you qualify for coverage by your health insurance.

David S. Motoki, MD
Draper Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Breast augmentation

Thank you for your question.  Unfortunately without an in person exam or any photos, a true determination cannot be made as to whether or not this is the procedure for you.  Based on what you are describing, it would appear that you may be a candidate for the procedure, but the best advice is to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to be evaluated.  From there you will be able to discuss your surgical options, address your goals and then work together to build the surgical plant that will best help you achieve that look you desire.
With kind regards,
Lane F. Smith, M.D., F.A.A.C.S., F.A.O.H.N.S., F.A.B.F.P.R.S.
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon 

Lane Smith, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Is breast reduction right for me?

We can't say what is right for you without a consult and examination, but your symptoms soun d like they might be caused by breasts that are too large and heavy. Remember that just because the surgery might improve your symptome that does not mean you are automatically approved vor insurance coverage. You will need to see a consultant before these questions can be properly answered.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Is breast reduction for me?

Thank you for your question and you are a good candidate for a breast reduction.  This procedure will reduce your neck and back pain and allow you to feel better about yourself.  The cost for this are scars on the breast which can be red and firm depending on how you heal.  The purpose of the procedure is to reduce your medical symptoms, reduce the weight and lift the breast.  A secondary goal is to achieve a good aesthetic outcome but this can be more difficult depending on what your breasts look like now.  Your breasts will change over the years with pregnancy, nursing and age which may change the look you enjoy initially.  I would recommend you to see a board certified plastic surgeon who can guide you through this process.

John D. Smoot, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

You sound like a good candidate

One consideration is your weight. A rule-of-thumb is that you should be within 15 pounds of your reasonable weight before you have a reduction. It is really a tragedy if after a reduction you loose enough weight that you have to then have an augmentation. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon with a lot of breast experience and make certain you are communicating well before proceeding with surgery.

Donald W. Kress, MD, FACS
Frederick Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast Re

Based on your description, it would seem as though you could benefit from breast reduction surgery. I have treated many patients with similar concerns as you, who have in fact seen a significant improvement in both the size and shape of their breasts. With that being said, the only way to know for sure whether you would be a good candidate for a surgical procedure is by consulting a highly qualified, board certified plastic surgeon. He or she will be able to examine your breasts, giving you a better idea of how breast reduction surgery can benefit you. 

Breast reduction candidate

From your description it sounds like you are a good candidate for breast reduction. When a woman is experiencing pain and discomfort as a result of large breasts, she can absolutely consider a breast reduction surgery to alleviate the pain. At 25 years old, your breasts are fully developed and you can undergo surgery. Your next step should be to consult in person with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast reduction procedures. He or she will be able to examine your breasts and give you a better idea of what sort of results to expect from the surgery. Best of luck!

Jimmy S. Firouz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 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.