How many grams of breast tissue would have to be removed to go from 32G to B cup? Is it even possible? (photos)

I'm 35 years old, I'm 5'8" and weigh 143 pounds . According to the Schnur Sliding Scale my body surface area is 1.7875, which would mean they'd have to remove anywhere from 420 to 441 grams to satisfy insurance, although I imagine anywhere from 600 to 700 g would have to be removed to give me even a C cup. How accurate of an estimate is that? Would it even be possible to be a B cup, given how big my breasts are but how small my body frame is?

Doctor Answers 3

How many grams of breast tissue would have to be removed to go from 32G to B cup?

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Thank you for the question and congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; this operation tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.


If I were seeing you in consultation, I would ask to look at your goal photographs; after doing so, I would be able to help you with a prediction of what you might expect in terms of anticipated weight of tissue removed. Keep in mind however that there is no specific/reliable correlation between the amount of tissue removed and cup sizes achieved

Thank you for the question and congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery. You may be surprised to know that your goals/requests are not that unusual.   I see several patients every year who wish to achieve as small of a breast appearance outcome, for a variety of personal reasons.

 Generally speaking, it is possible to reduce the breasts size very significantly.  Based on your question, I think you may already understand that 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.    

I think that you are wise in understanding the importance of preoperative communication when it comes to achieving an outcome that you will be pleased with. In my opinion, successful outcomes with  etc. surgery depend on:

1.  Careful selection of plastic surgeon (and from the surgeon's  standpoint, careful selection of patient).  I would suggest starting with the American Society of Plastic Surgery and/or the Aesthetic Society of Plastic Surgery to obtain a list of well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons. Then, 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.

2.  Careful communication of goals ( which I will discuss further below).

3.  Skillful execution of procedure ( preoperative, intraopererative, and postoperative patient management).

In my practice, I would ask that you NOT communicate your goals, or evaluate the outcome of the procedure performed, based on cup sizes.  There is simply too much variability when it comes to bra sizes between bra manufacturers and even store employees doing the bra fitting measurements.

 Generally speaking,  for the benefit of patients undergoing breast reduction surgery:  it will be very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon. Most patients wish to achieve a enough of a reduction to help with their symptoms while remaining proportionate with the remainder of their torso. Again, I suggest that you do not communicate your goals in terms of achieving a specific cup size. For example, a “B cup” may mean different things to different people and therefore may be a source of miscommunication.

In my practice, I ask patients to communicate their goals with the help of  computer imaging and/or goal photographs,  as you have done here.  Obviously, the outcome associated with the breast surgery will not necessarily match that of goal photographs perfectly, but they do serve as a better communication tool that subjective terms such as "natural", "proportionate", "flat"… Evaluating goal photographs also allows for a plastic surgeon to determine the consistency of the patient's goals and allows for a discussion of realistic expectations as well.  

***Needless to say, when it comes to achieving patient satisfaction with the outcome of surgery,  it is very important that a patient has consistent goals (fully decided on what she would like to achieve) and a good understanding of realistic expectations (what outcomes can and cannot be achieved). 

 Best wishes with your decision making and for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Grams of breast tissue to be removed?

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In my opinion, you should have no trouble satisfying insurance requirements for #grams to be removed in breast reduction.  I also feel that, based on your size in the photos, it is possible to reduce you to a B cup without risk of vascular compromise to the remaining breast tissue, skin, and nipple-areola complex. 

I recommend  an in-person consultation with and experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss your goals and options for treatment.  Best of luck.

Cup size

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First, it is difficult to determine cup size from volume removed as all bras are different. In addition, in order for the skin flaps and the pedicle of tissue carrying the nipple to survive. you need to keep them a certain thickness. So very large breasts may not be able to be reduced to a very small size without compromising viability of the tissues and shape.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.