What's a Reasonable Breast Size for a Petite Woman?

I'm 40 years old, 5'1" & 105 lbs with bra size 34D or 32DD, depending on the bra (I'm not even positive about sizing as I've tried tons of bras in many sizes & nothing seems to fit right, although I've done the measurements according to the guides.) I've got very narrow shoulders & my breasts cause me a great deal of discomfort. My primary care doctor and I have determined that I am a good candidate for reduction. I'd like to be a B cup -- is this a reasonable reduction given my size?

Doctor Answers 9

Breast size after reduction

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Predicting a cup size after a reduction is quite difficult... and if you can find a surgeon that will guarantee a size, I would suggest you get that in writing so that you won't be responsible for any revisions in the future.  The bottom line, if your breasts are the source of your symptoms, you will be delighted with your results.  If your happiness is dependent on achieving a certain cup size, that could be more difficult to achieve and you should expect the possibility of a revision.

As for a B cup on your frame, that would be a personal choice/decision.  Your breast could be the volume of a B cup but it may not have the shape you would be happy with. 

I advise my patients that they have 3 choices in this process when having a reduction... for me to be as conservative as I can (remove the minimums to quality for insurance coverage), to do the procedure as I do (will meet minimums and probably leave you with a small D or generous C cup) or to be as aggressive as I can and leave the smallest mound that I can (results in small C or even a B cup).  This choice can sometimes influence the technique (incisions used) in the reduction procedure.

Good luck with your surgery.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Proper breast size after reduction

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A true breast reduction procedure can scale down to whatever is desired although exact sizes cannot be measured or determined as you've already found. 

Here are the principles to consider:

Bra cup size is relative to the chest diameter. There is no single "B" cup size. 

The female body is built to handle A, B, and C cup size breasts. This is the normal range. Breasts in the D cup range or larger are by definition out of proportion and can cause physical problems because the chest isn't built to handle it. Therefore getting the breast down to the C cup range for the chest diameter will look normal, not be out of proportion, and will solve physical symptoms (though not necessarily reverse all signs caused by the excessive breast weight). 

A mid B cup is an average size. It is not necessary to solve problems of proportion or symptoms but if a mid B cup and an average breast size sounds good then choose it. I rarely agree to go less than an average size as there is no advantage to this and it's a huge change to go from too big to smaller than average. One other factor to keep in mind is that the more a breast needs to be lifted along with the reduction and the larger the reduction, the harder it is to limit the incision to a circum-vertical (lollipop) incision. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

B cup will fit

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Dear Saratoga,

For your size frame a B cup breast will be very natural.  It sounds as if you have given it very careful consideration and your primary care MD is in agreement.  I would recommend consultation with a few plastic surgeons in your area for opinions and expectations.  Good luck!

Reasonable Size After Breast Reduction

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Based on your description of your height and weight a B cup does not sound unreasonable to me.  Pictures would be helpful giving you a better answer to your question.

Dr. ES

Reasonable size for Breast Reduction

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At 5'1" and 105 lbs, you are quite petite.  It would be reasonable for you to be a B or a C cup.  During breast reduction surgery, the circulation to the breast skin and nipple must be kept intact when the breast tissue is removed.  This means that there is a limit to how small your surgeon can make your breasts with a reduction.  You should discuss what size you'd like to be with your surgeon beforehand.

Caroline Min, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Breast Reduction and Resulting Cup Size?

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Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery. It is one of the most patient pleasing operations we performed.  

Unfortunately, there is no direct correlation between the amount of tissue removed and the ultimate cup size that a patient will wear after breast reduction surgery. Before undergoing the breast reduction procedure it is very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon. 

In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “B cup” or "fake looking" means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.‚Ä®Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.

Best wishes.

Breast reduction size

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Generally speaking, women with your complaints are quite please with the results of surgery and relief of their complaints. However, it is always easier to remove more than to augment. So I would urge that you be conservative in your goals.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Reasonable Breast Size for a Petite Woman

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Also a photo helps determine if the B cup would look good on you. My guess is too small, I would stay in the C cup range, BUT you failed to post photos. So it is only a guess. 

Breast reduction size

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Without an exam it is hard to say what would be ideal for you.  Remember that if you have very large breasts, they can  not be made to small without sacrificing shape.  The pedicle of tissue keeping the nipple alive has to be of a reasonable thickness and so do the skin flaps that drape over the pedicle. 

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.