Can I reduce my breast size from a large C to a small B or possibly A?

I am 18 years old, 145 lbs, and roughly 5'7''. I am a large 34 C or small 34 D depending on the bra type. My breasts have been causing me neck and shoulder pain ever since I grew to a C cup and my pectoral muscles are always soar. Whenever I lack the support of a bra, my nipples point downward and the skin feels stretched and heavy. Is a breast reduction possible? If so, how much would the size be reduced?

Doctor Answers 3

The Right Time for Breast Reduction

Certainly reducing the size of your breasts can be done. The question is whether and when it should be done to improve the quality of your life. Most women I work with would be happy to be at your weight and breast size--generally we perform more augmentations than other types of breast surgery. However, if your breasts seem too heavy, the nipples point downward and you are generally unhappy with their appearance, a breast reduction and/or lift might be the right procedure for you.

Given your age, possible future life experiences (like pregnancy) and so on, I would strongly advise you to seek a consultation with an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon or two. Talk with him or her about your concerns and the future, and work with them to decide what's right and when.

Elliot Jacobs, M.D.
New York Plastic Surgeon

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Breast reduction

You can reduce your breasts to a small B cup or smaller although I would suggest you look at photos of women with small breasts to make sure that is what you want to do. I would suggest you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who performs these procedures regularly to learn more about the procedure.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Can I reduce my breast size from a large C to a small B or possibly A?

Although good advice would necessitate in person consultation or viewing pictures, your description is such that I would think you would benefit from breast reduction/lifting surgery.

As you think about breast reduction surgery make sure you do your homework and understand the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure. Unsatisfactory scarring is one of the potential complications. Make sure you also understand 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).

Yes, breasts can be reduced to a very small cup size. 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.

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.

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 “A 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, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 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.