Should I try losing weight first or get a breast reduction?

I am 23 years old. I weigh 165 pounds. I currently wear either a 34H or 36G. In high school (age 17) I weighed 120 and was a 32DDD. Should I get a breast reduction or focus more on weight lose? If the surgery was out of pocket, what is an estimated price to get a reduction to a DD? Would it be better to weight until after I start and finish having children?

Doctor Answers 7

Breast reduction

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If your breasts are excessively large, I don't think your weight is that much of an issue.  You could expect to pay around $10,000 in total to undergo the procedure in a plastic surgeon's office operating room.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Best timing for a reduction procedure

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really depends on your quality of life and how important breast feeding is to you.  You would discuss this with your surgeon and then decide on when it would be best for you.  If you're paying out of pocket, shop around as fees vary wildly from place to place and surgeon to surgeon.  In my neck of the woods, all inclusive self pay costs for the procedure would be less than $6K.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Should I try losing weight first or get a breast reduction?

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If you are planning to lose additional weight prior to surgery, I would accomplish this goal first. If you feel that your weight is stable and are ready to proceed with breast reduction surgery, you could consult with your plastic surgeon now. Be aware that a breast reduction may affect your ability to breast feed your future children. So, if this will be important for you, then you may want to postpone surgery until after having your kids.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Breast Reduction Timing

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Being at you stable weight is best. If you can wait then do so after you have children as you may not be able to breast feed. Also known as reduction mammoplasty, this is an operation intended to reduce the size of a woman's breasts and improve their shape and position. Frequently, the areola (dark skin around the nipple) is also made smaller. Functional symptoms (medical disorders) caused by excessive breast weight may be relieved or improved by this operation.
Breast reduction procedures are ideal for:
  • Women who have large, heavy breasts, which may be the cause of movement difficulties, back, shoulder and neck pain, poor posture, bra-strap indentations and chafing under the breasts will benefit from reduction.
  • Women with excessive breast size, which may decrease a sense of attractiveness and self-confidence, are candidates.
  • Women with large breasts that interfere with normal daily activities or with exercise will be more comfortable when reduced.
  • More attractive contour and smaller breast size.
  • Freedom from health problems associated with excessively large breasts.
  • Improved self-image.
PROCEDURE DESCRIPTIONThe procedure is done under general anesthesia on an out-patient basis or in the hospital.
There are a variety of techniques for these operations. The most common method we use is the vertical technique. This is called a "lollipop reduction". The incision goes around the areola and straight down the lower part of the breast. This gives the appearance of a lollipop. This method has half the scar of the standard anchor pattern (inverted "T"). This method also does a better job of narrowing the breast and providing forward projection. The breast therefore has a better shape and less scarring. With more massive breast size, and anchor pattern/inverted "T" procedure may be required; in extreme cases the areola and nipple is transplanted to a preferred position as a graft.

Weight loss before breast reduction?

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In my office I would be discussing with you the benefits of reasonable weight loss and a realistic weight goal for you.  You may not be able to return to 120 lbs but achieving 135-145 may be a maintainable, healthy and good goal for you before a breast reduction.  Be certain to avoid smoking and any blood thinners before you do have surgery and best of luck.  You'll probably be very happy with the results and healthier as well.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, Am Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, Am. Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Breast Reduction/ Breast Augmentation/ Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/ Breast Implant Revision Surgery

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I appreciate your question.

Best to be at a BMI less than 30 or within 10 pounds of your goal weight and stable at that weight for 6 months prior to surgery for optimal results.

Cost varies by geographic location, surgeon expertise, OR time, anesthesia, length of procedure etc. I would recommend that you go to The American Society of Plastic Surgery website and look for a list of board certified plastic surgeons in your area. You can call their offices in advance and ask for quotes prior to scheduling consultations.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute

Should I try losing weight first or get a breast reduction?

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Thank you for the excellent questions.
Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; it is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.
Although the breast reduction surgery may help you at this point, if you are contemplating the weight loss then it would be in your best interest to have the breast surgery after you have reached your long-term stable weight (If possible). This will improve your chances of achieving your goals and minimize the chances that revisionary breast surgery (to treat “sagging” for example) will be necessary afterwards.

Timing of the operation will depend on the patient's life circumstances. In general (again), it is best to do this procedure (like all other elective body contouring the stages, when patients have reached their long-term stable weights. In doing so, improve the safety of the procedure and minimizes the need for further surgery (in the event of weight gain/loss after the breast reduction procedure).

There are patients who present with “juvenile” breast hypertrophy who will benefit from breast reduction surgery ( for both physical and psychosocial reasons) at an early age ( even as teenagers). Patients should consider carefully the pros and cons of the procedure as well as the potential need for further surgery if the breasts “regrow” in size.
If at all possible, it is best to wait until AFTER completing pregnancies before undergoing breast reduction surgery. Again, doing so will minimize the chances that patients will require further surgery after pregnancy related breast changes.

On the other hand, it can be argued that, patients with breast hypertrophy benefit from breast reduction surgery PRIOR to pregnancy (to prevent the symptoms that may occur as the breasts grow even larger during and after pregnancy/breast-feeding). However, in the interests of avoiding additional surgery, I feel that it is in most patients best interest, to wait until pregnancies have been completed and a long-term stable weight has been reestablished.

When it comes to costs of surgery, there may be many “variables” involved. The specific surgeon's credentials/experience level (or lack thereof), the specific geographic area you are looking at, the different operations available, the location of the procedure (quality of surgery facility), type/quality of anesthesia provider, insurance company involvement… are some of the potential variables involved. You will find some average costs of surgery on this website and on individual plastic surgeons' websites as well.

You may find the attached link, dedicated to breast reduction surgery concerns, helpful to you as you learn more.
Best wishes.

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.