Seek a Breast Augmentation if Breast Reduction Was Too Small?

Are there any complications if someone wants augmentation to correct a breast reduction that was not ideal?

Doctor Answers 12

Breast Augmentation After Breast Reduction

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Breast augmentation can be performed to enhance your breasts after a breast reduction. This is common when patients have had a breast reduction at a young age then lose a large amount of weight or after pregnancy as the breasts can deflate.

The implant can be used for two purposes, one to increase the overall size of the breast. Second is to improve the shape of the breast. Many patients are happy with their breast reduction but they would like increase the upper pole fullness and this can be accomplished with an implant.

I would wait at least six months after your breast reduction to have any secondary surgery. This will allow time for all of your swelling to subside. Then you and your surgeon can decide what implant will help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

It is important to discuss this with your board certified plastic surgeon.

Breast augmentation after breast reduction

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I have done a handful of these procedures where the patient has lost volume due to weight loss or childbearing after her reduction or in one case, the patient was over-reduced to meet the insurance company's weight requirement (nut fudge, eh?).   

The most important consideration in cases like this is the type of reduction that was done and where the vascular pedicle is located.  It all has to do with planning the implant pocket and preserving blood supply so healing will not be impeded. 

Make sure you select a surgeon who is very familiar with breast reduction techniques and if you can, get a hold of your reduction operative report.  It will be very helpful to your augmentation surgeon. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Breast augmentation after a reduction

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It can be done quite safely. Please wait for at least 3 months to let the scars settle before next operation.

Anindya Lahiri, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

Breast augmentation can be done to address an over-reduced breast from a breast reduction

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A breast augmentation can be performed to "correct" a breast reduction that resulted in breasts smaller than desired. Depending on multiple other factors, there may need to be some additional contouring such as if there are significant asymmetries or if drooping is present.

Make sure that you communicate specifically with your plastic surgeon exactly what you are looking for with regard to size and shape and make sure that you understand what can be accomplished. You did not clarify the issues that resulted in being over-reduced - whether it was an issue of communication or some other factor. Based on the answer to this, you may even want to consider another plastic surgeon to perform the breast augmentation.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast augmentation after breast reduction

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I have performed breast augmentation on at least three patients who previously had undergone breast reduction surgery.  One was because the reduction made her smaller that what she desired. Two had breast reduction and then lost considerable weight including lost of breast size making them smaller that what they wanted. In each case, they had implants placed under the muscle through incisions placed in the scar along the inframammary fold. Each did extremely well and are very happy with their result. I suggest that you wait at least 6 months after your reduction surgery to consider augmentation surgery.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Breast augmentation after breast reduction

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Yes, a breast augmentation using an implant can be performed after a breast reduction.  The implant can be placed through one of your existing breast reduction incisions.  The augmentation can be done alone or in combination with a reduction revision to improve incision appearence, breast shape, or nipple/areola size and position.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Breast augmentation after reduction

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It is a shame that you desire artificial prostheses to replace your own benigh breast tissue that was removed, but yes, it is possible to do.  Technically, I have found the inframammary creast must be well established and/or maintained during your augmentation, especially if you have a Wise pattern (anchor) type scar from your reduction.  Because insurance companies mandate minimum limits of breast tissue removed as a condition for reimbursement of breast reduction, your situation is not that uncommon.  Of course, involution of breasts may also occur later in life after reduction performed at a younger age, and this is another occasional presentation. 

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Augmentation after reduction

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I am sorry you are unhappy with your breast reduction, but it can be fixed.  Certainly doing a breast augmentation with fill out the breast especially the upper pole where most women are unhappy with the fullness.  Speak to your plastic surgeon to determine the best size and shape implant for you so you have a very high percentage of being very happy.  Good luck, Dr. Schuster in Boca raton.

Breast augmentation after Breast Reduction?

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Great question!

Your situation is not a common one but I have seen few patients with such complaints. Ideally if a reduction is done conservatively you may have not needed this extra operation. That said some patients that undergo a breast reduction surgery do need to have a breast augmentation procedure to correct the upper pole of the breast that is flat and has lost projection. I recommend to have that done 6 months to ! year after the reduction procedure once the breast swelling have gone down and the form of the breast is stable. So it depends if to much breast tissue was removed during the breast reduction procedure or you had lack of upper breast fullness to start with.

Good luck!

Breast Augmentation after Breast Reduction

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It is not common for a woman who has undergone a breast reduction to then desire breast implants, but it certainly can happen.  If a surgeon makes the patient smaller then they desired, or the patient simply feels that they are too small afterward for what ever reason, then an implant may be necessary.  This can be safely done through one of the previous scars, and generally works out very well.  The key is to make sure that the patient and surgeon are on the same page and that there is open communication back and forth to achieve the desired goal.  I hope this helps.

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.