How Do I Know the Right Size to Choose for my Breasts when Contemplating a Reduction?

I am 5' 8 1/2" tall. I am currently 190 (due to my synthroid needing to be upped - I had my thyroid out in 2004 due to multiple goiters) - Even when I was 165, my breasts were still DDD. My surgeon told me yesterday that he thinks I'm larger than that. At least an F. My breasts hang down to my waist (when my arms are at my side). I have had 4 children and breast-fed them all. No plans for more either (I'm 43) - I am a size 12/14. Do you think a D would be appropriate for me?

Doctor Answers 8

The right size after breast reduction

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Many women express a concern with breast reduction that they will not be small enough after reduction and we frequently hear a B-cup as the ideal. The base diameter of the breast and geometry of reduction give us most often a D-cup after the procedure, and the D-cup would be just fine for you. It is possible to remain a bit larger if you are concerned about future weight loss, though the smaller lifted breast will be quite a relief.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

What cup size is best after a breast reduction

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Based on your height and weight I would recommend a size that is proportionate with your body while at the same time retaining a nice breast shape- which I would imagine would be a D bra cup. This is difficult to determine without seeing your photos or examining you, but your degree of sagging and the amount of volume you have will to some degree dictate how small you can become. A board certified plastic surgeon can evaluate you and determine which size you can reasonably end up at, with regard to cup size.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 410 reviews

D cup is usually best for your frame

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Usually women with very large breasts cannot be reduced below about a full C cup size and still look good, because you have a fixed base diameter of the breast.  But a D cup size is a huge improvement  from where you are now.  You need an aggressive lift to overcome your degree of sagging.  A vertical lift provides the best shape and limits scarring.  Look at plenty of before and after photos and choose your surgeon carefully.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Breast size after reduction

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Actually, if insurance is covering your breast reduction then usually insurance companies mandate a specific amounts of breast tissue that is required to be removed from each breast under their individual plan. These amounts are usually determined by your height and weight.  Due to the weight of breast tissue removed mandated by insurance, you may not have as much choice as you would like. This is best discussed with your board certified plastic surgeon.

Jack Peterson, MD
Topeka Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Appropriate Size Wih Breast Reduction

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Consultation with a BC plastic surgeon will help you answer your question.  If you are seeking insurance coverage of your reduction, he/she can tell you the amount of tissue which will need to be removed to obtain coverage.  If not you can be advised of the size which would be appropriate for your situation and to allow for proper wound healing.  Bear in mind that the post-op cup size is always an estimate and not a guarantee.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

How Do I Know the Right Size to Choose for my Breasts when Contemplating a Reduction?

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I would wait until your thyroid function is normal before contemplating surgery.Not only would it be much safer but your body weight and your breast size would be back to where they should be for your current caloric intake and exercise.

As regards to BREAST SIZE. Women communicate in cup size even though it is a notoriously inaccurate way to communicate cup size. There is NO bra industry accepted standard for a cup size. A C is NOT a C and a D is not a D across all bra manufacturers. As such, Plastic surgeons cannot translate breast volume (in grams or cc) to a single, valid bra cup standard.

It would be best for you to bring in a bunch of photographs of women your size and age and show your surgeon the types of breast you would like to have after your Breast Reduction. Be aware that when you use an insurance to pay for your breast reduction, your surgeon will be bound to remove a certain amount of breast weight from each side to satisfy the requirements of the insurance company. In some women, such weight may be significant and may mean a B cup or smaller. For this reason, a clear communication between you and your surgeon is very important.

Good Luck.

Dr. Peter A Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Breast Size after Breast Reduction?

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Thank you for the question.

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

It  Is very important to communicate your overall 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 “D cup” or "fake looking" or "top heavy" 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.

I hope this helps.

Best Size for Breasts After Breast Reduction

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In general, the best cup size for you after a breast reduction is determined by

-  your overall weight and height

-  certain chest measurements, such as your rib cage, distance from the sternal notch to your nipple, and other geekly plastic surgery lengths

-  what you want long-term.


Bringing in photos or looking at photos of your plastic surgeon's work will help determine what is best for you and your long-term results.  Also, during your consultation, your plastic surgeon should be able to show you approximately the overal shape and position of your breasts, and go over your personal measurements and figure out the best cup size with you. 


A D cup would be appropriate, given what you've told us about your height, weight, current breast size, and what you want long-term. 


Best Wishes,


Roy Kim, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

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.