How Do You Know What Size to Tell the Surgeon when Getting a Breast Reduction? (photo)

I am 21 and i am 5'3 and about 160 to 175lbs an is has a somewhat tiny figure and have not yet had children. I have upper back pain an sagging with my breast. I am a 34O in bra size and have been sized with professional's more than once and i would like to be a D or DD but family and friends are telling me to do a C cup seeing i have not yet had children. Sizing wise what do you tell the surgent and how do you know what is the right size for you??

Doctor Answers 7

Sizing in breast reduction

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In young women, I generally recommend going on the smaller side as, in all likelihood, you will pick up a few pounds as you age or go through pregnancies. However, let me also say that, if your breasts are truly an "O" cup ( and I suspect that you are compensating in cup size rather going for a bra with a wider circumference) then there may be a limitation in how small the plastic surgeon can make the breasts. In cases of G+ breasts, often free nipple grafting is required and this is certainly something that you should discuss with your plastic surgeon. Best of luck. Breast reduction is a great procedure with extraordinarily high patient satisfaction!

The best way to convey the breast size you would like is to show the surgeon a picture.

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In both augmenation and reduction of the breasts, the surgeon wants to deliver the size the patient wants.  In my practice, if the patient brings in a picture of the size of breast she desires, this helps greatly in determining how much breast tissue to remove (reduction) or how large an implant to insert (augmentation).

Size after breast reduction

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Unfortunately, there is little standardization in bra sizing particularly in the larger sizes. Rather than talk bra size with my patients, I try to discuss with them what their goals are: as small as possible, smaller but nott too small, in proportion to the rest of their body, etc. And then I try to demonstrate on their breasts how much tissue I anticipate will be removed and where I guess the nipple will be. And guess is the correct word as it is impossibe to know for sure either where the nipple will be or what the final size will be. It is important for you to discuss this with your surgeon so that you are both in agreement. Good luck to you. This is one of the surgeries that is most likely to make patients very happy.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction

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If you have quite larger breasts, you are probably right in thinking that a "D" ish breasts is about right for you to maintain a nice shape. Of course, all bra companies are different and no one could guarantee a cup size.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How Do You Know What Size to Tell the Surgeon when Getting a Breast Reduction? (photo)

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Sorry to say the photo was o\f no help, but thanks for posting it. Size discussion with your chosen surgeon pre operatively is soo very important. So both are on the same page. This is informed consent. Review before and after photos so you can understand about size results, scars, effects of reductions. Follow up please

What Size will My Breasts Be After a Reduction?

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In our culture, bra size is the only language we have for discussing breast size.  Unfortunately the garment industry has not standardized bra sizes so it can be a way to miscommunicate. I avoid bra language so as not to disappoint someone. I find before and after photographs are a better way to discuss size.  I try to find  previous patients' photos with a similar body type to demonstrate what is possible and what is likely.   I ask women if they would be more unhappy left too small or too big.  Women with extremely large breasts often cannot made to be as small as they would like because of the risk to the blood supply.  You can bring your surgeon a few photographs if you want to try to communicate your goals.  Your surgeon can let you know whether or not that is realistic.  Good luck!

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Communication is Key Prior to Breast Reduction.

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Thank you for the question and picture.

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

You are correct in that it will be very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon prior to undergoing breast reduction surgery.  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 “C cup” etc. 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 would also suggest that you  ignore “family and friends”  when it comes to breast cup discussion;  you will find that for the most part  their advice will only add to confusion and/or anxiety.

Generally, I advise patients undergoing breast reduction surgery to go small enough to alleviate symptoms related to breast hypertrophy as much as possible while retaining as much breast tissue as necessary to maintain proportionality between the upper and lower torso.  Again, I find the use of “goal pictures” to be very helpful in this regard.

I ask to meet with patients as many times as  necessary preoperatively until  the patient feels comfortable that she has communicated her goals clearly. Often, this includes a visit the day before surgery for  clarification and/or markings.

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.