Breast reduction: How small should I go?

Breast reduction: How small should I go?

04th Jun 2021


The female breasts are primarily made of glandular tissue, fat, and muscles. The volume of these contents determines the size of the breasts. Since each woman has a unique body, the breasts are also different in size and shape. The volume of fat and glandular tissue in the breasts differs from one patient to another. It is determined by genetic factors, weight changes, hormonal changes, and use of certain medicines. While most women desire to get bigger and fuller breasts, many women suffer from a condition whereby the breasts become too large. 

When the breasts become overly developed, they create different problems for the patient like back and neck pain and shoulder grooves. Moreover, excessively large breasts affect the mobility, posture, and self-esteem of patients. Breast reduction is a plastic surgery procedure that reduces the size of huge breasts by removing the excess fat and tissue from the breasts. However, you may find it difficult to decide as to how small should you go with breast reduction surgery. In this article, I am going to address this question.

Achieving a balance or going too small

Many women tell their plastic surgeons during the pre-operative consultation that they want to go as small as they could. It is understandable that overly large breasts affect different aspects of your life and you may want to get rid of the problems altogether. For this reason, you may insist on getting petite breasts. However, this is not a realistic, wise, and reasonable goal for many women. When the breasts are reduced considerably to the extent that they are too small to accentuate your body outline and other physical features, you will look less feminine and less attractive. 

Moreover, getting rid of the physical and emotional discomforts created by overly large breasts does not mean that you should go too small. Removing a limited amount of fat and glandular tissue from the breasts is enough to alleviate the pain linked with having large breasts. How small you should go also depends on your existing breast size, dimensions, and anatomy. The goal of breast reduction is not only to reduce your breast size and weight, but also to make sure you still look feminine, beautiful, and aesthetically appealing. In other words, the goal is to remove the physical and emotional pain linked with the condition, besides retaining your feminine features.

What this means is that going too small is not a wise decision when it comes to breast reduction surgery. Instead, you should focus on achieving a balance between different features of your body and the breasts. For example, tell the surgeon that you want to get breasts that are proportional to your height, weight, physique, and body outline. When this balance is achieved, it will not only reduce your breasts but also enhance your overall appearance and femininity. 

Breast reduction and cup size

Many women have a specific cup size in mind that they want to achieve with breast reduction surgery. However, this is not a reasonable expectation. It is a difficult thing to advise on. The leading problem with overly large breasts is the weight and droop of the breasts. 

To start with, I will ask as to what your cup size is. You might be adamant that you have a specific cup size; however, never forget that there doesn’t exist a standard for bra sizing. What this means is that a 34D in one bra brand is not the same in another brand. Cup sizes differ from one brand to another.

Secondly, keep in mind that many women wear the wrong cup size. If your bra is not fitting you properly or your breasts are bulging out, chances are the cup size is not appropriate for you. Many women also wear the wrong ribcage size. For example, when you can’t find a 32 DDD, you may go for 34 instead. If your bra arches up in your center back, then it means you have the wrong ribcage size. 

It is not reasonable to decide as to how small you should go based on bra cup size. Still, you may want an answer to your question. You want to know to what extent your breasts will decrease after breast reduction surgery. If the plastic surgeon tells you that you need a breast reduction surgery, you should know how much tissue and fat will be removed from each breast. 

There is no standard volume of tissue that can be removed from each breast for each patient. Furthermore, if your breasts are already asymmetrical, different amounts of tissue will be removed from both breasts to achieve symmetry. Moreover, there are also women with large cup sizes who end up removing only between 100 to 150 grams of tissue from each breast. 

The reason why this happens is that many women with excessively large breasts have more skin than tissue in the breasts. The skin has become droopy, and they assume that there are excess tissue and fat in the breasts. While there may be some excess fat in the breasts, many women have more skin on the breasts. As such, a limited amount of tissue will be removed from the breasts and more skin will be taken out. 

During the pre-operative consultation, the plastic surgeon will compress your breast tissue and look at it in the mirror. The mass in the armpit region is the axillary fat. That is not excess breast tissue. This type of excess fat can be removed with liposuction during breast reduction surgery. The mass that is compressed in the surgeon’s hand during the examination is the surplus breast tissue. That needs to be excised from the breasts so that your breast size and weight can decrease. 

During breast reduction surgery, the doctor will use compression and lift your breasts as well. As a result, your breasts will become smaller and firmer. The first thing you should do when deciding as to how small you should go is to ask yourself how you feel about your breasts at the moment. You can get a preview of this by wearing a tight-fitting jogging bra or surgical compression bra. This will help you find what you have and how small you want to be.

Secondly, if the breasts appear too large, check your armpit region. This area houses excess fat. If you see more fat in this area, it means you will require liposuction of the region along with the removal of the excess tissue from the breasts. Also, you must concentrate on the breast itself. You can cup in your hands as to the volume of tissue you want to get rid of. From what you decide, the surgeon will then guide you if it is right for you to have the specific amount of excess fat and tissue removed from the breasts. 

Keep in mind that it is not judicious to concentrate on your cup size. When asked to approximate their cup size, most women turn out to be wrong. You should look in the mirror instead and use the method explained above to decide as to how small you should go. 

A board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in breast reduction will always carefully examine your breasts, take specific measurements, and use the above-explained methods to determine how small you should go. He will also take your goals and expectations into account and tell you if a specific amount of tissue and fat removal from the breasts will help you achieve your goal. If your goals are not realistic or are wrong, he will guide you to have practical and correct goals and expectations. 

During breast reduction surgery, which is performed under general anesthesia, the plastic surgeon will remove the required amount of excess tissue and fat from the breasts. He will also make sure that the breasts look symmetrical; however, no plastic surgeon will guarantee that your breasts will be balanced. After removing the excess fat and tissue, the plastic surgeon will trim the surplus skin from the breasts and then suture and close the incisions. Your breasts will be smaller to the extent that they will conform to your body outline, BMI, and other physical features. 


If your breasts are too large and affect different facets of your life, you may want to undergo breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction is a quick, effective, and reliable way to get the breasts of your dreams and eliminate the physical pain and discomforts associated with having large breasts. Many women find it difficult to decide as to how small they should go with breast reduction surgery. There are different factors that plastic surgeons use to determine the amount of tissue, fat, and skin that needs to be removed from your breasts. I have explained those factors above.

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