When to consider breast reduction surgery

When to consider breast reduction surgery

16th Nov 2018

Breast reduction surgery is usually performed with the purpose of improving the quality of life for the patient, as well her ability to be more active physically. Of course, the procedure will also improve the aesthetic appearance of the breasts of the patient. This type of surgical procedure also includes remodeling the shape of the breasts and their elevation on the chest wall into a more natural position, aside from the reduction of the size and the weight of overly large breasts. The reduction of the thickness of the adipose layer on the side of the breasts and on the level of the axilla are other benefits that can be achieved when undergoing a breast reduction.

Reasons for undergoing a breast reduction

Among the most frequently encountered reasons of patients undergoing the procedure, there are the physical symptoms related to the size, consistency, shape, and ptosis of the breasts. To mention just a few:

– Back, neck and shoulder pain;

– General discomfort in the chest area;

– Deep marks on the shoulders due to tight and wide bra straps;

– Skin irritations on the inframammary fold;

– Incorrect body posture due to the weight of the breast;

– Inability to perform daily activities due to the discomfort caused by overly large breasts.

Other practical reasons for which women choose to go under the knife to get a breast reduction include real difficulties in performing social activities as well as physical activities such as sports and exercise, among other things.

Another important issue is difficulty in finding suitable clothing for the upper part of the body. Many of the women desiring to undergo the procedure have a much smaller size on the lower part of the body than the upper part. Unwanted attention and the self-awareness that comes with having overly large breasts are other factors that play an important part in choosing this procedure.

Women desiring to have this procedure done are of all ages and from different economic and social backgrounds. The weight of the patient is not necessarily relevant to getting the medical indication for a breast reduction. The procedure can be recommended for overweight patients, but also for a patient with a normal weight or even underweight. However, it is important to keep in mind that weight fluctuations that occur after the procedure can cause an alteration of the results of breast reduction.

When to consider breast reduction surgery

Patients eligible for undergoing the procedure can be teenagers, mature women, and even seniors. The rule is that you can consider having a breast reduction surgery once the development of the mammary gland is complete and this usually happens when the patient is around 16 years old. But this doesn’t mean that there is no point in having the procedure performed in your 30s, 40 and even 60s if it can provide a relief from the constant discomfort that is often associated with having overly large breasts.

During breast reduction surgery, the plastic surgeon will excise a smaller or bigger part of the mammary gland. This means that the milk glands that are in the excised tissue will be removed too. When the breast reduction is significant, the patient’s ability to breastfeed can be impacted. Some patients can find it difficult or impossible to breastfeed after a breast reduction surgery. This means that when considering the procedure, you should keep this aspect in mind. If you want to have more children and breastfeed in the future, the plastic surgeon might advise you to schedule your procedure six months after you have finished with breastfeeding.

But this doesn’t mean that you are not eligible for surgery if you plan to have more children in the future. It would be recommended not to become pregnant within the first year after the procedure as it might interfere with the healing process as well as the scar cicatrization process. An ulterior pregnancy usually means further changes on the breasts. Due to the hormones and the weight gain that can occur during pregnancy as well the preparation for lactation, your breasts can increase their volume again. However, it is very unlikely that your breasts will grow in size to be just as big as they were before surgery. But the aesthetic results achieved by the breast reduction surgery might be altered, and additional surgery might be necessary to correct them again.

I usually advise my patients to make the decision about the best time to undergo the procedure depending on the level of discomfort and pain they are experiencing. If the pain is significant and constant or the emotional or physical discomfort puts a stain on the lifestyle of the patient, then the procedure should be performed as soon as possible, even with the risk of needing an additional intervention later on in life.

The perfect time to undergo a breast reduction surgery depends from patient to patient and what their lifestyle and plans are. This is also the reason why this procedure can be performed even on overweight patients, even if generally plastic surgery should be performed only on patients of a normal weight. The procedure aims first to provide relief from the discomfort and only then to give an aesthetic improvement.


When to consider a breast reduction surgery is a commonly asked question. Patients starting from their teenage years are concerned about the emotional and functional aspects of dealing with overly large breasts and look for a method to get relief from the pain and discomfort associated with excessively large breasts.

The best time to consider the procedure varies from patient to patient, but a good rule is to decide on the time depending on the level of discomfort you are feeling and how your breasts are impacting your social life in a negative way.

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