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Should I lose the weight before breast reduction?

Q:

I weigh 175 pounds and I want to weigh 145. Should I lose the weight before breast reduction?

A:

 Yes, it is great idea. Your insurance carrier may require you to loose weight before a Breast Reduction to meet their criteria for the breast reduction to be a covered service (i. e. for them to help pay for the procedure). Consider a consult with one of the many members of the ASAPS to address your concerns.

Best, Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

A:

Yes. You should do so for two very good reasons. First, you could lose weight from the breast after the reduction and end up with droop and a smaller breast than desired. Secondly, it is much easier to match your new breast to your body if one knows exactly what is being matched. Good luck on the weight loss. The best way to accomplish your goaL is to make one small change in your diet each time you go to the store and at each meal. This way you get used to the new taste and reduced volume gradually and are more likely to maintain the weight loss.

A:

If you presently are 175 pounds and your BMI would be better for your height if you were 145 pounds and you feel that you can safely accomplish this weight loss with modification of your diet and not starvation dieting, then it would be good to loose the excess weight before surgery. This change will decrease the risks of surgery such as wound infection, pneumonia, clots in your leg and pelvic veins which can lead to pulmonary embolism and even death. The quality of the end result will certainly be better and the long term ressults will be more permanent. It is quite often foe a woman to have breast reduction when she is a little heavier than desired and then she goes on to loose additional weight in th breast which the compromises a other wise good to great result.

There are many other  issues a woman should consider along with weight loss before having a breast reduction. These include how big or small she wants to be, what incisions are best for her, which technique of surgery will give her the best results. And then there is the choice of the surgeon who should be some she likes, who is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience with breast reduction surgery. The surgeon should be able to show you many different types of patients who had under gone different types of breast reductions with good to excellent results. 

A:

Losing weight before a breast reduction surgery is very important for a number of reasons.

If you have a breast reduction and then lose weight, your breast may decrease in size particularly if there were a significant percentage of fat content initially.  This would result in breasts that are even smaller than the post breast reduction size, and a breast skin envelope that is lose and therefore, a more hanging, or ptotic, breast.

Conversely, if you lose weight before your breast reduction surgery, you may find that your breasts will be smaller and not need to be reduced, and perhaps only a breast lift, or mastopexy would be needed.

Fredrick A. Valauri, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
New York, NY

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