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How does the surgeon know how much tissue to remove from each breast so they are symmetrical after breast reduction surgery?

Q:

During a breast reduction, how does the doctor determine how much tissue to remove from each breast to make sure that after surgery, the breasts are the same size?  Do they usually just "estimate" and if you are lucky, then they will be the same size after the surgery.  If not, and one is either larger or smaller than the other and not symmetrical, then what?  This is my fear of undergoing breast reduction!

A:

There is some judgment involved as you say but the tissue is weighed after it is removed so that we know exactly how much was taken off. Most breasts are at least a little bit asymmetrical to begin with so the number is not always the same from each side. The tricky part is that breast volume does not correlate to cup size the way people think so discussing how much to remove for planning purposes is difficult.

R.A. Baxter, MD

Richard A. Baxter, M.D.
Mountlake Terrace, WA

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