Breast reduction vs. bariatric surgery: Which should come first?

September 26, 2011

Breast reduction vs. bariatric surgery: Which should come first?
Breast reduction vs. bariatric surgery: Which should come first?

Losing weight and undergoing cosmetic plastic surgeries are two common ways many individuals choose to enhance their overall appearance. However, many overweight women opt for both breast reduction surgery as well as bariatric surgery such as gastric banding and gastric bypass to lose weight and look their best.

According to US News, a new published study reveals that the order in which these two surgeries are performed may improve the end result.

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center analyzed how satisfied 29 obese women were with their breast appearance - 15 underwent breast reduction surgery before massive weight loss and 14 did not have breast reduction surgery before losing a lot of weight.

All of the women who underwent breast reduction surgery thought their breasts looked better after the operation. However, those who lost weight due to bariatric surgery or other methods after breast reduction surgery found that their breasts further reduced in size, causing them to become dissatisfied with their appearance.

"Thus, patients who are considering bariatric procedures should be encouraged to pursue that operation before proceeding with reduction mammaplasty," scientists said.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), patients interested in breast reduction surgery frequently are seeking relief from physical symptoms caused by the excessive weight of large breasts. The surgery can usually solve these problems as well as improve the size and shape of the breasts.

Doctors say that in some cases, women might undergo breast reduction surgery before losing weight in order to reduce the back, neck and shoulder pain that is often associated with large breasts and to aid in their weight loss efforts by increasing their ability to exercise. 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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