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Breast Reduction Surgery and Weight Loss

A very significant percentage of women that I see in consultation for breast reduction surgery (reduction mammoplasty) are well above their ideal body weight. Many of these same women express a desire, serious or not, to lose a substantial amount of weight in addition to breast size.

When considering weight loss and breast reduction surgery, should a woman lose some or most of the weight:

A.)  prior to breast reduction surgery?
B.) after the breast reduction surgery?
C.) or some before and the rest afterwards?

In a perfect world, my recommendation would be to lose as much of the excess weight prior to breast reduction surgery rather than afterwards. The advantages of this are many. When the breasts are reduced in size and contoured into a desirable shape with a rejuvenated appearance, there is a fixed ratio of skin and enclosed breast tissue. This can be maintained to some extent over time if weight remains constant though gravity continues to take its toll with regard to continuation of drooping over time. With a postoperative weight loss well in excess of 5 or 10 pounds, there will be additional loss of breast volume yet the amount of skin remains the same. The result would be even smaller breasts that are less firm and shapely and droopier than they otherwise would have been.

What are other advantages of preoperative weight loss?

At a substantially lower weight, surgical and anesthetic risks may be decreased as would the risk of infection and healing problems. This relevant for those individuals whose body mass index (BMI) places them in the obese or morbidly obese categories.

Unfortunately, what is best and what can be accomplished are often not the same. Many women may desire to lose their excess poundage but know that they can’t and won’t. Others can actually lose at least some of the weight but nowhere near all of it. Regardless, both of these groups of women should not be denied breast reduction surgery and its associated benefits if they are otherwise excellent candidates for it and are relatively low medical and anesthetic risks.

The positive impact of a reduction mammoplasty on the quality of life is difficult to overstate. It is so rare for any woman who has undergone this procedure to regret her decision. In fact, the satisfaction rate for this procedure even exceeds that of breast augmentation surgery which is around 94%.

For more information on a breast reduction surgery or on any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule your consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona