Do I Need to Lose Weight Before a Breast Reduction?

Anyone preparing to have breast reduction surgery is given a list of do’s and don’ts prior to the procedure. Your surgeon may instruct you to not smoke or vape for a period of time, not take any aspirin or other anti-inflammatory meds, and to have a driver to bring you home among others. What about weight loss? Do I need to lose weight before a breast reduction?

Main Reasons Women Have Breast Reduction

A woman who has decided to pursue breast reduction surgery has many reasons for doing so.

Some common reasons include:

  • Pain felt in the shoulders and back
  • Wants to fit better into favorite clothes
  • Wants a slimmer silhouette
  • Wants to enhance athletic performance

Of course some women have additional reasons for wanting to reduce the size of their breasts.

Ideal Weight Considerations

Many surgeons will tell you that it’s better to be at or close to your ideal weight prior to breast reduction surgery. It’s important to discuss this with a board-certified plastic surgeon before making a decision.

It will help your surgery be safer and will minimize complications, and weight does affect the risk of complications. If you are wanting to lose anywhere from 25 to 30 pounds and you can’t decide whether to do it before or after surgery, it is better to do it before.

A study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery looked at 675 patients and the number of complications. There was a significant link between complication rate and body mass index (BMI). Complications increased significantly for those with a BMI of over 35, considered obese.

The same for other risk factors like having diabetes or a history of smoking.

BMI Standards Based on Height and Weight:

  • Underweight = 18.5
  • Healthy = 18.6 – 24.9
  • Overweight = 25 – 29.9
  • Obese = 30 +

You can calculate your personal BMI here.

Waiting to Lose Weight Until After Breast Reduction
In most cases, any weight you lose after your surgery is performed will come off your breasts too. This can cause a change in breast size and shape leading to loss of firmness or laxity in your breasts. You could end up with sagging breasts afterward. That would be suboptimal.

Again, discuss all this with your plastic surgeon and follow all recommendations prior to your surgery.

Contact Loreen Ali, MD at New England Plastic Surgery Center to schedule a consultation in Chelmsford if you are considering breast reduction surgery. Give us a call at (978) 942-4835 or request an appointment through our secure online form.