The ideal breast size for reduction surgery is primarily anchored to the patient’s level of comfort. It is important to note that a good number of patients seek the procedure to remove a huge weight off their back and ultimately improve their quality of life, as suggested by celebrity Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley.
In addition to back pain relief, many patients also seek the surgery to improve their posture, correct their rounded shoulders, and eliminate chronic headaches.
Aside from delivering the most comfortable breast size, other goals should include creating an optimal shape, hiding the surgical stigmata as much as possible (i.e., scars are placed at the border of areola and within the submammary fold), and minimizing risk of tissue regrowth.
Tissue regrowth may occur after significant weight gain and pregnancy, so it is in the best interest of patients that these factors are ruled out before the surgery is attempted. For this reason, women of childbearing age and those whose weight is not yet stable are advised to postpone the procedure.
The truth is, it is quite difficult to guarantee a cup size after a breast reduction surgery. First and foremost, cup size is not an accurate measurement as each bra company has its different interpretation.
The patient’s body largely determines the ideal breast size for reduction. For this reason petite women may want to have a slightly smaller size, while large-framed patients may have to choose a fuller, heavier breast if their goal is to preserve a more natural look and better proportion.
But if there is a high probability that tissue regrowth will occur, a scenario that may happen when breast reduction is performed in patients in their mid or late teens, they may have to choose a size that is smaller than their initial plan.
Some patients also choose to have a breast size smaller to their liking so their health insurance will cover the surgery’s cost (for instance, some companies require at least 500 grams of removed breast tissue per side in order to qualify for coverage).
While breast reduction is best reserved for women whose breasts have fully “stabilized” and they are done having children, teenagers whose overlarge breasts cause them undue discomfort can opt for it.
Dr. Smiley says that there are no limitations on how small the breasts can be made, although significant reduction is tied to increased risk of numbness or other sensation-related problems and poor scarring.