Some people may wish to lose weight before breast reduction surgery, while others may find this easier after surgery. Weight loss can affect the breasts and breast tissue, which may be another reason to have surgery afterward.

A breast reduction is a surgical procedure that can reduce the overall size and volume of the breast. It can also reduce any excess skin following weight loss.

A person with large, heavy breasts may experience pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. A breast reduction may help relieve the pain and excess strain.

Someone with overweight or obesity may be more likely to have larger breasts. Therefore, they may want or need to lose weight. This may cause them to question whether they should seek breast reduction surgery before or after weight loss.

This article discusses whether it is better to have a breast reduction before or after weight loss, some tips for weight loss, and more.

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Research suggests that a person with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 could be more at risk of complications from breast reduction surgery. This is one reason someone may want to consider weight loss before undergoing breast reduction.

Weight loss can lead to excess skin on the breasts. The skin may also lose elasticity, causing it to hang or sag. Having a breast reduction after weight loss can allow the surgeon to remove the excess skin and contour the shape of the breasts to the person.

When someone has large breasts, they may find it difficult to exercise due to pain or excess strain on the neck, back, and shoulders. This can be a hindrance to weight loss. This is one reason they may want to wait until they have had a breast reduction to begin losing weight.

Research from 2015 suggests that 40% of people experience significant weight loss after a breast reduction due to the volume of weight in the breasts. A 2010 study suggests that breast reduction may act as an incentive to continue with weight loss after surgery.

The amount of fat in the breasts determines their size and shape. When a person loses weight, they may lose fat from the breasts, which can reduce the size and change the shape. It can also lead to excess skin and a deflated or sagging appearance. This means if a person loses weight after a breast reduction, they may experience further changes to the breasts.

Focussing on incorporating nutritious eating patterns, regular exercise, and ways to manage levels of stress can help a person lose and maintain weight loss in a healthy way.

Research suggests that to lose weight, a person needs to be at a calorie deficit. This involves consuming fewer calories than they use. Therefore, healthy, nutritious eating alongside regular physical activity is important for weight loss.

Some ways to help with weight loss can include:

  • Making a commitment: Writing down weight loss goals and putting them up around the home or using reminders on a phone can help a person solidify their commitment to weight loss.
  • Setting realistic goals: Starting slowly with goals such as 15 minutes of exercise daily, drinking water instead of sugary drinks, or replacing one meal a day with a nutritious option can help someone adapt to and maintain a healthy lifestyle for weight loss. They can then gradually build these goals until they are exercising for longer and eating healthier meals for the entirety of the day.
  • Following a nutritious eating plan: A person needs to include a variety of nutritious foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and foods that provide calcium, proteins, and whole grains. They should also limit or avoid foods high in saturated fat and sugar.
  • Staying within calorie limits: A person can calculate the amount of calories they should aim to consume for weight loss by using the MyPlate plan on the Department for Agriculture website. They can also speak with a licensed dietitian to help them create an eating plan.
  • Being regularly physically active: Regular exercise and physical activity can increase the number of calories the body uses. This means if a person is also reducing their intake of calories, they will be at a calorie deficit, which can lead to weight loss. Regular physical activity can also help maintain weight loss.
  • Seeking support, information, and guidance: Seeking support can help a person stay on track with their weight loss goals.

The following are answers to common questions about breast reduction surgery and weight loss.

Do breasts always sag after weight loss?

Weight loss can lead to excess skin on the breasts that may result in a sagging appearance. Studies suggest it is common for a person to experience sagging of the breasts after weight loss.

How do I keep my breasts from shrinking when I lose weight?

The breast consists of breast tissue, glands, and fat. This means when a person loses weight, they may lose breast volume. However, individuals may be able to maintain some of the volume and shape by using strength training for the chest or pectoral muscles.

What is the ideal weight for breast reduction surgery?

Research suggests that a person with a BMI over 30 may be more at risk of complications following breast reduction surgery. However, 2019 research shows that having a high BMI may not increase the risk of complications. This means a person with a high BMI may still be eligible for breast reduction surgery. They should discuss the risks of surgery with their surgeon.

A breast reduction is a surgical procedure that reduces breast volume.

The breasts consist of breast tissue, glands, and body fat. When a person loses weight, the breasts may change shape and reduce in size. Individuals may also experience stretched, excess skin that can cause a sagging appearance.

If a person wishes to lose weight, they may choose to do so before a breast reduction. This means the surgeon can reduce excess skin and the breasts to a proportional size to the individual’s weight. However, physical activity can be difficult if a person has large breasts, which may make weight loss before a breast reduction difficult.

If an individual decides to lose weight after a breast reduction, the breasts may change size and shape again and may develop excess skin and sagging.

To assist weight loss, a person can make certain lifestyle changes, including following a nutritious eating plan and exercising regularly.

Individuals can speak with a healthcare professional for more information on weight loss and breast reduction surgery.