Is it okay to be overweight and have a breast reduction?

If I am a bit overweight, would it be wise to hold off on getting a breast reduction until after I lose some weight? I want to lose 25-30 pounds in the next 6 months. I say that now, but who knows. Just trying to understand if there are any downsides to having surgery before significant weight loss.


F, 37, Texas

I would always recommend losing any desired weight prior to a surgery that you want your best cosmetic outcome.

Although a breast reduction if usually an insurance procedure due to medical complications like back pain or headaches, I do not know a single woman who does not care about the cosmetic look and scarring after surgery. Weight changes after surgery can effect the droopiness.

All that being said, I want my patients to be below a 30BMI due to an increased risk for complication and wound  healing


Jack Peterson MD

We’re actually asked this question quite often. Most doctors will advise you to make a few changes to your lifestyle, like losing weight and exercising, before committing to breast surgery. They'd like you to lose and maintain your weight for a period of time prior to the procedure.

Although there is some disagreement in the medical community concerning a person's ideal body mass index (BMI), you’ll find many plastic surgeons noting that a BMI of 30 or less is the point where breast reduction surgery yields the best results. However, large breasts are often the reason why some women don't exercise -- they’re simply too heavy or get in the way, and they can't find a sports bra to provide enough support.

Being overweight does not exclude you from having breast reduction surgery. However, without knowing how tall you are, I can’t determine if you're just a little overweight or in the obese category. If it’s the latter there could be other issues at play, such as diabetes, etc.

Many of our patients like to treat themselves to breast reduction surgery as a personal reward for having lost weight, and as a way to improve their overall body image. I suggest that you consult with a few plastic surgeons in your area who specialize in breast reduction surgery to help you better determine the advantages and disadvantages of undergoing the procedure.

Dr. Kimberly Henry has 2 Breast reduction before & afters:

Breast reduction before image performed by Dr. Kimberly HenryBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Kimberly HenryBreast reduction before image performed by Dr. Kimberly HenryBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Kimberly Henry

» View Dr. Kimberly Henry's full profile

The ultimate decision is up to you. Many plastic surgeons will comment that a good candidate for breast reduction is one who is at or near their ideal body weight or body mass index (BMI). They may point to BMI as an indicator of whether to perform this plastic surgery or not.

The counter argument to this is some women's breasts are so large that exercising is unbearable, as they impair their ability to move and exercise effectively.

Each situation and person is different. You should definitely consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with breast reduction procedures. They'll be in the best position to help guide your decision and set realistic expectations. The surgeon will also advise if there are any potential complications or risk factors involved.

It's best to have BMI around 30 or under, but often we accept patients up to BMI 35 as long as they are otherwise healthy, for breast reduction surgery.

We do usually recommend weight loss for overweight patients prior to surgery but it depends on your body mass index (BMI) and general health. Can you share what your height and weight is? Any medical problems? Also, photos are helpful in order to counsel you on techniques.

Here is our breast reduction page:

-- Dr. Sayed

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