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If I am overweight can I still have a breast reduction?

Everything in life is relative. There are very few black and white situations. In the ideal world we would all be perfect . If that was the case of course no one would need a breast reduction.

Being overweight is a relative contraindication to ( an important reason to be cautious or to avoid)having breast reduction.

If you are a few kilos above your ideal body weight there is no issue at all.

If you are significantly overweight then the reasons to defer a decision about having a breast reduction start to mount up.

What is significantly overweight? Once you get beyond 10%- 15% over your ideal body weight you would be much better off to delay any proposed breast reduction procedure.

There are technical and common sense reasons for this.

First the technical reasons. Once you are significantly overweight your risk of having a complication after any procedure increase. Complications like infection , wound healing problems and damage to the blood supply of the nipple related to surgery are relatively uncommon in breast reduction but once your weight starts rising so does the risks of surgery,

Secondly most women who are overweight realise some of the fullness they are seeing and which is causing symptoms is not actually breast tissue at all. For example, women often identify the fullness and fatty tissue on the chest wall under where your arms sit when they are by your sides as a particular problem. This tissue is beyond the breast tissue .It is not breast tissue in most cases it is fatty tissue. Whilst we can try and decrease the fullness in this area with liposuction at the time of breast reduction surgery it is much better to reduce this area by weight loss prior to surgery.

The other common sense reason to lose any excess weight prior to any planned procedure is so that you get the best outcome in terms of breast shape that we can achieve.

If you are carry a lot of extra weight it is very hard to you the best possible shape. Because your chest tends to look broader if you are carrying major excess weight so your breasts tend to look broad and flattened out after reduction . Whereas if you lose weight prior to surgery you are more likely to get a more pleasing breast shape following surgery.

As I said at the beginning everything is relative and a few kilos will not make an appreciable difference but once you get above that you really should be making weight optimization part of your breast reduction plan.

Dr Jamie BurtAuthor:Dr Jamie Burt
About: Dr Jamie Burt was born and educated in Melbourne, attending the University of Melbourne and graduating with MBBS in 1998. He is a member of the Senior Medical Staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, and was Head of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute until 2004. Known for his respectful, informative, and caring approach, Jamie has been caring for women with breast reduction concerns for over 15 years. During this time, one moment stands out as defining what he aims to achieve with The Breast Reduction Clinic.
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