Should I Have A Breast Reduction Before Or After Having Children?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have had large breasts as long as I can remember. While they were once more perky, they have fallen and are way out of proportion. They are just super saggy now and hang all the way down to my belly button. I think the reality is that I need a breast reduction although I am not super excited about the possibility of having scars. I am 32 years old and have never been married or had children. I am not sure whether I should wait to have surgery until I have had children or just do it now instead. I am also worried about having a breast reduction and ending up being too small. Being big-breasted is part of a body type that I am most comfortable with and it’s part of who I am and what I am known for. I want my breasts lifted but just don’t want to be flat-chested.

A:  When one has breasts that are so big that they hang down to one’s belly button, they would be a good candidate for a breast reduction procedure. Breast reduction surgery combines a lift with breast tissue reduction to create smaller breasts that sit higher up on one’s chest wall. It is important to understand that there is a wide variability in the amount of breast tissue removal that can be done in any breast reduction. Thus you should not fear having a breast reduction because you think you will end up too small. That is a discussion you need to have with your plastic surgeon beforehand so there is an understanding as to how much smaller in breast size you find acceptable. Given your position, it is always better to end up with uplifted breasts that are still a little big rather than being too small. Whether you should have a breast reduction before or after having children depends on how much neck, back and shoulder pain you are in now. While pregnancy will ultimately affect the shape of your breasts, no matter if they had undergone surgical reshaping or not, the timing of the surgery should be based on musculoskeletal pain relief.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana