Can Breasts Get Bigger Again After Breast Reduction Surgery?
- Interested in getting a breast reduction surgery?
- Wondering what happens to the breasts after the procedure is performed?
- Concerned that breast tissue might grow back after breast reduction?
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, can help women with oversized breasts. Many women suffer because they have overly large breasts. These include neck and back pain, permanent shoulder grooves and difficulty exercising. A breast reduction provides relief from these symptoms and can improve your ability to exercise.
If you’re investing your time and money into surgically reducing the size of your breasts, you’ll want to make sure your results are long-lived. You might wonder: “can my breasts get bigger again after a breast reduction?” and if so, “what can I do to avoid changes to my breast size?”
Dr Michael Kernohan is a Sydney plastic surgeon with clinics located in Central Sydney, the Southwest Suburbs and Southern Highlands Australia. He will paint you a clear picture of what to expect from your breast reduction surgery and how you can make your results last as long as possible.
Click to Download Dr Michael Kernohan Breast Reduction Surgery Guide
What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery or reduction mammoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that reduces the size of the breasts. Your surgeon removes fat, breast tissue, and excess skin from the breasts to make them smaller, improve their appearance, and ease discomfort caused by large breasts.
This cosmetic procedure can benefit heavy-chested women, especially if they suffer from the following issues caused by overly large breasts:
- Chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Permanent shoulder grooves from the bra straps
- Shortness of breath
- Skin irritation or rash under the breasts because of chafing
- Inability to partake in some physical activity
- Bad athletic posture (especially for female athletes with large breasts)
- Difficulty fitting into tops, swimsuits, or bras
Women who undergo breast reduction surgery can benefit from the following:
- Improved breathing
- Less discomfort and pain
- Less breast bounce
- Better upper body movement
- Improved range of motion and comfort while working out or exercising
The short answer is yes. Breast tissue can regrow after breast reduction surgery under certain circumstances. But the growth isn’t usually significant or a cause for concern.
One systematic review estimated that around 18% of breast reduction surgery patients reported regrowth of their breast tissue after the procedure. However, the breasts didn’t get bigger by much, and some breast reduction patients were as young as 12 years old.
While breast reduction surgery makes your breast size smaller, it does not prevent your breasts from increasing in size in the future. Nevertheless, breasts rarely grow significantly in size after reduction mammoplasty without significant lifestyle or body changes.
Breast reduction surgery can permanently and significantly decrease your breast size. In most cases, the results of your procedure can last you a lifetime.
Less commonly, breasts may get bigger after reduction surgery because of the following reasons:
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuation is one of the most common triggers for breast regrowth after reduction surgery. Menopause, birth control pills, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hormonal changes that might make your breasts grow larger after your reduction procedure
- Significant weight gain: When you gain weight after a breast reduction, your entire body gains weight, including your breasts. You may notice some increase in your breast size if you put on some weight after your reduction mammoplasty. Usually, a little weight gain doesn’t affect the breast size much. The more significant the weight gain, the larger the breasts can become
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Pregnancy after breast reduction surgery can compromise the results of your procedure. With pregnancy and breastfeeding, the breasts become engorged and grow bigger. As a result, your breast skin and tissue stretch out. After you lose some of the pregnancy weight, your breasts may go back down in size, but you’ll have some degree of breast sagginess, which might make your breasts appear larger than they actually are
- Ageing: A breast reduction surgery can’t stop the natural ageing process of your breasts. After your procedure, your breast tissue and nipples shift downward and sag with age. Even if the breasts don’t become larger in size, they might appear bigger if they droop and relax
- Getting breast reduction surgery in your teenage years: There’s a higher chance that your breasts will grow again after a breast reduction if you get the surgery during your teenage years. During those years, the body is still developing and will undergo several hormonal and developmental changes that can affect breast size and shape
In the unlikely event that your breasts grow larger after your reduction procedure, there are surgical options that can correct their appearance.
The more likely scenario is that your breasts might sag or droop with time after a breast reduction rather than become bigger.
In such cases, Dr Kernohan can perform a breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, to lift your breasts.
During a breast lift procedure, Dr Kernohan can remove excess skin and breast tissue, lift sagging tissue at the bottom of the breast, reduce the size of large areolas, and raise the nipples into a perkier position.
In the rare cases when breasts become larger again after breast reduction surgery, the increase in size isn’t usually significant. Many patients are not bothered by the slight increase in size and choose to leave their breasts as is.
A revision reduction mammoplasty is possible if your breasts become noticeably bigger after your first breast reduction. However, you must first make sure that any underlying cause for the increase in breast size has been resolved so you wouldn’t face the same issue again.
Before a revision breast reduction procedure, it’s best if you meet the following criteria:
- Your body has fully developed
- You’re not planning on getting pregnant again
- Your hormones are back in balance, and you stopped medications that can cause hormonal changes (based on the recommendations of your healthcare provider)
- You maintain a stable and healthy weight
The optimal way to prevent your breasts from becoming larger after a reduction procedure is by planning the timing of your surgery and taking good care of your body afterward.
Here are some of the best tips to prevent changes in breast size after breast reduction surgery:
- Pick the right time for your breast surgery: Pregnancy and breastfeeding can significantly affect the size and shape of your breasts. If you’re planning to start a family or get more kids, it might be better to get breast reduction surgery after you’ve completed that. That will help you maintain the results of your procedure longer. Additionally, puberty and developmental changes can also change the size of your breasts. It’s best to wait until your body has gone through those changes before getting cosmetic breast surgery. Moreover, most surgeons recommend getting surgery when you’re close to your ideal weight to avoid any major weight fluctuations that can undo your results
- Keep your hormones in check: Keep an eye on your hormone levels if you often experience hormone irregularities. Consult your healthcare provider on how to keep your hormones balanced to prevent unwanted breast changes
- Maintain a stable and healthy weight: Significant weight gain can undo the results of your breast reduction procedure. Stick to a healthy diet and exercise regularly to prevent excessive weight gain and preserve your breast size
Women of almost all ages, from teenage to post-menopause years, can get breast reduction surgery. The procedure can significantly reduce your breast size, and the removed breast tissue doesn’t usually grow back after the surgery.
In some cases, your breasts may become larger or appear bigger after reduction mammoplasty because of pregnancy, hormonal changes, weight gain, or ageing. However, breast tissue regrowth isn’t usually an issue after a breast reduction.
During your breast reduction consultation, Dr Kernohan will discuss your age, medical history, pregnancy and breastfeeding plans, and any other issues that might affect the size of your breasts after your procedure.
He will help you weigh the risks and benefits of your procedure and plan the perfect time to get your breast reduction surgery.
How long does a breast reduction last?
- Most women who undergo breast reduction get long-lasting results. Breast regrowth rarely ever happens after the procedure. However, pregnancy, major weight gain, and hormonal changes can affect the shape and size of your breasts and might undo the results of your surgery.
What happens if you gain weight after breast reduction?
- Your breasts change as the rest of your body changes, even after breast reduction surgery. When you gain weight, some of that weight goes into your breasts. If you put on a lot of weight after your breast reduction, some of the excess weight will build up in your breasts and increase their size. Maintain a stable and healthy weight following your breast reduction procedure to prevent unwanted breast size changes.
If I get a breast reduction will they grow back after pregnancy?
- The breast tissue removed during breast reduction surgery does not grow back. If you get pregnant after a breast reduction, your breasts may become swollen and enlarged. After that, they may become a little deflated or droopy instead of bigger. For some women, their breasts even return to normal after giving birth. With that said, it’s best to wait until after you’ve had children to get breast reduction surgery if you want to maximize your results.
Is it normal for one breast to be bigger after breast reduction?
- No two breasts are perfectly symmetrical. It’s normal to have slightly uneven breasts before and after cosmetic breast surgery. After your reduction surgery, your breasts will be swollen and appear larger. As the swelling resolves, they will settle into their new size. It’s normal for one breast to look bigger during recovery if it’s more swollen than the other. Ask your plastic surgeon how long it takes for your breasts to heal before you can see your final results. If one breast still looks bigger than the other after the healing period, check with your surgeon again or get a second opinion.
How big do your breasts have to be to get a reduction?
- Your breasts don’t need to be a specific size to make you a candidate for breast reduction surgery. As long as you’re in good health, and your breasts feel heavy, unattractive, or causing you discomfort, you can come in for a consultation for a breast reduction.
Does fat grow back after breast reduction?
- Breast reduction surgery is a permanent way to make your breasts smaller. The fat and other breast tissue removed during breast reduction can’t grow back. However, if you gain weight after your procedure, new fat can accumulate in your breasts and make them grow in size.
Will my breasts become smaller if I lose weight after breast reduction?
- When you lose weight, you also lose weight from your breasts, which can make them somehow smaller. The decrease in your breast size will depend on how much fat you have in your breasts, to begin with, and how much weight you lose. Usually, if you lose a little weight after your breast reduction, it won’t affect your breast size much. With that said, it’s best to plan your breast reduction surgery after you’ve reached your ideal weight.
Further Reading about Breast Reduction Surgery
- Read Dr Kernohan’s blog about Recovery after Breast Reduction Surgery
- Read Dr Kernohan’s blog about Solutions for Saggy Breasts – Augmentation, Lift or Reduction