Weight Changes After Reduction Mammaplasty in Adolescents

J Adolesc Health. 2015 Sep;57(3):277-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.06.002.


Purpose: The ability to exercise more easily and weight loss are often cited benefits of reduction mammaplasty. However, measured weight outcomes after this common procedure are lacking. The purpose of this study was to measure body mass index (BMI) changes in an otherwise healthy adolescent sample after bilateral breast reduction.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients aged 12-21 years who underwent reduction mammaplasty at our institution between 2007 and 2013, with a minimum postoperative follow-up time of 1 year. Charts were reviewed for preoperative and postoperative height and weight, amount of breast tissue resected, and medical comorbidities. No formal nutritional support or weight loss program was instituted before or after surgery.

Results: Eighty patients meeting eligibility criteria were identified. The mean follow-up time was 2.0 ± 1.0 years. Mean postoperative BMI did not differ significantly from mean preoperative BMI (27.8 ± 7.1 kg/m(2) vs. 27.3 ± 6.4 kg/m(2)). However, among overweight and obese patients, a significant gain in preoperative to postoperative BMI was observed, on average (p = .019). Twelve (22.2%) of these patients increased their BMI by at least 10% after reduction mammaplasty. Although approximately one third (37%) of overweight/obese patients decreased their BMI, only 5.6% decreased BMI by at least 10%.

Conclusions: We found no significant difference between mean preoperative and postoperative BMI among patients who underwent reduction mammaplasty. Our results suggest that although reduction mammaplasty may facilitate exercise and help some patients lose weight, meaningful postoperative weight loss without additional support is rare.

Keywords: Adolescent; Body mass index; Macromastia; Reduction mammaplasty; Weight loss.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Breast / abnormalities*
  • Breast / physiopathology
  • Breast / surgery
  • Child
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / physiopathology
  • Hypertrophy / surgery*
  • Mammaplasty*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Postoperative Period
  • Preoperative Period
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss / physiology*
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Gigantomastia