This retrospective study used self-reported bra sizes, heights and weights pre- and postoperatively in patients who underwent reduction mammoplasty by one surgeon between 2001 and 2003. Preoperative data were collected on 91 patients. Postoperative data were collected from 69 respondents by telephone survey. Bra sizes were standardized according to cup size. In bra-making, the cup is the same size for decreasing cup letter size as the band size increases. The most common standardized cup size was seven, representing bra sizes 34 F, 36 E, 38 D, 40 C, etc. The range of preoperative cup sizes was five (34 D) to 17 (42 L). The mass of tissue removed from each breast was averaged for each patient and ranged from 147 g to 2453 g (mean 522 g). The average body mass index was 29.6 kg/m preoperatively and 29.3 kg/m2 postoperatively, with six patients reporting weight gain, 13 reporting weight loss and 50 reporting no change at all. Postoperative standardized cup sizes ranged from five (34 D) to 14 (44 H). The difference between pre- and postoperative cup size ranged from zero to eight as follows: for no cup size change (n=17), mean tissue removed per breast was 577.1 g; decrease by one cup size (n=23), 489.2 g; decrease by two cup sizes (n=25), 425.8 g.
These data indicate that when self-reported data from patients are used, a plastic surgeon may find that as many as 25% report no change in bra size after reduction mammoplasty, even when more than 500 g of tissue is removed from each breast, which may adversely affect patients’ satisfaction with the surgical results. Future studies will determine the cause of the apparent discrepancy between operative and self-reported results.