Disclaimer- we are not doctors. This post won't have detailed medical advice. If anything seems wonky leading up to your surgery don't ask us- ask your doctor.
So that said, as professional bra fitters, we see a lot of people pre and post breast surgery. There are three main types we deal with- post mastectomy (or lumpectomy), breast augmentation, and the focus of this post- breast reduction surgery. Here are two things to know before you go under the knife from a bra fitter's perspective.
1. Almost every single person that comes to see us post surgery (please wait until you're healed) to "figure out their new size" or "get some new C cups" was wearing the wrong sizes before their surgery.
This leads to a lot of contention, fear, and sometimes even tears in the fitting room.
Here's an example.
Amélie is large breasted and bought 40DDD/F until she got approved for reduction surgery. She goes in, has great consultation with her surgeon who says they'll take out 800ccs from each side and she'll be down to a full B, shallow C cup. She's thrilled. She endures the surgery and rehab and heals up before booking her fitting with us.
She arrives with her new chest and is excited to buy all the cute bras after months of post surgery/ compression bras. We hop in the fitting room and grab a quick band measurement and bring her a few options to nail down cup volume and shape.
Problem is, Amélie measures 33" around and we're bringing her 34DDD/Fs.
That's not a problem from our perspective because it's one of our most popular sizes. We have hundreds of bras that will work. The initial bras Amélie tried on fit her perfectly and she feels amazing.
The problem is she looks at the tag.
And even while wearing a bra that seconds earlier was amazing, breaks down.
She's not a C.
Sure, she could wear a C. We could bring 40Cs. The cup volume would be "right" but they wouldn't fit. The straps would fall, the band would ride up, the cups would never quite be right because they'd be too far apart on her chest. It would be the same terrible bra situation she went through an entire surgery to avoid.
Reality is, Amélie was probably a 34I/J before her surgery. The cup volume on a 40DDD is "right" but the band was always too big. A big band doesn't support the weight of the tissue, leading to all the reasons she got the surgery in the first place.
Disclaimer number two- while we believe that a well fitting 34J bra will alleviate all/ most of the reasons many people get reductions surgery, you can and should get reduction surgery just because you want lower volume breasts. Any and all reasons for reduction are valid.
2. Doctors aren't bra fitters. Many of them are men with no understanding or access to bra fitting best practices. They don't understand that a "C" doesn't exist without the band measurement because it's a ratio. Please don't take their well intentioned "you'll be a C cup" as the absolute truth. Even if they do know, you could be a 32C in a full coverage style and a 32D in a plunge. You're aren't a size, you wear a size.
Please come to your fitting with an open mind about sizes and at a bare minimum don't berate your professional fitter for bringing a size you didn't think you paid all that money and suffered all that rehab to be. Our job is to fit the body you have now in the best shapes and sizes that support your bust. This goes for everyone, not just post reduction, but it hits especially hard when you've been told by a medical professional that you're one size only to find out from bra fitting professionals that's not true. We get it.
So pursue reduction surgery because you want it not to achieve a "size". Perhaps try a bra fitting boutique before you go under the knife- we may be able to solve or greatly reduce your breast pain and inconvenience through the right size. In the bra world, DD really isn't that big. We carry up to O and get Ps and Qs. Book a fitting before your surgery. Learn about bra sizing so your reduction experience can be amazing.