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Breast Reduction


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This response should not be construed as medical advice. I am a board certified plastic surgeon


Brenda, in response to your question about breast reduction, many cases are able to obtain insurance coverage. Most companies want the plastic surgeon to estimate how much tissue is going to be removed compared to the patients height, and some companies compare this to your current weight as well. Although I prefer to have patients closer to their ideal body weight for breast reduction, many patients tell me that they have been unsuccessful at losing weight because the heaviness of their breasts interferes with their ability to exercise. My rule is to wait if someone is successfully losing weight, but if they have not been successful despite their best attempts I will go ahead with the reduction. I still shoot for a "c"cup for those patients but leave them a little fuller to balance with their frame. I hope that these responses were helpful for you. Don't be discouraged, and make an appointment to see a board certified plastic surgeon. Ask someone who has had the surgery and been happy with her experience

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Hello Doctor,

I have EE Breasts. The weight of them really hurt my back. Do you think that I am the right Candidate for Breast reduction?


This should not be construed as medical advice. I am a board certified plastic surgeon.


The typical candidate for breast reduction has a breast cup which is double d or larger and has complaints of back pain. Other symptoms, such as grooving of the shoulders from the bra strap, difficulty exercising, a rash under the breast in the summer time are also common. Based on your breast cup size and symptoms you should benefit from a breast reduction. Other factors need to be considered to see if you are the "right" candidate. Are you a smoker? A history of smoking increases the risk of wound healing problems and possible skin loss. Most surgeons would ask you to stop smoking for 3 months prior to surgery if possible. What is your weight? The best candidates for breast reduction are close to their ideal weight. Unfortunately many patients with larger breasts are overweight because of such factors as difficulty exercising and poor body image which are impacted by the larger breasts! Some surgeons won't operate if you are significantly overweight because of an increased risk of such problems after surgery as healing and infection, as well as a less aesthetic (attractive) result. My general rule is that if a patient is actively losing weight I encourage them to continue with their weight loss efforts until they are at their stable goal weight. I have also learned as I have been in practice longer that if it were easy for patients to lose weight, most of them would have already done so before they came in to see me. If someone can't lose the weight I will usually still proceed with breast reduction after we have discussed the increased risks. Although the results are not as aesthetic, they are still much better and patients typically are still quite pleased with both the improvement in their symptoms and in the shape of their breasts. If a patient loses a significant amount of weight after breast reduction then it is possible that the breasts might sag more, requiring more surgery to re- lift the breasts, or even a breast implant to replace lost volume. I would recommend that you make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon to get a better idea. He or she can discuss with you the various factors, and may even have experience with your particular insurance plan and have a sense as to whether you would be covered or not. Most patients that have had a breast reduction tell me that they wish they had done it sooner.

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