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Wait to Lose Weight Before Breast Reduction?

I use 42DDD bras. I want Breast reduction but I want something like a D. I have Medical. Will Medical cover it if I just want a D?

I'm overweight. Would it be best to wait to loose the weight before I get a reduction?

Doctor Answers 16

Weight loss before breast reduction

Patients should always try to be at a stable weight before any surgery, especially if their weight might affect the final result.

Most doctors ask the patient to do what is reasonablly possible, not get down to some impossible weight.

My colleagues are absolutely correct that after breast reduction many patients become more active and lose even more weight.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Weight loss before breast reduction

Although breasts are comprised partly of fat, even drastic weight loss won't result in significant shrinkage in that area (and even then, the breasts will still be saggy). Many doctors ignore a crucial dilemma: When your breasts are so large, exercise is a miserable, if not impossible, option. Being overweight doesn't exclude you from having breast reduction surgery. In fact, it will motivate you to lose weight by improving your body image and freeing you to exercise with minimal bouncing and flopping.

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Lose weight prior to breast reduction

It is better to lose the weight prior to undergoing breast reduction because your breasts may further decrease in size with ongoing weight loss. Therefore if you become a D and lose weight your D cup could become a C cup.

In regards to medical, I would contact one of your local physicians. In many instances state agencies will not accept predetermination of benefits letters. In this instance coverage may be determined by the amount removed.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Better to be at stable ideal weight

It is always better to be at a stable ideal weight before pursuing surgery, preferably within a normal BMI. This improves surgical outcome as well as reduces the risks associated with surgery. You may find that losing weight also reduces the size of your breasts naturally.

Depending on your situation, insurance may be able to subsidize the cost of breast reduction. Some breast reduction coverage requirements where I practice in Ontario include your current cup size, the amount of breast tissue removed during surgery, unsuccessful experiences with alternative treatments and medications, as well as recommendations for breast reduction from other specialists, such as chiropractors and neurosurgeons.

Please see an experienced board certified plastic surgeon to find out whether you are a suitable candidate for breast reduction first. Best of luck. 

Insurance coverage

Breast reduction may be covered by insurance if you meet certain critera, specified by your insurance coverage.  Often times, insurance company will need documentation of back pain, shoulder pain, photos, your height and weight, size of your breasts and proposed weight of breast tissue that would be removed.  If you do not meet the criteria set by your insurance coverage, you will need to undergo breast reduction by self-pay.  Your self-pay breast reduction cost will differ depending on your surgeon's fee, facility fee, and anesthesia fee.  There is a geographic difference as well.  It will vary from $8000-$10,000.  Please visit with board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss the overall cost as well as potential risks, alternatives, and benefits.  Good luck to you.

Weight loss and breastreduction

Weight loss is always good to reduce surgical complications. Reductions can be done as early as 15 with parental consent, a proper medical clearance and breast growth that has stopped. Insurance coverage is a hit or miss depending on the carrier.  Usually having symptoms related to breast size is necessary for insurance coverage. Getting it covered though is very difficult. Insurance companies wont tell anyone how much tissue needs to be removed to qualify for coverage. Then if the surgeon is 1gram off they deny coverage after the fact. Insurance companies make money by denying coverage. For that reason most plastic surgeon will likely ask for payment up front.  Breast reductions are the most gratifying operations because years of neck, back and shoulder pain are gone within days.  The final size result depends on your starting size. If you start larger then you will likely end larger. It is not possible to choose a size with any real accuracy. The main reason is that the procedure removes breast tissue but leaves enough tissue to preserve the blood supply to the nipple and areola. Thus more tissue needs to be left behind to ensure nipple viability. The nipple and areola is constantly being accessed during the operation. See a board certified plastic surgeon for specifics on your treatment.


Weight Loss before Breast Reduction?

Thank you for the question. Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery. It is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.
The ideal situation is for you to lose  weight and be stable in regards to weight prior to surgery - that will give you the best chances of  long-term results  you will be happy with.  If you,  for example, have the surgery and then lose 20 more pounds, you may need to have another surgery because there may be additional loose skin to be removed  or you may be displeased with the ultimate breast size.
Although I understand insurance coverage issues that  exist,  I hope you do not compromise the quality of your breast reduction results.
I hope this helps.

Weight Loss Before Breast Reduction

First, I would recommend losing the weight prior to having breast reduction surgery. Significant weight loss after surgery will affect your cosmetic result from the breast reduction.

Second, your surgeon would need to get an authorization to see if your insurance company would cover your surgery.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast reduction and weight loss

If you are planning to lose a lot of weight I would wait to undergo a breast reduction. The breasts will get smaller with weight loss and so I would wait.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast Reduction, Weight Loss and Medical Insurance Coverage

Great questions - several comments are in order.

WEIGHT LOSS - If you are over-weight then weight loss to a healthy range (or better your ideal weight) is in order regardless of any plans for a breast reduction. You would feel, look and be healthier. Moreover, IF weight loss causes you a decrease in the size of the breasts, you really would want it BEFORE a breast reduction - not after. Finally, many insurance companies require you to lose weight before they would authorize a breast reduction. So - for many reasons, you really SHOULD lose weight.

CUP SIZE - if your breast reduction is paid by an insurance company, they will require that a certain amount of breast weight be removed from each breast. If this amount is not removed, they could view the operation as "cosmetic", refuse to pay for it and potentially, you would be liable for all the costs of the operation. As such the surgeon would need to reduce your breasts by AT LEAST that amount. IF the removal gets you from DDD to D - that would be great. But - there is a real possibility that your breasts may be smaller. If that bothers you, you should consider paying for the procedure out of pocket and then have more control on how much breast tissue is removed.

To read everything you need to know about BREAST REDUCTION, follow the comprehensive link below.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.