Ask a doctor

If I Lose Too Much Weight Can I Still Have a Breast Reduction?

I am 5'4" and 210lbs. I know that I have to lose weight before a reduction so I won't bring it up until I do. My breasts are at a 38G. My neck and back CONSTANTLY hurt and I have scars from my bras. I've always had a larger chest but I've not always been this overweight and I guess my fear is if I lose too much weight will I not be able to get a reduction? Will my breast already be small to the point where I can't get one done. My insurance will have to pay for it because I cannot afford it.

Doctor Answers (17)

Weight loss before breast reduction

+3

Loosing weight before you undergo breast reduction would be beneficial in a number of regards. Being closer to your "ideal body weight" will make surgery safer. It is unlikely that you would loose so much weight in your breasts that your symptoms resolve without a breast reduction.

Good luck with your weight loss efforts. If you are struggling with weight loss, consider asking your doctor for a referral to a nutritionist.


New York Plastic Surgeon

Lose weiht befor breast reduction.

+2

Lose the weight.  Get good photo documentation.  Work hand in hand with your doctor.  Once you get to the weight that is correct you will still need a substantial reduction of breast and skin along with a lift .  Your insurance will cover if you document, document, and document and your doctor does the same.

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast reduction and weight loss

+2

I think that your best best bet is to see your HR person first, to see what your insurance requires.  After that, you may want to visit your plastic surgeon.  You may also want to consider bariatric surgery for the weight loss.

sek

Scott E. Kasden, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

You might also like...

Weight loss and breast reduction

+2

While weight loss will certainly cause some decrease in your breast size, I doubt that you will decrease in size to a point of not needing a reduction.  Most women with very large breast often lose weight in other areas first and the breast tend to be the last thing to decrease in size.  Lets say that you lose 50-60 #.  You will likely be smaller than the 38 G you are now, but still likely a 36/38 DDD.

As you get close to your goal weight (20-25#), go see a local PS and consider getting the reduction done then.  Often the last few pounds are difficult to lose especially if the weight of your breast is inhibiting exercise.

Delio Ortegon, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast Reduction Hurdles?

+1

Thank you for the question and pictures.

It sounds like you are an excellent candidate for the breast reduction procedure;  it is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

You are doing the right thing by losing weight first.  Doing so will maximize the chances of achieving the best results possible and minimize the chances that further surgery will be necessary in the near future.

Given your concerns regarding health insurance coverage you may want to check  the insurance companies policy in regards to breast reduction surgery.

At some point, consultation with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will be helpful.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 719 reviews

Weight loss, breast reduction, and insurance coverage

+1
Insurance coverage for breast reduction tends to be based on the schnurr scale. This takes into account your height and weight. When you lose weight, you lose in the body and breast. As you lose weight the amount we "need" to remove for insurance changes. I have a link to the body surface area BSA and schnurr scale on my website- it is my original blog on breast reduction. Insurance coverage also depends on symptoms. If you have back pain, rashes, etc, document your issues. What medications you need, doctor or physical therapy appointments, etc. They like to see you have tried to "correct your neck and back issues with nonsurgical treatments" before doing surgery.

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast Reduction - Weight Loss and Insurance Coverage

+1

Hi MsLoraine in Holyoke, MA,

It sounds (and looks) to me like you can lose some weight and still obtain insurance coverage for a breast reduction.

However, it doesn't matter what I think - what matters is what your insurance company thinks.  In order to find out, you need to work with a plastic surgeon.  Specifically, he or she will need to take some photos of you and submit them to your insurance company and then find out what the criteria are in your specific case.  Each insurance company is different, and companies often have more than one plan - different plans may have different criteria.  And they are always changing.  That's the first step.

The next, though, is whether your surgeon will accept your insurance.  You may want to start, then, by getting a list of surgeons who participate in your insurance plan.  Then, at least, you'd have that issue addressed.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Weight loss nad reduction

+1

There is no question you should get to your ideal weight.will your breast be smaller? Yes will you still need a reduction? Probably yes as well.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Will losing weight reduce my chances of obtaining approval from my insurance company for breast reduction surgery?

+1

It would be prudent for your health, ultimate result from a breast reduction surgery and anesthesia risk to lose substantial weight prior to undergoing the procedure. From your photos, it would be highly unlikely that your breasts would shrink so much in size that your insurance company would not provide coverage for the procedure. Many of them will correlate your weight with a specific minimum of breast tissue that needs to be removed. Therefore, at a lower weight, they will require less breast tissue to be removed in order for insurance coverage.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Will losing weight shrink breasts too much to keep from being approved for breast reduction?

+1

Based on your photos I doubt that your breasts will get too small with weight reduction.  They look quite a bit out of proportion to the rest of your body and they likely will stay that way.  I'm sure that you will feel better with the extra weight off.

Kenneth L. Stein, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 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.