Do you think I would qualify for breast reduction surgery, and do you recommend it?

I am 55 years old, 5 ft 5 in tall, 154 lbs, and I wear a 34 G bra. I am uncomfortable at all times, deep grooves in my shoulders, with neck pain, and headaches often. I have been battling with this decision, and would appreciate some guidance! Thanks

Doctor Answers (2)

Insurance Coverage

+1

Every insurance plan has their own unique criteria on whether they will cover a breast reduction. More and more, we are seeing plans where a breast reduction is not a covered benefit. If it is a covered benefit, some insurance plans set a minimum required amount of tissue to be remove in order to met their threshold for coverage. Some set the amount in relation to your BMI (height and weight). Others require extensive medical records documenting neck pain, back pain, and history of rashes. The other alternative is to opt for a breast reduction as a self-pay option. Start by visiting with a board certified plastic surgeon to learn more about your options.

Best wishes,

Dr. Basu
Houston, TX


Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Do you think I would qualify for breast reduction surgery, and do you recommend it?

+1

Thank you for the question.

Based on your description I think you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery; it tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

By removing “excess” breast tissue, adipose tissue, and breast skin this operation reduces and lifts the breasts to a higher position on the chest wall. By doing so, patients often find improvement in neck, back, and shoulder discomfort and find it easier to form their activities of daily living and exercise.

Some of the risks/potential complications associated with breast reduction surgery include: infection, bleeding, seroma, hematoma, wound healing problems, abnormal scarring ( hypertrophic or keloid), loss of sensation, inability to breast-feed, breast asymmetry, necrosis of tissue or skin, unsatisfactory cosmetic results, unpredictability of exact cup size postoperatively, recurrence of the breast hypertrophy, and the potential for further surgery. Other risks related to surgery in general include deep venous thrombosis (clots), pulmonary embolism, pneumonia and even death.

Fortunately, the majority of patients who undergo this procedure by well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons and board certified anesthesiologists do very well and complications tend to be relatively minor and treatable. The severe complications are rare.

Timing of the operation will depend on the patient's life circumstances. In general, it is best to do this procedure ( like all other elective body contouring the stages, when patients have reached their long-term stable weights. In doing so, improve the safety of the procedure and minimizes the need for further surgery ( in the event of weight gain/loss after the breast reduction procedure).

Ultimately, you will need to decide whether the “pros” ( benefits) of breast reduction surgery outweigh the potential “cons” ( potential risk/complications). You may find the attached link helpful to you as you educate yourself about the pros/cons of the breast reduction procedure.

When the time is right, seek consultation with board certified plastic surgeons. Ask to see lots of examples of their work and communicate your goals clearly.

In my practice, I would ask that you obtain “medical clearance” from your primary care physician prior to proceeding.

Best wishes; hopefully, if you choose to proceed, your only regret will be not having had it done earlier in life.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 718 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.