36DD, Too Small for a Reduction?

Hi, I am 5'7" and 180lbs. I'm currently experiencing pain and posture problems related to my bust. I want to consider a reduction but I am only a 36DD. Is this too small for doctors and insurance to recommend a reduction? How would I go about starting the process for a reduction?

Doctor Answers 4

Breast Reduction and Insurance

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You may very well qualify, it really will depend on the guidelines of your insurance company. Most require 500 grams from each breast needs to be removed to qualify, and that usually equates to a DD cup. They usually want documented information as to what you have tried so far, such a good support bras, physical therapy, analgesics, etc. Seek out a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon that specializes in breast reduction surgery, and your surgeon will be able to help you obtain authorization. Good luck.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Insurance coverage for a breast reduction

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Every insurance company uses its own criteria for determining if a breast reduction is medically necessary.  The symptoms most women experience from large breasts are back, neck and shoulder pain along with indentations on the shoulders from the bra straps.  Headaches, rashes under the breast and sometimes tingling or numbness of the little finger from compression of the nerves as they exit the lower neck.  During an examination by an experienced plastic surgeon an accurate history and physical examination will be performed.  Part of that examination includes an estimate of the amount of breast tissue to be removed.  Most insurance companies use a sliding scale based on your height and weight to determine how much breast tissue should be removed.  All of this information is then sent to the insurance company in the form of a pre-approval letter.  The first step is to have a consultation with a plastic surgeon. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast reduction and DD

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Breast reduction may be performed in your circumstance but an exam and history would be essential. As for your insurance "covering" it, you will have to check to see what their criteria are.  

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Reduction Candidate?

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 Difficult to give you good advice without direct examination or viewing pictures. Regardless of your cup size, you may be a good candidate for breast lifting and/or breast reduction surgery. Much will depend upon your physical examination and your goals.

 Best to start with consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons. Ask to see lots of examples of that work and communicate your goals clearly.  Your plastic surgeon will be able to give you a better idea of whether the procedure will be potentially covered through health insurance. Also best to be accurate long-term stable weight prior to undergoing breast surgery.

 You may find the attached link helpful to you as you learn more about breast lifting/reduction surgery.

 Best wishes.

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.