Approximate Minimum Amount Removal for Insurance to Cover a Reduction? (5'2, 130lbs, 34DD/DDD)?

I am 20 years old, 5'2, 130lbs and have size 34 DD/DDD breasts. Does anyone have any idea what the minimum amount that my insurance (Cigna) would require to be removed? Or, what is the minimum amount required by other insurance companies (in general) for women of this build? I am aware that this question is nearly impossible to answer accurately without an exam. But if anyone has any approximations or anything from a similar situation, I would greatly appreciate any info! Thank you!

Answers (10)

Gram weight for breast reduction

The usual minimum in NY is 500 grams per breast. Occasionally, Cigna will authorize a case in the 450 gram range on a petite woman but will require documented conservative management such as physical therapy or pain medication for at least 6 months. The current guidelines, which they treat as gospel, are available on the Cigna website.

Usually over 500gm/side

Each company is different --- call them and ask. They might not give you a straight answer, but remind them that y ou pay them for insurance and they should be responsive to you.

What is the minimum amount of tissue to be removed in breast reduction to get insurance coverage.

Thank you for your question. 

Unfortunately, getting breast reduction covered through Health Insurance has become increasingly more difficult.  Each insurance carrier has specific guidelines and rules and many of them can vary.  In my own area some insurance carriers require prior authorization and review of photographs before they make a commitment.  Many of these companies also require a minimum of 500 to 600 g be removed.

If you are truly a triple D size breast it is likely that your surgeon will remove enough tissue, but certainly the amount removed will affect your size so you have to be certain that you are getting what you want.

Many insurance carriers will no longer give approval prior to surgery.  They send a letter explaining that they will determine benefits after the procedure.  Unfortunately, this approach can lead to significant financial liability on the part of the patient.  I always recommend that my patients obtain a guarantee of payment from their insurance carrier prior to surgery so that they have no surprises.


Hope this helps.

Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction is a complicated procedure that is best done by those with the most training and experience. It is very difficult to determine the resultant cup size and shape based solely on the number of grams that are removed from your breast to best match your ideal breast image without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. Not just any board certified plastic surgeon, but one with many years of frequently performing breast reduction and lift surgeries, including different approaches, techniques and even fat transfer and implant choices if you are lacking superior breast fullness.
This is because several measurements—not to mention breast characteristics such as density—are needed to determine how much and where to remove breast tissue to meet your goals. Without knowing your existing breast shape, dimensions, and the density of your breast tissue, it would be difficult to make this determination. For example, the same volume of breast tissue will weigh different amounts (measured in ounces or grams) in different people depending on its density. The existing base width of your breast and what you will ultimately want to look like will determine, in many cases, the maximal volume and weight that will need to be removed for the best result.

Please click on the link below for more information!
Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
185 reviews

Insurance Coverage and Requirements

Breast reduction may or may not be covered depending on your insurance carrier and your breast size. Please check your insurance policy to see whether breast reduction is a covered procedure. Often times, insurance company will dictate how much breast tissue to be removed. Please visit an experiences, board-certified plastic surgeon to learn about the procedure, its cons and pros, benefits, and alternatives. Please contact your insurance carrier to learn about inclusion and exclusion criteria. Best wishes.
Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Ultimate Breast Reduction alternatie to Wise pattern

At size 5'2 and 130 lbs your body surface area is 1.6 meters squared.  Using the Aetna table, they would require 460 gram removal.  At size 34 each 100 grams corresponds to 1 cup size change.  If you are a DDD that would take you down to between an A and a B.  That would be an excessive amount of removal and you will be dissatisfied with the result.  Insurance companies require this in order to discourage you from doing the procedure.  There is an alternative technique called The Ultimate Breast Reduction, which relieves pain by transferring the weight of the breast to the underlying muscle.  This is done without a vertical scar and maintains the size proportionate to your body size.  Breast feeding and nipple sensitivity are maintained and surgery is performed without the ugly vertical scars as in the Wise pattern that was developed in 1956.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Breast reduction requirements for insurance

Insurance companies look at many different variables when coming up with a weight to remove from the breasts.  These include; height, weight, various breast measurements, and pictures of your breasts.  Most insurance companies require a weight that leaves you approximately a B cup after surgery.  This can vary depending on your body habitus and BMI. Meaning, they could require 500gm per breast for a woman 6ft tall and only 250gm for someone 5ft.  The best thing to do is see a plastic surgeon and discuss the options. I hope this helps you.

Kindest regards,

Neil J. Zemmel 

Breast Reduction and Insurance Coverage?

Congratulations on your decision to consider breast reduction surgery; this operation is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

 Unfortunately, there is no way to predict with any accuracy what a specific person's  specific policy requires when it comes to weight reduction surgery.

The best way to obtain insurance coverage for breast reduction surgery involves some “hoops” to jump through. The more documentation you have (for example, from your primary care doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor etc.) the better when it comes to obtaining insurance “authorization” for the procedure.
This documentation and letter/pictures from your plastic surgeon will help you obtain authorization.

Also, when dealing with insurance companies, prepare to be persistent...

 Best wishes.

Minimum breast reduction

There is no specific minimum breast reduction volume that a given insurance company will deem for all patients. It is based upon your height and weight.  Many insurance companies make it very difficult to cover this procedure.

Steven Wallach, MD
Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
30 reviews

Required minimum Amoun of breast tissue removed for insurance coverage

Mostof f the insurance companies cite a number of 400 cc.

You have to know that there is no science behind this regulation.

Studies have shown that even 200g reductions are beneficial and decrease shoulder and back pain.

There is a large body of literature supporting this issue.

Your surgeon should be able to fight with the insurance companies on your behalf if less than 400 grams of reduction on each side is required.

Good luck 

David Evdokimow, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon

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.

Ask a Provider

Get personalized answers from board-certified doctors.