I have what I would call too big boobs and because of weight and also my chubbiness they are hanging.

I would like to have an operation, as they bother me not only in a sense of how they look, but also they impact my wellbeing. Breathing becomes at times harder and my shoulders hurt also exercising is quite difficult (I mean really active exercising). I was wondering what are the prices for breast lift(maybe +reduction) in different places (as many places as you know, included europe). And is it possible for the health insurance to cover it (since it indeed does influence my health). Thanks.

Doctor Answers 6

Breast reduction

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Yours is a classic description of symptomatic macromastia. Breast reduction surgery has been studied scientifically to reduce and improve the symptoms you have described. This surgery has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates in all of plastic surgery. If you were  my relative I would strongly suggest you investigate this option.  Depending upon your insurance povider and their criteria your breast reduction may be covered.

Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Large Breasts

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Thsnk you for your question . It sounds like you are s candidate for a Breast reduction . Most insurance companies require documentation from your primary care physician  of neck , back, and shoulder pain that has not responded to conservative measures . Shoulder grooving from bra straps and rashes are also used for documentation. To start you may want to find out what your particular insurance company requires in order to Pay for your procedure .Good Luck . 

Joanne Lopes, MD
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast reduction candidate...

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Thank you for the question. Based on your description, you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery at some point. “Official” recommendations of course would necessitate in-person consultation.

Breast reduction surgery is 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. When a breast reduction is performed, a breast “lift” occurs as part of the procedure. Patients often find improvement in neck, back, and shoulder discomfort and find it easier to form their activities of daily living and exercise. 

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 ( as you are doing).  In doing so, there is an "improvement" in the safety of the procedure and the need for further surgery ( in the event of weight gain/loss after the breast reduction procedure) is minimized.  Breasts may change, unpredictably, after pregnancy.  Often, changes seen with pregnancy include a decrease in size and/or change in position.

Sometimes breast  reduction surgery is covered through health insurance. 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.

When the time is right,  seek consultation with well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeons. Ask to see lots of examples of their work and communicate your goals clearly.  I suggest that you do not communicate your goals in terms of achieving a specific cup size. For example, a “C cup” may mean different things to different people and therefore may be a source of miscommunication. In my practice, I ask patients to communicate their goals with the help of goal photographs. I hope this, and the attached link, helps.  Best wishes.

Breast reduction

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A breast reduction when indicated can often be covered by insurance. You should also check with your insurance company to determine their criteria.

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

Breast reduction symptoms and cost.

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Thanks for your question. While there can be many causes of back pain and the like Breast reduction in the large breasted woman is usually a good step in the right direction.

Health insurance plans will sometimes cover breast reduction, but it really depends upon your plan. You would have to check with your insurance provider. If they do offer coverage you may have to stay with a Doctor in your plan. Many Plastic surgeon offer the surgery as a cosmetic surgery for patients who do not have coverage in their plan or want to go with a doctor outside their plan. Cost can vary depending on your area, but about $8000 is average.

Patients do go abroad, but by the time you include airfare, hotels and the like it does not make a lot of sense to me. Patients returning from abroad often struggle with lack of good follow up from their surgeons.

I have include some FAQ below.

Best wishes, Hope I've helped.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Breast reduction options

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Hello and thank you for your question. It is very common for women with large heavy breasts to complain about back neck and shoulder pain.

Many women will often resort to using multiple bras,  Motrin,  pain medication and attempts at chiropractor or physical therapy. To date there is no medical or scientific study proving that non-surgical options are of any value in treating this. The only treatment that is successful is breast reduction surgery. 

a breast lift will improve your shape and remove the excess sagging skin, but will not alleviate the heaviness and weight of a too large breast. Some insurance companies will cover a breast reduction but will NOT cover a breast lift. Lifts are considered cosmetic and not functional. The cost will vary from region to region. In the Washington DC area, the average cost for a breast reduction ranges from 7000-9500. 

You should seek several consultations with board-certified plastic surgeons in your area before making any decisions.As always it is best to be healthy, no smoking, and to make sure any health concerns you have are managed by your primary care physician.

Best to you

Bennett Yang, MD

Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 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.