Breast Reduction: What Do I Need to Know & How to Get Started? (photo)

I'm 19(turning 20 in December), my frame is built oddly. My upper body is much bigger. When I wear a bikini(if I can find one even in my size) it's obvious how much my body is out of proportion. I weigh about 137lbs, and I'm 5'8. My breasts are either a 34DDD or a 32DDD. I have Humana Insurance. I'd really like to get my breasts dramatically reduced. The droop, & measuring from my nipples...they're about 5 inches away from my naval. I'd prefer a B or C cup. Can you please provide advice?

Doctor Answers 6

Getting a Breast Reduction

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You should be an excellent candidate for a breast reduction. Check your Humana policy to see if you can go to an out of network surgeon, however you may have to pay more out of pocket. If you can only see "in network" surgeon get a list from your insurance, then check credentials and make sure to pick a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Have a consultation with 2 or 3 and see who you feel most comfortable with, be sure to look at before and after pictures. It is also a good idea to ask if you can speak to a patient that will tell you of her experience. Good Luck!!

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Breast Reduction, insurance coverage and getting started

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Given your description of a pendulous DDD cup size breasts and a moderate body build, I believe you would be a candidate for a breast reduction.  To get started on the process, I would suggest you do an internet search for board certified plastic surgeons in your area.  Call the doctor's office and check to see if they routinely preform breast reduction surgery and if they accept your insurance.  At your consultation, ask the doctor if you can see before and after photos of their breast reduction patients.  Also ask the doctor to review the risks and limitations of the surgery with you.  In most cases, if the amount of reduction is significant, insurance companies will help cover the cost of the surgery.  Your surgeon will probably need to submit pre operative photos to your insurance company for approval.  Best wishes.


Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Breast Reduction Info?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Based on your description you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery. You will be able to find a lot of information about the pros/cons  as well as the potential risk/complications of the procedure  online;  I think you will find that it is one of the most patient pleasing operations plastic surgeons 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.

As  you think  about  breast reduction surgery make sure you do your homework and understand the potential risks and complications associated with  the procedure.  Unsatisfactory scarring is  one of the potential complications. Make sure you also understands that further surgery may be necessary in the future (for example if the breasts were to grow in size again).

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).
If at all possible, it is best to wait until after completing pregnancies before undergoing breast reduction surgery. Again, doing so will minimize the chances that patients will require further surgery after pregnancy related breast changes. Patients who seek breast reduction after pregnancy should wait at least 3 to 6 months after they have stopped breast-feeding and when they have reached their long stable weight.  

On the other hand, if patients are not planning on having children for several years, then breast reduction surgery may be indicated;  these patients will enjoy the benefits of a breast reduction surgery on a daily basis. However, these patients should also be aware that further surgery may be necessary after completion of pregnancies.

Of critical importance will be the selection of your plastic surgeon. It will be up to you to do your due diligence in the process of selecting a plastic surgeon  who has significant experience helping patients in your situation. I would suggest starting with the American Society of Plastic Surgery and/or the Aesthetic Society of Plastic Surgery to obtain a list of well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

Then, I would suggest you visit a few surgeons whose practices  concentrate on  breast surgery. Ask  to see lots of examples of their work and preferably speak/see patients who have had similar procedures done.

Unfortunately,  no plastic surgeon is able to accurately predict what cup size you will end up wearing after breast reduction.  As you know, breast cup size will  different depending on the bra  manufacturer.  Therefore communicating your goals in reference to achieving a certain cup size may be confusing and/or a source of dissatisfaction.
I would suggest that you communicate your goals with your plastic surgeon ( I prefer the use of goal pictures)  and ask him/her to do his/her best to achieve the results you're looking for.

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.

 I hope this helps.

Good candidate for breast reduction - how to get started

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You are an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery and will be amazed at how much more comfortable you will be, both physically and psychologically, after having the procedure.  This is a common procedure.  Ask your PCP, gynecologist, family, friends for recommendations for an experienced, qualified Plastic Surgeon.  Then go to 2 or 3 for consultation until you feel comfortable you have found the right one.  Finally, that surgeon will have to get your procedure "pre-authorized" by your health insurance company by sending them a letter (with photos) explaining your situation and why the procedure is medically necessary.  Once the surgery is approved (and I think you have a very good chance it will be), it is simply a matter of decided when it is most convenient to have it done.


Good luck!

Breast reduction or a lift?

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A breast reduction may or may not be reasonable for you.  You  may be considering a lift. As for insurance coverage, all insurance companies are a bit different and you have to call your insurance company about their requirements.

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

Breast Reduction: What Do I Need to Know & How to Get Started?

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It is certainly possible you could benefit from a breast reduction. The best way, really the only good way, to get your questions answered is to see a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in the procedure and take it from there.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 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.