I'm Not Sure to Get a Reduction or Lift or Both? (photo)

I'm 5'1 and 170 lbs. My chest size is 38 H and have been since I was 15 (currently 21) It's caused me great back and neck pain and every attempt to sit up straight causes unbearable pain. I've recently lost 70 lbs and the pain has only gotten worse. They've become incredibly saggy and there is a lot of excess skin. The weight of the actual breast just pulls the skin down. Would a combo of a lift reduction be a good idea or can anyone give me some insight? Would insurance help with me this?

Doctor Answers 11

Breast lift versus reduction

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Thank you for the question and photos.  A breast reduction includes a breast lift.  A breast lift is a procedure that shapes the breast but does not remove any breast tissue.  Since you are having symptoms that may be associated with your breast size I suspect that you would be better served by a breast reduction.  Your insurance company may cover the surgery but each insurance company have their own specific requirements for covering breast reduction.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Breast reduction, lift or both.

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The picture shows that you need a breast reduction. A breast lift is part of the breast reduction procedure, so you would automatically get a lift after a proper breast reduction. 

Lift or reduction

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From your pictures and description, you sound like an ideal candidate for a breast reduction. And due to your symptoms, insurance may very well cover it. A reduction lifts as well as decreases the size of your breasts and is more likely to improve your back pain. Seek a consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who should be able to help you. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

A small reduction and lift

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When you have a well done reduction, you get a lift, looks like you can use this. It can be done as an outpatient with minimal down time. Come in and be seen.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

I'm Not Sure to Get a Reduction or Lift or Both?

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Based on the posted photos I would recommend a Lift/reduction (small amount) to achieve desired results. Seek IN PERSON consults from ONLY boarded PSs in your city. 

Breast reduction or lift?

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By your description and photos you appear to be a good candidate for a breast reduction. A reduction does include lifting the breast and nipples while reducing the volume. A lift only lifts the tissue without significant reduction of volume. Your symptoms of pain should be helped by reducing the size and weight of your breast.

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast Reduction and Breast Lift: Similarities and Differences

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-A breast reduction removes a significant amount of breast tissue and skin, whereas a breast lift (mastopexy) removes some skin and rearranges the breast tissue.

-A breast reduction, by necessity, ends up "lifting" the breast as well as making it quite a bit smaller.  A breast lift will not change the size of your breast significantly, but will improve its shape and will raise the location of your nipple and areola.

-Based on your symptoms and photo, it does appear that a breast reduction may help alleviate some of your discomfort.  Additionally, the appearance of your breasts would also be improved after a breast reduction. 

-Insurance may cover your breast reduction, if the plastic surgeon you meet with anticipates that enough breast tissue will be able to be removed to satisfy your particular insurance plan's requirements.  Also, many insurance companies require that their patients first try other methods such as physical therapy to relieve discomfort .

Best of luck to you!

A good breast reduction includes a lift.

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I think you need both.  Recommend vertical (Hall-Findlay) technique.  You are big enough that you should get insurance reimbursement.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Breast Lift Will Not Help Neck/Back Pain

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A breast lift alone is unlikely to improve the pain in your neck and back.  It appears that you would benefit from a breast reduction which could be covered by your insurance.  Obtain a consultation with a BC plastic surgeon who can discuss the benefits/risks of surgery with you and communicate with your insurance carrier.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Breast Reduction/ Lift him And Insurance Coverage?

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Congratulations on your significant weight loss.

 Based on your description and photograph, I think you will benefit from some degree of breast reduction surgery. Keep in mind, that  when your breasts are reduced they are “lifted” at the same time.

How much of a breast reduction you on the go will depend on your personal size goals. These goals should be communicated with your plastic surgeon,  who you choose after doing careful due diligence.  I prefer the use of goal pictures to help with this communication process (as opposed to a discussion of cup size which can be somewhat arbitrary and/or confusing).

Make sure your  surgeon is a board-certified plastic surgeon who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients in your situation.

Sometimes, depending on the insurance company and the specific patient, breast reduction surgery is covered through insurance plans. 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.

 I hope this helps.

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.