Is breast reduction surgery FMLA eligible?

Is breast reduction surgery covered under FMLA since it is often considered medically necessary for those whom have extremely large, heavy breasts that cause back and shoulder aches?

Doctor Answers 6


You reduction would make your eligible for time off per FMLA.  We fill these forms out all the time for patients. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews


The Family Medical Leave Act was passed in 1993 and allows patients to take up to twelve weeks off work for family medical issues.  Breast hypertrophy associated with symptoms might be ruled medically necessary by your insurance company.  Under these circumstances you would be eligible for FMLA.  Unfortunately, if the procedure isn’t covered by insurance you wouldn’t be eligible for FMLA because the procedure would be considered cosmetic.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Yes it is

if it is deemed medically necessary and requires three consecutive days of incapacitation ( the definition of serious condition) it is eligible for FMLA protection. Sufficient notice is required prior your procedure.

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

FMLA Eligibility after Breast Reduction

Most employers with FMLA would allow coverage for recovery from breast reduction surgery, but it is important to verify that if you are counting on it.  Good luck.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Is breast reduction surgery FMLA eligible?

It is likely that the procedure would be considered “eligible” but for reliable advice best to check with the appropriate agency.

 Best wishes; breast reduction surgery tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations  we perform.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

FMLA and Breast Reduction

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides an entitlement of up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period to eligible, covered employees for the following reasons: 1) birth and care of the eligible employee's child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee; 2) care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition; or 3) care of the employee's own serious health condition. It also requires that employee's group health benefits be maintained during the leave. The FMLA is administered by the Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor.

I doubt that a breast reduction would qualify as a serious health condition. 

Best wishes

George C. Peck, Jr, MD
West Orange Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 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.