How Will a Breast Reduction Hold Up After Additional Weightloss?

and will insurance cover an overweight individual's Breast Reduction.

Doctor Answers 4

Breast reduction coverage for overweight women

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Great question. Each insurance company has its own criteria for coverage.  Some use body mass index standards.  However, many years ago, a patient sued US Healthcare in federal court for discrimination based on weight.  Consequently, most insurers will cover gigantomastia (resection of more than 1000 grams of tissue per breast) regardless of the patient's weight.  I have a large breast reduction clientele and can honestly say that, even in women whose weight isn't ideal, the operation produces a tremendous reduction in back, neck and shoulder pain.  Women with macromastia have difficulty in losing weight because exercise is so painful so it's not uncommon to operate first and have the patient enter an exercise program afterwards.  Depending on the post-operative size of the breasts, there may be sagging after a significant weight loss but the degree of sagging is dependent on the patient's skin laxity among other things.   It is very important to discuss the amount of tissue to be removed and the implications of weight loss with your surgeon pre-operatively.  Insurance companies do not pay for secondary surgery for saggins as this is considered cosmetic.

How long will a Breast Reduction hold up after Weight loss?

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Dr Gary Breslow MD, FACS answers the patients question "Weight loss after Breast reduction", please see the video response for his answer! 

Gary D. Breslow, MD, FACS
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Weight loss after breast reduction

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Since the breast is composed of glandular tissue and fat, significant weight loss following breast reduction may result in a further decrease in breast size as well a drooping of the breasts (ptosis).  The best long term result is generally achieved if you are near your goal weight at the time of the procedure.  There are many overweight patients, however, who complain that the size of their breasts limits their ability to exercise, and as a result, their ability to lose weight.  Regarding insurance coverage, most insurance carriers that cover the procedure do not seem to have patient weight guidelines at the present time, however the amount of tissue required to be removed at the time of surgery tends to increase based on the patient's increased height and/or weight.

I would recommend that you consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine how the procedure may help you, and the timing that would be most appropriate for you.

Good luck.

Craig S. Rock, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Weight loss after Breast Reduction

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Thank you for the question.

You  will find that most patients who have significant weight loss after breast reduction surgery will experience a further decrease in the size of the breasts and/or more breast ptosis (sagging). These changes that occur secondary to weight loss may require further surgery  to achieve  the patient's goals. Therefore, it is in your best interests, if at all possible, to be closer to a stable weight prior to undergoing  the breast reduction procedure.

You will find the insurance companies will rarely approve breast reduction procedures  for patients who are  significantly overweight.

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.