I Need a Breast Reduction but Can't Afford the Cost or Insurance? (photo)

I am a 26 yr old white female in michigan. i am very short (only 4'7") and a bit hefty (over 200lbs).i have tried to lose weight most of which has only been successful for other parts of my body. the most noticeable weight is my 48L breasts. my doctors say i need to have a breast reduction. But i can not even afford insurance let alone the cost of a surgery on my own. are there possibly any surgeons that would take on my case as a charity case or teaching case? i would greatly appreciate it.

Doctor Answers 9

Weight Loss and Breast Reduction without Insurance

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          I would recommend weight loss as well, but you clearly have an issue that needs to be remedied.  Have you tried applying for Medicare or Medicaid?  You may be able to find a surgeon who would waive the surgeon's fee or a teaching institution for a reduced fee.  However, most surgeons also pay a surgery center for the time in the operating room.  Your surgery would likely take 3 to 4 hours and may cost $4000 or more just to cover anesthesia and OR costs. 

Breast Reduction cost

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It will be difficult to find any institution offering breast reduction at no cost.  You may consider a teaching hospital but I am not sure if you would find one willing to do it for free.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Affordable breast reduction

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You can keep the costs under control by having the surgery done the surgeon's office operating room.  We do these all the time.  The other options are financing like CareCredit, or try a residency training program near you.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Reduction Candidate but no Finances or Insurance Coverage??

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Thank you for the question and picture.

 Based on your description, I think you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery. As you know, it will be in your best interest to drop your weight closer to a long-term stable weight prior to undergoing the procedure. Doing so, will help decrease the risk associated with surgery and minimize  chances that additional surgery will be necessary afterwards.

 You will need to take steps towards attaining health insurance and/or establishing a personal “breast fund” that you use to gradually  save for the procedure.

 Best wishes for persistence in your efforts; breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations performed.

I Need a Breast Reduction but Can't Afford the Cost or Insuranc

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Yes you can see the residents in Plastic Surgery at the local university as a resident case. But I bet they would recommend a gastric bypass to have you loss 100 pounds before undertaking a reduction. 

Free Breast Reduction

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I find it unlikely that you will be able to find free breast reduction.  However, you can check with your local teaching hospital and see if they having a training program for residents.  In these clinics you can usually get reduced cost surgery with the understanding that it will be the resident in training performing the surgery.  There is still some cost involved such as the anesthesia and operating room fees, so it will not be a free surgery.  However, my suggestion is, as others have pointed out, to try and get on your state assisted insurance.


Good Luck.

I Need a Breast Reduction but Can't Afford the Cost or Insurance?

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Thanks for your question. I would agree that a breast reduction will be of great benefit for you and should greatly decrease your discomfort. However we do not do breast reduction on a patient whose weight puts them over a  BMI of 35. It is an elective procedure and risks to your health go up significantly over that BMI. At 4'7"" that means a weight over 150 pounds. I understand that at present a reduction is not financially feasible but for now my advice is to concentrate on getting your weight down and increasing your fitness while planning for a ruture reduction either through a savings program or by obtaining insurance.

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

Breast reduction

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While it appears in the photo that you ahve very large breasts it does appear that you are significantly overweight as well. I suggest losing weight first.  You will need to obtain insurance before undergoing the reduction unless you are going to pay for it yourself.

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


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It appears from your photo that you still have weight to lose. The breasts do not weigh 40lbs each. Maybe 2-5 lbs. per breast are usually removed (more in extreme cases). No doubt surgery would help you, but there are no charities or teaching cases perse. You might look into financing.

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.