Breast Reduction from G Cup: What Size is Appropriate

I am 37 years old, 5'7", 158 lbs, 36G (increased from 32F prior to kids). My goal weight is 135 lbs and I am now losing weight. What type of breast reduction is most appropriate for me, what is the approx cost, and is it likely to be covered by insurance? Is liposuction an option? What size breast would you recommend I go down to?

Doctor Answers 13

Breast Reduction Size

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Unfortunately, no one can give you a precise answer to your question.

It is however, very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon.  In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C cup” or "fake looking" means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.
I have found the use of pictures very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible ( although no system is 100% accurate).

Best wishes.

Determing size for breast reduction

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Large breasts can restrict your lifestyle and cause a variety of medical problems. Even drastic weight loss won't result in more than negligible shrinkage. Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue and reshapes the contour of the breasts so that they are smaller and perkier. I commonly use a minimal incision technique (Le Jour), eliminating the need for large scars while providing a pleasing breast contour and shape that is proportionate to the patients body.

Your surgeon knows exactly how much tissue he or she is taking out, because it is weighed after removal. And breast reduction comes with an added bonus: the extracted breast tissue is always sent to the lab and examined by a pathologist for signs of cysts or cancer. Having smaller breasts can take years off your appearance!

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast reduction, choosing the right size

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Hi. Breast reduction surgery patients are some of my happiest patients. The procedure benefits patients  both functionally and cosmetically. In deciding what size to reduce  the breast to "C" or "D" is most common. I ask women to consider their pant size to keep things in proportion. We don't like buying a suit where the jacket or top is one size and the bottom has to be a different size. That goes for dresses too. So if you are a size 6 on the bottom, for example, you probably should be a B-C on the top. Your surgeon should consider your chest width, size of the breast and technique to be used. Some techniques can not reduce a breast as much as others.  Some breast reductions are covered by insurance if the criteria are met. You are asking all the right questions. You need to have the answers clear before the surgery.

Sheila Bond, MD
Montclair Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Breast reduction

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It depends on how much of a reduction you want. You should wait until you've reached 135lbs then see how your body looks. Then, figure out how much of a reduction you want. Liposuction can be performed at the same time as your reduction, but I don't think it should be the only method you have done to reduce your breast size. You may also require excision (a lollipop scar or vertical scar breast reduction may work).

Insurance may cover your procedure, but it depends on how much tissue is removed and if you're experiencing pain due to your large breasts.

Goal breast reduction size- what should I aim for?

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You are doing a good thing to really think about ideal breast size prior to surgery. 1. Lose the weight first. You want to lose weight. Weight affects proportion, can affect breast size, and if you lose weight after the surgery it will loosen the lift and tightening. 2. Technical factors (pedicle length) may affect how small you can go. The droopier you are, the more limitation in general you would have. 3. You may drop down from a 36 again. I liposuction the axilla when doing a reduction. In some patients this can drop them to a 34 or 32. This affects cup size, as a 36C is similar breast volume to a 34D. (You said you used to be a 32.) 4. Keep proportion. 5. Discuss you with your doctor- your desires, activities, etc. 6. If you plan on future pregnancies, wait.

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction goal size is a personal decision

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Your breast size following breast reduction surgery depends on multiple variables including: height, weight, pre-operative breast size, and ultimately the patient's aesthetic desires. Although breast reduction for symptomatic macromastia is very much a functional operation (i.e. it is performed to improve function and reduce symptoms like back pain and rashes below the breast), aesthetic preferences should also be considered. This operation is frequently covered by medical insurance carriers. To learn more about the criteria, click on the link below.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Breast reduction insurance coverage.

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Insurance Coverage for Breast Reduction

Article by George J. Beraka, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon80% of breast reduction questions on RealSelf are about insurance coverage. Here are some helpful points.

1)  Insurance companies try very hard not to pay for breast reduction, even though they should. Even small breast reductions relieve many symptoms such as back pain and shoulder pain, and even some types of headaches.

2)  Very big reductions (like from an F cup to a C cup) will usually be covered.

3)  Many policies will pay for breast reduction if 500 grams (a little more than a pound) or more are removed from each breast.

4)  Some policies take your height and weight into account. So that if you are tiny, smaller reductions will be covered. Find out the details of your policy.

5)  DON'T get too much of a reduction just to satisfy the insurance company. You will be unhappy with tiny breasts.

6)  Your surgeon needs to request pre-certification IN WRITING, and attach as much evidence as possible.

7)  Evidence includes letters from your internist, orthopedic surgeon, and/or chiropractor stating that breast reduction will relieve your symptoms.

8)  Some companies require that you try "alternative treatments" such as weight loss and physical therapy first.

9)  Don't give up. If the first request is denied, demand an appeal.

10)  If there is no insurance, and you cannot afford to pay a private surgeon, go to the plastic surgery clinic of a teaching hospital. There, residents do the surgery under supervision, and the cost is minimal. In New York City, we train residents and fellows at Lenox Hill Hospital, and they do good work.


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

Breast reduction

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I would recommend that you reach your goal weight first. A breast reduction may be covered by your insurance. The size you can reach will depend on your anatomy.

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Questions on breast reduction surgery

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Since your goal is to lose some additional weight which you have been successful at doing, you should get close to your target weight before undergoing a breast reduction. The long term results with this approach will be more precise and the desired shaped maintained better.

Whether or not a breast reduction will be covered by your insurance company will depend on your specific plan as well as the criteria that they set forth for coverage. Some insurance plans make breast reduction an exclusion for coverage.

Finally, you need to discuss with your plastic surgeon the issue of size. You want to be small enough to make a significant difference in symptoms and appearance but not too small to be disproportionate. Most women aim for a size in the C/D range.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast Reduction Appropriate Size

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There is no "correct" size for a breast after a reduction. Determining a goal size is a team effort between the patient and the surgeon, and it takes into account the patient's dimensions and preferences along with the surgeon's understanding that the ultimate goal of the procedure is to reduce breast weight and shape to alleviate the symptoms of overly large breasts. A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon should answer your questions of cost, technique, and insurance issues, as these can vary greatly. Generally, insurance can cover breast reduction as long as you meet the criteria for medical necessity (back/neck/shoulder pain, shoulder grooving from bra straps, and recurrent infections underneath your breasts). If you have a line item exclusion for breast reduction in your insurance policy, you will have to pay for your surgery out of pocket. Good luck!

Derek Lou, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.