I'm 5'0, weigh 125 lbs and have a 38DDD breast size; is it out of the question to consider a breast reduction?

I've been 18 since Oct. I have constant upper and lower back pain. It isn't tremendously painful, but it's enough that I definitely notice and think about it every day. I have a small frame, and my breasts are disproportionately large in my opinion. I'm extremely self conscious and wear upwards of 3 sport bras daily. Do you think I would qualify for a reduction and if you do, what cup size would you recommend I go to? Do I need to lose weight first? Thanks so much! :)

Doctor Answers 7

Breast Reduction Candidate?

Hi Anna

From your photos and information, I would say that you are a great candidate for a breast reduction.  Assuming that you have medical insurance, there should not be a problem getting your procedure covered.  You would need to come in for a consultation where we would gather your information and submit it to your insurance carrier to find out for sure. 

In terms of size, I rarely give you a size because bra sizes are not standardized and one person's idea of a say a C cup may not be another person's idea of a C cup.  I find it better to find out what size you want and then we have ways of showing you what size we can make you when you are in the office. 

It is always helpfil to get your weight to close to your ideal as we can achieve an even better result, you reduce your risk for any potential complications and the insurance is even more likely to cover your breast reduction.

I use rapid recovery techniques so that you are up and able to do things the next day and I have added  some information for you here.

I hope that helps and if does please up vote this answer here to help others.

Best regards.

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

I'm 5'0, weigh 125 lbs and have a 38DDD breast size; is it out of the question to consider a breast reduction?

Thank you for your pictures and questions. I think that based on your photos and your description that you would be an excellent candidate for a breast reduction. This procedure would reduce the overall breast size, decrease the size of the areola, and put the nipple in a more appropriate position on your chest. I think you could have a very nice result. If you are looking to qualify for insurance approval, that would depend on the criteria your insurance has and those can vary. You should contact a local board certified plastic surgeon and ask them if they take your insurance and are willing to see you for an insurance covered breast reduction.

As for the cup size recommendation, I would not recommend a specific cup size. The ideal would be to remove enough breast tissue to help with your symptoms but to leave you with a shape and size that is appropriate for your frame. At your current weight, your BMI is 24 which is normal. I would not say that you would need to lose weight before surgery (as long as your weight has been stable for at least 6 months) and I would also say that your normal BMI will help you with your insurance approval.

Hope this helps!

Dallas Buchanan, MD
Spokane Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Reduction

Yes, you would definitely benefit from a breast reduction procedure. Insurance may cover the operation. To make that determination you will need to consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, have an exam, and then the doctor's office will communicate with the insurance carrier to see if you are covered. The benefit from a breast reduction is tremendous.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Is it out of the question to consider a breast reduction?

You appear to be a good candidate for a breast reduction, and you should not have to lose weight before your surgery. It is up to you what cup size you would like to aim for, although at age 18 you might still experience some breast growth over the next few years, so take that into consideration. If you are asking whether you would qualify for insurance coverage, that is dependent on your insurance company and its requirements, and whether you choose as a surgeon who is on your insurance plan.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Breast reduction

it appears from your photos and history that you are a good candidate for a breast reduction. Make sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the risks and benefits. Your bmi should be less than 31 to reduce the risks of the surgery.Your new cup size will be decided at you surgical consultation.

Laura A. Sudarsky, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Breast reduction surgery candidate?

I'm sorry to hear about the physical (and possible psychosocial) problems your disproportionately large breasts are causing you. It is probable that you are dealing with juvenile breast hypertrophy. You are wise in achieving your long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with breast reduction surgery.

In my practice, timing of breast reduction surgery is determined on a case-by-case basis. It is not too early to do your homework and learn as much as possible about breast reduction surgery and the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure. 

It will be important that you learn about the potential risks/complications associated with breast reduction surgery. Unsatisfactory scarring is one of the potential complications. Make sure you also understands that further surgery may be necessary in the future (for example if the breasts were to grow in size again).

On the other hand, breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform and I think that for the right patient (enough symptoms) it may be an excellent option (regardless of the age). 


My best advice: carefully select your plastic surgeon. Make sure that he/she has significant/demonstrable experience achieving the types of outcomes would be pleased with. Then it will be important for you to communicate your goals carefully (be careful of communicating goals in terms of cup sizes) prior to proceeding with the breast surgery. In my practice, I find the use of goal photographs and computer imaging very helpful during the communication process.


I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast reduction surgery concerns), helps. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Am I a candidate for breast reduction ?

Hi there, given your symptoms and the size of your breasts you are a candidate for breast reduction. 18 yrs old is a fair age although if you have not completed your breast development there is a small chance that your breasts may continue to grow even after surgery

Your next step would be to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon, who will discuss the process with you and if he/she determines that you are a good candidate will then submit the documents and pictures to your insurance company . The insurance will likely also require supporting documents from your medical doctor reg. medical necessity, from physical therapist if you have had any. Once all these documents have been submitted to insurance , they will review it and let you know about the coverage.

Good luck !

Shwetambara Parakh, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 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.