American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
4 years ago

Breast reduction surgery

Hi, I’m a 17 year old female and I wear a 36DD. I weigh about 140 so I’m not necessarily fat, I’ve worked out to try to lose weight in my breasts but it only further proved that exercise and dieting does nothing. I have indentions in my shoulder bones from my bra straps along with back problems. I’m just wondering if insurance would cover a procedure such as mine? (I have passport at the moment)

Procedure: Breast Reduction
Location: prospect, KY

Replies 6

Debra Johnson
ASPS Surgeon

A plastic surgeon can evaluate your breasts and determine whether breast reduction is appropriate for you. You would need your parents permission since you are younger than 18. You should be at a healthy weight, which would mean having a BMI in the normal range. If your BMI is higher than 25, then losing some weight prior to surgery would be better for your overall health. You can call the customer service number of your health insurance to inquire if breast reduction is a covered benefit. Breast reduction prior to childbearing can reduce your ability to breastfeed, and pregnancy after a reduction can result in a change in breast size.

Warren Schutte
ASPS Surgeon

Sounds like you are symptomatic and it may be covered. But that depends on your insurance. Some policies don’t cover reductions at all. And, at age 17 you have to accept that your breast size could continue to grow even after surgery. I personally don’t feel like this is a deal breaker for you having surgery. Hopefully, we will all be open for business soon and can help you. Stay healthy

Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your question. It would be best to first call your insurance carrier to see if they cover the costs associated with a breast reduction. If they do, then proceed to make consultations with various plastic surgeons to get the best surgical advice. Because of your age you will need to go with a parent. Hope this helps.

Michelle Copeland
ASPS Surgeon
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Thank you for your question! Large breasts may not only interfere with your physical ability to function in daily activities but can be emotionally burdensome as well. From what you describe you are a candidate for a breast reduction. Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue and reshapes the contour of the breasts so that they are smaller and perkier. It is possible to do a breast reduction with a minimal scar technique and can also be done as an outpatient procedure under twilight sedation. It's important to be sure expectations are realistic and you have an understanding of the commitment needed for the healing process. Make sure that you understand the nature of your surgery, the recovery process, and that you feel comfortable and emotionally ready to make these changes to your body. I suggest you make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon who will examine you and go over your surgical options in detail.

Michael Streitmann
ASPS Surgeon

I have performed breast reduction on teenagers. They were miserable before surgery, and so happy afterwards. Your surgeon can discuss all of the pros and cons, and then you can make an informed decision to proceed or not.

Sophie Bartsich
ASPS Surgeon


Breast reduction is a life changing operation.

While you sound like you have good indications for the procedure, many insurance companies are hesitant to approve these surgeries for very young women.

Once you pick your surgeon, she will request authorization from the insurance company. There are specific items that may, if included, help your case. Finding a surgeon who has experience with approvals and appeals. Your success may also depend on your plan- some are easier to work with than others.

Good luck!


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