American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
5 years ago

Breast Reduction

How many breast reduction surgeries can a woman have, and do the insurance company have a wait time before another breast reduction surgery be performed?

Procedure: Breast Reduction
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Replies 5

Steven Wallach
ASPS Surgeon
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If you are looking to have your breast reduction surgery covered by your insurance company, then I suggest you contact them to find out their criteria for approval. There is no specific number of breast reductions a person can or cannot have. However, it is unlikely for patients to have more than one, but on occasion may need a second

Shashidhar Kusuma
ASPS Surgeon

It usually is unusual to need more than one reduction. Having said that if the first reduction has not been adequate and based on the symptoms, another can be justified, The second operation will be and should be judged independent of the first and based on the criteria set forth by your insurance provider and the analysis of your surgeon.

Larry Leverett
ASPS Surgeon

Secondary breast reductions are occasionally performed if the patients breast continue to enlarge or if the primary reduction is inadequate. It is risky if the patient consumes nicotine (smoking, gum, etc). but it can be performed. The insurance company may not cover the costs because the amount of tissue removed may not qualify for coverage--even if the pre-auth is given.

Lori Cherup
ASPS Surgeon

I have performed 2 breast reductions on the same person - about 10 years apart. Most of the cause is weight gain. A second reduction is fraught with more problems. Blood supply to tissues is more marginal. Usually the patient needs a small reduction, but mostly a mastopexy. Seek out a plastic surgeon with experience in secondary reductions. Often scars can be less than the first time. Good luck, don't rush into it.

Jon Ver Halen

Dear Yvette,

Hello and thank you for your excellent question. It IS possible to have more than one breast reduction (or lift), although the repeated surgeries will modify the surgical approach that we can use on subsequent procedures. With regards to insurance coverage -- this is best to ask your insurer directly. It is best to answer your question during a face-to-face evaluation, when you can discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure, and you can have a physical examination to evaluate for that procedure. I recommend that you find a board-certified, or board-eligible plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable. Be sure to have all of your questions answered during a face-to-face meeting with your surgeon, and review before and after pictures of similar patients whom have had this procedure. If you have any questions, call our office for assistance. Good luck!


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