When is breast reduction medically necessary?

May 28, 2024 | Blog

For many women, the physical burden of large breasts can be overwhelming. It may affect daily life, mobility, and even emotional well-being. While breast reduction surgery is often viewed through a cosmetic lens, it can help provide relief and freedom for those grappling with the physical and emotional toll of disproportionately large breasts.

What is Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction, also referred to as reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess breast tissue, fat, and skin. This results in smaller, lighter breasts that are more proportionate to the body.

Signs a Breast Reduction Maybe a Medical Necessity

Below are some of the main signs that a breast reduction may be a medical necessity:

  • Chronic Pain – if the weight of your breasts consistently causes neck, back, or shoulder pain, interfering with daily activities and quality of life, it could be a strong indicator for breast reduction.
  • Skin Issues – large breasts sometimes create an environment prone to skin irritation, rashes, infections, and even ulcerations beneath the breast crease. Surgery may be the solution if these issues persist despite proper hygiene and care.
  • Postural Problems – the weight of large breasts may lead to poor posture, contributing to back pain and potentially causing spinal misalignment over time. Breast reduction helps restore proper posture and alleviate associated discomfort.
  • Functional Limitations – if the size of your breasts restricts your ability to exercise, participate in physical activities you enjoy, or perform daily tasks, it could impact your overall health and well-being.
  • Psychological Distress – the emotional toll of living with large breasts can be significant, leading to self-consciousness, body image issues, and even depression.

Insurance Coverage for Breast Reduction

Many health insurance plans will cover breast reduction surgery if deemed medically necessary. This typically involves meeting specific criteria, such as removing a minimum amount of tissue and documenting chronic pain or functional limitations caused by breast size. It’s essential to consult with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and any necessary pre-authorization requirements.

Weight Considerations and Breast Reduction

There usually are no strict weight requirements for breast reduction surgery. However, maintaining a stable and healthy weight is generally recommended for optimal results and safety. Excessive weight may increase the risk of complications during and after surgery. Also, weight loss after breast reduction may negatively impact the aesthetic outcome. During the consultation, Dr. Vemula will be happy to discuss your weight and overall health to ensure you are a suitable candidate for this treatment.

Your Next Steps

If you experience any of the above problems, consult a qualified plastic surgeon like Dr. Rahul Vemula. Dr. Vemula will discuss your medical history, concerns, and goals during the consultation. The surgeon will then perform a physical examination and explain the procedure in detail. The surgeon’s team at V Plastic Surgery Monmouth County may also help you get started with insurance paperwork.