Can I Get A Breast Reduction At My Weight?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 38 year old female. I had lap-banding in June 2012 and have since lost a lot of weight. I have gone from 339lbs to 268lbs. Currently, I am contacting you because I need help. I have always had large breasts. I have a 48E bra size at this time and despite my weight loss, have not decreased in bra size. My concern now, is that I have not been able to exercise properly because of the pain that my large breasts cause. In fact, in November of this last year I had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on an emergent basis due to a severely herniated c6-c7 disc- presumably caused by my large breasts. I have recently sought several consultations for a breast reduction due to this, but the consensus is that I need to have a lower BMI. I have very few comorbidities, so my surgical risk is minimal. Would it be reasonable to request a consultation from your office? I have Blue Cross Blue Shield and if deemed “medically necessary” breast reduction is a covered entity.

A: Thank you for your inquiry. While your weight may still be high by ‘ideal’ standards, the symptoms you experience with your breasts are not likely to be improve regardless of further weight loss. From that perspective, breast reduction at this point is not unreasonable. Sometimes the breast reduction just needs to be done regardless of the patient’s weight. This is more of getting the procedure approved through insurance at your weight than it is about the technical capability to do the procedure or in its ability to heal.

Dr. Barry Eppley