Is Breast Asymmetry Surgery Covered By Insurance?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have breast asymmetry and am interested in breast augmentation/lift surgery. I am 18 years old and have had two children. My breasts are significantly different by at least two cup sizes and have been so for six years. I have Tricare insurance. I am wondering if my being 18 years old is ok for breast surgery because I have already had two children so my body is done growing. I’ve spoken with my family doctor about wanting to have this done because its already done a lot of physiological damage to me.

A: Significant breast asymmetry is always a challenge in any form of cosmetic or reconstructive breast surgery. Having had two children and being two cup sizes different almost certainly speaks to the potential of needing some form of a breast lift on at least one the breasts (usually the larger one) and perhaps implants for both. Until I can see some pictures of your breasts I can not be any more helpful in recommending a specific plastic surgery treatment plan as there is great variability in many cases of breast asymmetry.

What is known now, however, is that insurance is not going to cover this type of breast surgery. Unless it is a case of reconstruction after breast cancer, breast reshaping surgery will be considered as a cosmetic procedure by any insurance provider today. The fact that you may have developed this through no fault of your own and it has a significant negative impact on your self-esteem is something that I have learned carries little weight with insurance companies.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana