Will Insurance Pay To Have My Puffy Nipples Fixed?

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I’m a skinny guy with puffy areolar tissue. I’ve had it my entire life. It is not steroid induced. Considering surgery, I am a student covered under Anthem Blue Shield insurance. I am not sure if it will be covered. I hunch my posture to conceal the protrusion in shirts, and it has lead to a lot of neck and back pain. I do not have a picture of it, but my build and areolar shape look exactly like the case study on your website for gynecomastia reduction for athletes/body builders.

A: The amount of gynecomastia the patient to which you refer had is the most type that I see. It is a harder type of gynecomastia that causes the puffy nipple appearance due to its mass effect. The amount of breast tissue present is much more significant that it looks on the outside. It must be removed through an open approach using a lower areolar incision. This smaller type of gynecomastia is not covered by insurance in my experience and is considered a cosmetic procedure. The overall cost of an open gynecomastia reduction procedure done under general anesthesia taking one and a half hours of operative time is in the range of $4500 to $5000.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana