Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How Much Weight Do You Have To Lose To Get A Breast Reduction

If you are considering getting a breast reduction, you may be wondering how much weight you need to lose to qualify for the procedure.

The answer is that there isn’t a set minimum or maximum weight that qualifies you for a breast reduction. Instead, your surgeon will evaluate your body mass index (BMI). You can use an online calculator to estimate your BMI by entering your height and weight into the formula. The normal range is between 18 and 25; anything outside of this range would be considered overweight or obese. In this guide, we review How much weight do you have to lose to get a breast reduction, breast reduction requirements for insurance, will breast reduction help lose weight, and should you lose weight before having a breast reduction?

How Much Weight Do You Have To Lose To Get A Breast Reduction

While it’s true that being overweight may make it more difficult for you, reducing your BMI to within the normal range should not be required before undergoing a breast reduction.

If you’re looking to get a breast reduction, the first step is to find out how much weight you need to lose in order to qualify for the procedure.

While there are no set guidelines, most surgeons will look for someone who has at least 100 pounds to lose before considering a breast reduction. The reason for this is that a person’s body mass index (BMI) is an important factor when considering a procedure like this. A BMI over 30 is considered obese and can make it difficult for an individual to lose weight on their own.

This doesn’t mean that if you have less than 100 pounds to lose, you won’t be able to get a breast reduction—it just means that you may need help from your doctor or nutritionist before making an appointment with your surgeon.

If you’re considering a breast reduction, it’s important to know exactly how much weight you need to lose to qualify for the procedure.

The first thing you should know is that not all surgeons have the same requirements. Some may require you to be at a certain BMI (Body Mass Index), while others may ask that you be within a certain range of height and weight.

It’s also important to know that if your BMI is above 30 and you have breast tissue that is overweight or obese, then a reduction will not fix your problem. You’ll still need to lose weight before the procedure can take place.

If you are below the recommended BMI but still have a lot of fat in your chest, then this procedure might be right for you. It is designed specifically for those who have excess amounts of fat in their breasts AND are otherwise healthy enough for surgery.

You’re about to lose a lot of weight, but you’re not sure how much you need to lose to get your breast reduction.

If you’re a woman with large breasts, you know how difficult it can be to find clothes that fit. You might have to buy your shirts a size or two larger than normal, and when you sit down, your breasts may look like they’re about to pop out of the top of your shirt. This can be embarrassing and uncomfortable.

If you’ve decided that the best option for you is a breast reduction surgery, it’s important to know what causes large breasts in the first place. Why do some women have larger breasts than others? And what weight loss is needed before undergoing this procedure?

In this article, we’ll answer all these questions and more so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not surgery is right for you!

How much weight do you have to lose to get a breast reduction

While it is possible to have a breast reduction at your current weight, it is certainly safer for you to lose weight to at least under 200 lb. , and preferably more. If you lose weight prior to surgery, your breast shape will be better and more stable than if you lose it after.

Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is an elective surgery that helps women with overly large breasts to overcome their discomforts. One of the essential requirements for this surgery is being at or close to your ideal body weight, as it can highly affect the appearance of your breasts.

If you wonder about the benefits of losing weight before breast reduction surgery or whether this operation will help you lose weight in the future, read the following article and questions. 

Lose Weight Before Breast Reduction

What Are the Benefits of Breast Reduction?

Breast tissues usually outgrow due to different genetic and environmental factors such as hormonal imbalance, genetic problems, pregnancy, breastfeeding, taking certain medications, weight gain, etc. and may cause several physical issues, including neck and shoulder pain, numbness of breasts, chronic headaches, rash and infection under the breasts, indentation on the breast, and limitation in physical activities.

Also, overly large breasts (in both genders) can draw unwanted attention from others, which is unpleasant to many people. Fortunately, breast reduction surgery can relieve chronic pains, improve your appearance and self-esteem, enhance athletic performance, and eliminate skin problems caused by large breasts. Moreover, you can renew your wardrobe after this operation as you can easily fit into your favorite clothes. 

Why Losing Weight Before Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction involves removing excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts to make them proportionate to other body features. During this operation, the surgeon chooses the best cup size for you based on your current weight and your expectation; therefore, your weight can affect how your boobs will look.

But why should you lose weight before breast reduction and not after it? Because whenever you lose weight, some of that weight comes from your breasts, which lose some firmness and elasticity. Thus, to prevent saggy boobs, you should gain your ideal weight before reducing mammoplasty. 

How to Lose Weight before Breast Reduction?

The most reliable indicator of whether you are a good candidate for breast reduction surgery is your body mass index (BMI). To get a reduction in mammoplasty, your BMI must be between 19 and 30, meaning you shouldn’t be underweight or obese. Before undergoing breast reduction surgery, consider the following points to lose a few pounds and reach your ideal weight:

How to Lose Weight before Breast Reduction?

Improve your diet

A balanced, low-calorie diet is the key to losing weight before breast reduction. From months before the surgery, you need to add more leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and juices, low-carb foods, and healthy fats to your diet and avoid having foods that cause you to gain weight (such as fast foods and sugary drinks). If you don’t have a specific food regimen, seek help from a dietitian.

Stay hydrated 

Water can greatly help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism, suppressing your appetite, improving your digestive function, reducing your need for sugary drinks, etc. Therefore, you should drink at least six glasses of water daily for a couple of months before the operation. 

Exercise regularly

Losing extra calories is only achievable through exercising regularly. In addition to reducing the calories you eat, you need to burn the ones in your body. You should work out 30 to 60 minutes a day at home or the gym to do so. 

See a doctor 

Sometimes, the cause of obesity is a health problem such as diabetes, Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing syndrome, anxiety and mental distress, etc.; therefore, if you cannot lose weight by dieting or exercising, you probably have an underlying health issue that must be fixed.

Get enough sleep

Sleeping 7-9 hours a day can also increase your metabolism, control your appetite, provide the energy needed for exercise, lower blood pressure and insulin level, etc. So, ensure enough sleep at night to have a stable BMI.

Change your lifestyle

Interestingly, you can quickly lose weight before breast reduction if you modify your lifestyle. Drinking plenty of water daily, not skipping breakfast, using a smaller plate, and reducing alcohol intake can help you lose fat and calorie quickly.

Small changes in lifestyle before breast reduction will help in losing weight.

Will I Lose Weight After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Although breast reduction is not a weight-loss procedure, you will lose 2 to 8 pounds after the operation. Depending on how much tissue and fat are removed, the effects of this surgery on your appearance can be mild to dramatic.

Also, if you maintain a healthy diet and exercise before and after the surgery, you can lose 10 to 20 pounds. Remember that even if you lose just a few pounds, you will look slimmer because your breasts will be more petite and proportioned.

What Surgeries Can Be Done along with Breast Reduction?

You can ask your plastic surgeon to combine breast reduction with a tummy tuck, liposuction, or body lift operations to have a perfect body. Usually, reduction mammoplasty is done along with stomach liposuction, butt and thigh lift, or neck lift to improve the overall look. Also, in cases where the amount of saggy skin is more than usual, plastic surgeons perform different operations to remove excess skin on the chest and neck.

breast reduction requirements for insurance

Very large breasts — sometimes called macromastia — can cause health problems. The weight of the breasts may lead to pain in the back, shoulder, and neck. Some women have permanent shoulder grooves caused by bra straps or recurrent rashes under the breasts.

Breast reduction surgery — also called reduction mammoplasty — can not only remedy physical symptoms like these but also have psychological benefits. It can improve people’s quality of life, self-esteem, and body image.

If you’re considering a breast reduction, you’re probably wondering how much it costs and whether health insurance covers it. Breast reduction surgery for cosmetic reasons doesn’t qualify for coverage. But if you’re getting the surgery for medical reasons, your health insurance may well cover it. Your insurer has specific rules for how you can get coverage for a breast reduction.

Read on for more details about the cost of breast reduction surgery and when insurance will pay for it.

Is breast reduction covered by health insurance?

It depends. Health insurance only covers breast reduction if it’s considered medically necessary to treat chronic health symptoms.

This means that before you can schedule the breast reduction surgery, you’ll probably have to get insurance authorization. The insurance company will require your surgeon to submit certain health records on your behalf; it will then assess your medical need for the surgery. (Even if your insurance does cover the surgery, you’ll still have to pay copays or deductibles.)

If your breast reduction surgery doesn’t meet your health plan’s medical necessity criteria, it will be considered cosmetic, meaning the insurance company won’t cover it.

How to get a breast reduction covered by insurance

Getting approval for breast reduction surgery can be a long, complicated process. Insurers have different criteria for judging the surgery as medically necessary.

Your health insurance plan may require: 

  • A physician’s letter detailing your health symptoms and how long you’ve had them
  • Medical records of previous treatments you’ve tried
  • Your height and weight
  • Photos of your breasts

You’ll generally have to provide records showing that:

  • You have chronic health symptoms caused by having large breasts
  • You have tried other, nonsurgical treatments
  • The nonsurgical treatments have not helped

Some insurers have required a person to be within 20% of their ideal body weight before approving coverage, as weight loss alone can cause the breasts to become smaller. However, this requirement has been questioned by some surgeons and academics, given that lasting weight loss is difficult and sometimes unrealistic.

Your best bet is to contact your insurer as early as possible, and ask them to list and explain all the requirements and what forms of proof they will accept. That way, you’ll know exactly what documentation to gather and submit.

What makes a breast reduction medically necessary?

A doctor must determine that the surgery is medically necessary. You may need to provide evidence to the doctor and insurer that you’ve already tried nonsurgical treatments — such as physical therapy, weight loss, or musculoskeletal treatments — without success. The insurance company may want proof that you’ve had symptoms for at least 6 months.

Insurance companies may approve breast reduction surgery as medically necessary if:

  • You have severe rashes or skin infections that are hard to treat.
  • Your physical activities are restricted.
  • You have nerve compression due to the weight of the breasts.
  • The weight of your breasts is significantly affecting your posture and spine alignment.
  • Your breasts are painful.
  • You have upper-back, neck, or shoulder pain.
  • You have shoulder grooves from bra straps.

Do breasts have to be a certain size in order for you to be a candidate for reduction?

When it comes to reduction surgery, it’s not exactly a matter of how large your breasts are. The main measure is the amount of tissue to be removed. Your insurance company’s “medically necessary” criteria may require that the procedure remove a certain minimum amount of tissue.

Some insurers use the Schnur Sliding Scale as a reference. This is a ratio that compares the weight of the removed breast tissue with your total body surface area. Although this calculation is a common guideline, it’s not always an absolute rule.

Typically, if your Schnur ratio is above the 22nd percentile, your surgery is considered medically necessary. If it’s below the 5th percentile, it’s considered cosmetic. If your ratio is in between, it may be considered either medical or cosmetic, or a mix of both, and may or may not be approved by insurers.

How much weight is removed in breast reduction? 

The minimum amount varies according to your insurance carrier’s definition. For some, if the amount of breast tissue removed is less than 200 to 350 grams (7 to 12 ounces), the procedure may be considered a breast lift rather than a breast reduction. A breast lift is typically considered cosmetic surgery, and so it is not covered by insurance.

Does Medicare pay for breast reduction?

Not always. Like private insurers, Medicare doesn’t cover cosmetic breast reduction surgery. Both original Medicare and Medicare Advantage will cover the procedure when it is determined to be medically necessary. However, you will probably have to pay for a deductible, copay, or coinsurance.

How much does a breast reduction cost with insurance?

The total cost of breast reduction surgery has several components, including:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Hospital costs
  • Medical tests
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Prescription medications

The average plastic surgeon’s fee for breast reduction was $5,717 as of 2020, according to the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery National Databank. But fees vary significantly depending on factors like:

  • The surgeon’s level of experience
  • What breast reduction technique the surgeon uses
  • Whether you have the surgery on one or both breasts
  • Market pricing in your geographic location

For example, according to estimates from FAIR Health, here’s a cost breakdown for a patient in Columbus, Ohio, with commercial insurance.

ItemPrice
Surgeon’s fee$4,782 ($2,391 per breast)
Anesthesia fee$997
Facility cost for ambulatory surgical center$6,548
Facility cost for hospital outpatient$10,257
Total$12,327 at an ambulatory surgical center
or
$16,036 at a hospital as an outpatient

Not included: Possible costs such as medical tests, post-operative recovery garments, prescription medications, follow-up treatment, or other fees.

will breast reduction help lose weight

Plastic Surgeons Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Santa Clara & Nearby South Bay, California

Breast reduction can help improve physical comfort. During breast reduction surgery, heavy, lumpy, and asymmetrical fat and tissue is removed from the breasts before loose and sagging skin is excised. The end result is smaller, more comfortable, and more complimentary breasts that no longer cause back pain or require extraneous support. In the process, breast reduction helps tone and trim the upper body, producing a slimmer, more attractive, and more appealing look to all surrounding areas.

Will I Lose Weight After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery may result in weight loss, though it is not intended as a weight-loss procedure. Designed to remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from heavy and pendulous breasts, reduction surgery improves physical comfort and brings the chest into ideal contour with the chest, ribs, and hips.

By removing excess fat and skin from the breast mound, reduction surgery may assist with:

The best way to learn what breast reduction surgery may be able to accomplish for you is through a one-on-one consultation at our comfortable Los Altos office.

Body Contouring

Body contouring can be used to sculpt and tone the frame – from the ankles to the neck – and may be used in conjunction with breast reduction to improve overall results. If your goal is weight loss, procedures that may be suggested in addition to breast reduction include:

We offer arm lift, thigh lift, butt lift, and similar contouring procedures that can be used to eliminate loose and sagging skin along with stubborn fat deposits for a more comprehensive result. We will help you determine if additional procedures will be necessary for meeting your specific goals.

Your Responsibility

Following breast reduction or weight loss through body contouring, you will have to work to maintain your results. This means eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise.

We can produce remarkable results. You will have to take steps to maintain them. We will discuss this in greater detail during your time in our care.

should you lose weight before having a breast reduction

Having a breast reduction can be hugely beneficial for women. It is also a big financial and emotional commitment, which is why you should do everything you can to ensure you are happy with the results of the cosmetic surgery. 

One thing we highly recommend is that you pursue this cosmetic surgery after you have reached your ideal weight, for reasons explained below.

Benefits of Losing Weight Before Breast Reduction

Recovery

Patients who are at a healthy weight are more likely to have a faster and smoother recovery after their cosmetic surgery. Having excess fat is associated with poor wound healing, cardiovascular problems, and other surgical complications, which can make for a slower recovery. 

For these reasons, surgeons only perform excisional surgeries, such as breast reduction, on patients with a BMI lower than 30.

Results

Losing weight after your breast reduction surgery can affect its results. When you lose weight, your breasts, along with the rest of your body will change in size and shape. 

Therefore, by reaching your ideal weight, you can determine if a breast reduction is needed and what the ideal bust size would be for your slimmer physique. Whereas, losing weight after breast reduction may change the proportions of your body and increase the likelihood of an unsatisfactory result.

How to Lose Weight Before Breast Reduction

Diet

Oftentimes, people struggle to lose weight due to a poor diet that doesn’t address the unique nutritional needs of their bodies. In general, a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates is most conducive to weight loss.

 Our dieticians help patients achieve their weight loss goals by creating personalised weight loss programmes based on each patient’s body composition and other individual factors affecting their weight.

Exercise

A 60-minute workout five days per week that combines cardio and strength training exercises is recommended for weight loss. Cardio exercises such as running, cycling, or swimming will help burn fat by elevating your heart rate, while strength training exercises such as weight lifting, lunges, and push-ups will increase your metabolism and build lean muscle mass, helping you burn more calories.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep has been shown to affect weight loss in several ways, including regulating your appetite, increasing your metabolism, and providing energy for regular exercise. Likewise, a lack of sleep has been shown to increase the risk of high blood pressure, high insulin levels, and a host of other ailments that can impede weight loss. Therefore, you should ensure that you are getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night. 

Stay Hydrated

Water is a key component in every bodily function, including the ones associated with weight loss. It can suppress your appetite, increase your metabolism, maintain a healthy digestive system, and much more. Therefore, it’s vital that you drink the recommended 6-8 glasses of water per day to aid your weight loss efforts.

Be Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to weight loss. Rather than resolve to quick fixes and fad diets, establishing a regular diet, exercise, and sleep routine will help you steadily lose weight in a safe way. Additionally, a gradual but consistent weight loss routine will help you avoid fluctuations in weight that can alter the results of your cosmetic surgery.

Will Losing Weight Reduce My Breast Size?

In most cases, the breasts are mostly made up of fat, along with some breast tissue. Therefore, losing weight may shrink the fat cells in your breasts, thus making them smaller. However, the extent of the size reduction varies greatly from person to person, depending on how much fat is stored in the breasts.

Losing Weight After Breast Reduction Surgery

The results of your breast reduction may be affected if you lose weight after the cosmetic surgery. As mentioned, in most women, fat tissue makes up the majority of the breast volume. Therefore, losing weight after breast reduction may decrease your breasts further. Additionally, it may alter the shape and contouring effects created by the cosmetic surgery.

Is Breast Reduction Worth It?

Breast reduction can be a beneficial procedure for many women for both cosmetic and functional reasons. In addition to creating a more proportionate figure, the cosmetic surgery can alleviate a range of physical symptoms associated with having large breasts, including back pain, numbness, and shortness of breath. Additionally, a breast reduction may make it easier for you to exercise and maintain your weight.

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