What is a Breast Lift?

It is an inevitable affect of aging to notice breast sagging and nipple drooping resulting from decades of gravitational pull or deflation consequences of pregnancy and breast feeding. As such, it is not surprising that most women desire a breast lift by the time they are in their 40’s. A breast lift allows for lifting of the breast mound (tissue) and nipple to a more desired position with minimal loss of volume. In contrast, a breast reduction requires a reduction in size and volume of breast tissue while providing a similar lift. Click here to learn more about Breast Lifts.

Is Breast Reduction Covered By Insurance?

Since breast reduction surgery is covered by most insurance companies, many women who also have upper neck and back strain, a required criteria for breast reduction coverage, ask how much weight must they remove to be approved for a reduction surgery.

The goal of this article is to provide you with a clear method for understanding these breast reduction requirements, as well as, a good idea of your post operative results. To begin with, you will need to calculate your Body Surface Area (B.S.A.), which is best calculated at the following URL provided by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. 

Body Surface Area Calculator

One tool that is useful in determining the “minimum required amount” of breast tissue that should be removed is the Schnur Sliding Scale. Your B.S.A. can then be plugged into the Schnur Scale, which provides the minimum weight in grams that is required for removal from each breast. When it comes to breast tissue, you can assume a 1 gm per 1cc conversion. For example, if you find that you have a B.S.A. of 1.8, you will have to commit to removing approximately 441 grams or milliliters of breast tissue from each breast. Volume of breast tissue in mL can be difficult for you to conceptualize, which is why your surgeon should show you an example by virtue of a similar volume of breast implant so that you can actually see and feel the difference, for yourself.

Area (m2) Grams To Be Removed Area (m2) Grams To Be Removed Area (m2) Grams To Be Removed
1.35 199 1.90 527 2.45 1393
1.40 218 1.95 575 2.50 1522
1.45 238 2.00 628 2.55 1662
1.50 260 2.05 687 2.60 1806
1.55 284 2.10 750 2.65 1972
1.60 310 2.15 819 2.70 2154
1.65 338 2.20 895 2.75 2352
1.70 370 2.25 978 2.80 2568
1.75 404 2.30 1068 285 2804
1.80 441 2.35 1167 2.90 3061
1.85 482 2.40 1275 2.95 3343

I hope this article helps if you are on the fence regarding whether or not to get a breast lift or breast reduction. For your guidance, below are photos of two patients: one of which had a breast lift only and one that was a breast reduction candidate (includes reduction as well as a lift).

Patient Before & After Photos

Patient 1 (left) showing results of a breast lift. Patient 2 (right) showing results of a breast reduction.

How Much Does a Breast Reduction Cost?

The all inclusive cost starts at $5,000 when performed by expert board certified plastic surgeons. This fee includes the surgeon’s fees, operating room fees, anesthesia fees, implant fees, breast band/garment, and all of your postoperative visits.

For more information and to determine if you are a good candidate for this specialized procedure, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Mowlavi, Orange County’s top Breast Augmentation Surgeon.

SEE ALSO: Breast Augmentation: Do You Also Need a Lift?