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Breast Reduction: How Much Tissue Should Be Removed?

By Sheryl Pilcher on November 02, 2018

A woman in a black sports bra with a white line around her chest showing her previous sizeBreast reduction surgery can be life-changing for many women. By reducing breast volume, many women can enjoy relief from debilitating neck, back, and shoulder discomfort.

When considering this surgery, many women have questions about what breast size they can or should achieve. Plastic surgeon Dr. Sheryl Pilcher in San Antonio, TX, discusses how much tissue should be removed during breast reduction surgery.

Don’t Think in Terms of Cup Size

Predicting a desired cup size is difficult since cup sizes vary. As women know all too well, different brands fit differently, and even within the same brand, cup sizes can differ by bra style.

Not to mention the fact that many women wear the wrong cup size. As such, when plastic surgeons discuss removing breast tissue they will talk in terms of grams. As a point of reference, about 200 mg of breast tissue equals one cup size.

Droop vs. Size

Women with large breasts often have some droop. Some women may think they need a few hundred grams of breast tissue removed, or a cup size or two.

Upon further consultation with the surgeon, they may discover less needs to be removed to achieve the desired effect. In other words, for many women, the problem is skin looseness and breast droop, not the actual excessive volume of breast tissue itself.

Insurance Considerations

Insurance may cover your breast reduction, but there will be stipulations and requirements to follow. Namely, your insurance company sets the criteria for the amount of breast tissue that needs to be removed to qualify for coverage.

If the carrier comes back and says you must have 400 mg of tissue removed, and therefore go down about two cup sizes, you may decide that this is too much and choose to have less removed. The insurance company would then consider the breast reduction cosmetic, rather than medically necessary, and not pay for it.

Determining How Small to Go

There are three easy steps you can take to determine how much breast tissue you want removed. This approach isolates breast tissue, taking breast droop and auxiliary fat out of the assessment.

1. Put on a compression bra or sports bra.

2. Look at your breasts, but do not consider fat in the armpit area. This is auxiliary fat, not breast tissue, and may be removed through liposuction. Incidentally, insurance carriers will not consider this fat a part of the tissue going toward the removal requirement for coverage qualification.

3. Looking at the breast itself, cup in your hands the portion of breast tissue that feels to be too much. This is approximately how much tissue should be removed.

Learn More about Breast Reduction Surgery

Excessively large breasts can be physically uncomfortable and affect your self-image. Many women who have large breasts find great relief and improved confidence with a breast reduction procedure. Learn more by giving us a call at (210) 654-9900 and speaking to a team member. We will also get back to you as soon as possible if you choose to fill out our online form.

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If you need breast augmentation or any cosmetic surgery, I would highly recommend Dr. Pilcher....This has been the best decision I have made. Quintessa M.

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255 E Sonterra Blvd
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San Antonio Office

255 E Sonterra Blvd
Ste 201
San Antonio, TX 78258

Open Today 8:30am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (210) 654-9900