When does breast reduction become medically necessary?
Although there is an aesthetic component, breast reductions are not always purely cosmetic in nature. Large, heavy breasts can cause physical problems and interfere with a woman’s daily functioning. This is technically known as symptomatic macromastia, and ailments include but are not limited to the following:
- Chronic pain in the back, neck, and shoulders
- Numbness in the arms and hands
- Shortness of breath
- Migraine headaches
- Sleep disturbances
- Limitations to activity such as aerobic exercise
Is breast reduction covered by insurance?
Since symptomatic macromastia causes physical problems that require treatment, a breast reduction can many times be considered a medically necessary procedure, and as such, may be covered by a patient’s health insurance. Every patient’s situation is different, and the coverage limits and requirements will differ according to the type of insurance. Additionally, some insurance companies require trials of non-surgical treatments prior to approving coverage for surgery. Non-surgical treatments may provide relief when mild symptoms occasionally occur, but are typically ineffective for chronic or severe symptoms. Physical therapy, a regimen of anti-inflammatory medications, visits to a chiropractor, and massage are all common non-surgical interventions.
Learn More about Breast Reduction
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