Breast Reduction Surgery

I am 49 years old and considering a breast reduction surgery. I am 5 feet (150 cm) tall and weight 105-106 lb. My breast size is 32DDD, (on Vanity fair, Chantelle and Wacoal brand, I can’t wear the Victoria Secret brand).

I have seen a plastic surgeon and after consultation she suggested to remove a total of 800cc for insurance to cover the cost. I would like to be a full C cup and afraid that removing 400cc from each breast will leave me smaller than what I like. My insurance says the amount of tissue removed has to be greater than 22 percentile on Schnur Scale. I looked at the Schnur scale table and base on my weight and body surface area (1.41-1.45) the threshold value per breast for me would be 238 per breast. Could you please tell me why she came up with 400cc? Is there something I am missing?

I may add that I do have shoulder pain, back pain and have had numerous physical therapy sessions for the past two years. I got approved by insurance but my surgeon says, they will not pay if she removes less than 400cc.

Please I need to know as soon as possible so I can make a decision, to go forward without the insurance and just pay out of pocket because the outcome is more important to me.

In my practice we use the Schnur scale and submit our calculation to the insurance company. The insurance company typically has the last say in the minimal amount of tissue that needs to be removed. If I decide to remove more tissue it is because it will make the breast proportional to the patient's frame. There are no financial incentives for removing more tissue. I am not sure why your plastic surgeon is stating that insurance will not cover the cost if 400 grams of breast tissue is not removed when the insurance company obviously requires less tissue to be removed for coverage of your procedure. Speak to that practice's insurance coordinator for a better explanation.

Earl Stephenson, Jr., M.D.
Earl Stephenson, Jr., M.D.
2220 Wisteria Dr SWSnellvilleGA30078US

Earl Stephenson, Jr., M.D.

2220 Wisteria Drive, Suite 209, Snellville,
GA, 30078, US

Often 400 mg's is the minimum amount of tissue required to be removed per side in a Breast Reduction Surgery by many insurance carriers. Remember there are 454 gms in a pound. Many consider 200 cc's or mgs to be one cup size. So, with a 800mg Breast Reduction you would be losing 1.76l bs or 3.88 Kg. Or, dropping TWO Cup Sizes.

Unfortunately, there are no real standards in the bra industry for cup size. To discuss this matter with your surgeon consider describing the bra you wear (i.e. Cross your Heart, Lady Form, etc.) and ask approximately what cup size they think you might be after surgery. Often surgeons will not want to give a patient a specific cup size & describe the post-operative breast size as proportional to body size or smaller than body size. We utilize pictures of our actual patients who have had the breast surgery the patient is considering to illustrate this point. You could also consider this option.

Hope this is of assistance.


Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson MD, FACS
Gary R. Culbertson MD, FACS
18 Miller RdSumterSC29150US

Gary R. Culbertson MD, FACS

Iris Surgery Center, 18 Miller Road, Sumter,
SC, 29150, US

View Profile