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Will the State pay for my breast reduction (size 36F/G) if I'm under 18 years of age?

Q:

I'm 16 years old, and a size 36F/G.  I have neck and back issues to be examined by a doctor soon.  I heard somewhere that if you're under 18, and past a certain cup size, you're eligible for a breast reduction to be paid by the state.  I was wondering if this is accurate.

A:

You may be referring to state run Medicaid or SCIP programs.  Ask your parents or guardian if you have health care insurance and if so, what is the name of the insurance plan?  Many insurance plans cover breast reductions.  Consider starting with your family practice physician or pediatrician and request a referral to one of the many members of the ASAPS.  They are experts in Breast Surgery. 

Best,

 

Gary R. Culbertson, MD, FACS

A:

It could be accurate if you're on Medicaid (as for the state paying for it) and you have permission from your parents.

If you were in my office, factors that would have to be considered is your weight, impact on your lifestyle, and your desire to breast feed and have children.  If you're overweight, you will have to lose weight before surgery would even be considered.  If it impacts your life minimally, I personally would not recommend surgery.  And if you wish to have the potential for breast feeding, you should have your children before having a reduction procedure as it WILL diminish or eliminate your ability to breast feed.  On top of this, you and your parents/guardian will have to accept the many risks of surgery.  You will probably need the documentation by your other doctor stating that your symptoms are caused from your breast size as well to get authorization and this may require several months of proof that your problems cannot be resolved with other non-surgical interventions.

Good luck!

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