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Large breasts affect nearly 1 million American women, but there is help available.

Is Breast Reduction Right for You?

Paying the Piper: What You Should Know

According to ASAPS the average cost of a breast reduction surgery in the U.S. is close to $6,000 and it can be significantly higher depending on where you live.

"One of the reasons this operation is so underutilized is that very often insurance companies post barriers that keep women from getting help," says Jewell.

Of those companies who do cover the surgery, Jewell says some require so much tissue to be removed that it leaves some women with a near mastectomy result.

"In the last several years some companies have increased the amount of necessary tissue removal by 150%, which for some women would leave them with almost no breast tissue at all," says Jewell.

Other companies, he says, have written breast reduction surgery out of their coverage completely.

"This is an important women's health issue that needs to be addressed but instead it's being dealt with by a variety of tactics designed to shift the cost to the patient," says Jewell.

Snodgrass says that any woman considering breast reduction surgery should check her insurance policy concerning coverage, and then discuss her specific operation with a plastic surgeon, to access the amount of tissue that must be removed to relieve symptoms.

Says Snodgrass: "No one likes fee surprises so it's always best to know before you have the surgery what your out-of-pocket costs will be."

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