Breast Reduction

What is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure to remove excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts.

Breast reduction costs

Breast reduction costs can vary widely.

A surgeon’s cost for breast reduction surgery may be based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used, and the geographic location of the office.

Your surgeon may offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.

Breast reduction costs may include:

  • Anesthesia fees
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Medical tests
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Surgeon’s fee

When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for breast reduction, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final breast reduction costs.

Breast Reduction and Insurance Coverage

Many health insurance plans cover breast reduction surgery. Your plastic surgeon may need to obtain authorization from your insurer for the surgery. This may require a letter and the submission of photographs. Once an authorization is obtained, you will be able to schedule your surgery.

You will be responsible for any co-pays or deductible required by your insurer. If your health plan does not cover breast reduction, you may decide to pay for the surgery yourself.

Breast reduction recovery

Many patients have questions about recovery from breast surgery.

When your breast reduction procedure is complete, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. An elastic bandage or support bra may be worn to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal.

A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.

You will be given specific instructions for breast reduction recovery that may include: how to care for your breasts following breast reduction surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon. Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
  • Are stitches removed? When?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

Questions to ask your breast reduction surgeon

It is important for you to be an active participant in the process of considering and planning your breast reduction surgery. The following list of questions will help you obtain the information you need during your consultation.

Use these questions as a guide during your consultation:

  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Are you a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons?
  • Were you trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery?
  • How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
  • Where and how will you perform my breast reduction procedure?
  • Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
  • Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
  • Am I a good candidate for breast reduction?
  • What will be expected of me to get the best results from breast reduction surgery?
  • What surgical technique is recommended for me?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my breast reduction procedure?
  • How are breast reduction complications handled?
  • How will breast reduction affect my ability to breastfeed?
  • How can I expect my breasts to look over time? After pregnancy? After breastfeeding?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome?
  • Do you have breast reduction before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure? Which results are reasonable for me to expect?