Breast reduction surgery is often covered by insurance if a patient
meets criteria for medical necessity
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Breast reduction is an excellent operation for patients with large,
heavy breasts, who also have problems with skin irritation, back
pain, and problems with exercising and finding clothing that fits
well. Insurance sometimes covers the cost of this operation,
although they require that a certain amount of breast tissue be
removed based on your height and weight (something called the
Schnur scale). For some patients taking the amount of tissue that
insurance companies require will leave their breasts a smaller size
than they want in which case breast reduction can be done as a
cosmetic procedure as well.
To have insurance cover breast reductions surgery, a patient must
have documentation that they have tried other measures such as
weight loss, chiropractic treatment, massage therapy, supportive bras or physical therapy, as well as over the counter pain medications. Patients over 45 must also have had a mammogram within the past year, and sometimes insurance companies may require this report to be submitted as well. Be sure when you consult with Dr. Kayan that you specify if you are wanting to go through insurance or will be doing the procedure cosmetically.
Breast reduction procedures are done under general anesthesia at an outpatient surgical facility. The surgery itself takes just under 2 hours, and you will go home the same day. Incisions typically consist of an "anchor pattern" scar also known as the Wise pattern. There will be an incision all the way around the nipple, traveling vertically downward across the breast, and along the underside of the breast. If a patient wants additional liposuction of the bra roll and anterior armpit area, this is done through a 3 mm incision hidden in the hair bearing part of the armpit. Breast reduction does lift the breast as well. About 90% of patients do not need a drain, however if the amount of tissue removed is >750 grams, we may consider leaving a drain to help speed up the recovery process and prevent complications such as fluid accumulation.
Patients are wrapped in compressive ACE wrap with gauze padding, and permitted to remove this in 48 hours and shower. After that, either the ACE wrap or a front closure tight sports bra is worn 24/7 for 4-6 weeks. All incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures and skin glue, so there is no need to remove any sutures or staples. The breasts typically remain in a higher position for about a month then will start to "settle" into place over the next several months. Patients should avoid any overhead reaching for 2 weeks after surgery, and avoid lifting anything more than 5 lbs or high end exercise or activities for 4-6 weeks after surgery. Patients can usually drive after 1 week or when they are off prescription pain medications. Those with desk jobs may consider going back after 2 weeks if they can avoid heavy lifting, and those with jobs involving heavy lifting should plan to take the full 4-6 weeks off. Patients may be fitted for a bra 6-8 weeks after surgery.