Cost of a Breast Reduction
$6,000 - $6,700
Breast reduction surgery is often covered by insurance if a patient meets criteria for medical necessity.
Who is a good candidate for a breast reduction?
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 reduction 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 40 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.
The Procedure for a Breast Reduction
Breast reduction procedures are done under general anesthesia at an outpatient surgical facility. The surgery itself takes about 1½ hours and the patient 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 3mm incision hidden in the hair bearing part of the armpit. Breast reduction does lift the breast as well. Most patients do not need surgical drains, 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.
Recovery After a Breast Reduction
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 1-2 weeks after surgery and avoid lifting anything more than 5lbs. 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 sedentary 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.
Frequently asked questions
Is a breast reduction covered under insurance?
Yes, in most cases a breast reduction is covered by insurance.
What type of anesthesia is used for a breast reduction?
A breast reduction is performed under general anesthesia.
Where are the incisions for a breast reduction?
There will be incisions around the entire nipple with a vertical incision from the nipple to the underside of the breast, and then horizontally along the inframammary fold. This is commonly referred to as an anchor incision or Wise pattern.
How long is a breast reduction procedure?
A breast reduction surgery is typically about 1½ hours.
What is the recovery time after a breast reduction?
The patient will have lifting and activity restrictions for 4-6 weeks after surgery. Those with sedentary jobs may consider returning to work 2 weeks post-op.
What is the cost of a breast reduction without insurance?
$6,000 - $6,700
What should be expected after a breast reduction?
Patients will be wrapped in an ACE wrap following surgery. This can be removed along with other dressings and showering may be resumed after 48 hours. Compression with an open front sports bra must be worn 24/7 for 4-6 weeks. No overhead reaching is permitted for 1-2 weeks, no high-end exercise or lifting more than 5lbs. for 4-6 weeks. The breasts typically remain in a higher position for about a month then will start to "settle" into place over the next several months. Scars will largely fade after a year, and scar treatments such as topical gel or silicone strips can be used starting around 3-4 weeks after surgery.