Patients at my San Antonio plastic surgery practice often come to me for a breast reduction due to discomfort caused by large breasts. Excess breast tissue can cause back pain, poor posture, and recurrent rashes under the breast. Large breasts can also create a disproportionate appearance, cause discomfort during physical activity, and make it hard to find an appropriate fit in clothing.
If you have large breasts, are in overall good health, not a smoker, and have similar concerns then I recommend you schedule a free consultation for breast reduction surgery or call (210) 942-6672. Studies looking at post-operative patient satisfaction typically find an improved quality of life in women after breast reduction surgery.
Is Breast Reduction Surgery Covered by Insurance?
In some cases, health insurance plans cover breast reduction surgery. Your insurance may cover breast reduction if large breasts are contributing to another medical condition like back pain or recurrent skin infections, or if large breasts are interfering with quality of life. Insurance contribution to breast reduction will depend on your insurance carrier, your reasons for needing a breast reduction, and the physical characteristics of your breasts.
Insurance coverage is a common conversation I have with patients and one that I am happy to discuss with you during your consultation.
Your Breast Reduction Consultation
Because no single breast reduction technique is best for every patient, I perform a thorough consultation and physical examination before making recommendations. During your consultation, I will consider breast size, shape, and skin quality.
After reviewing your expectations, I can better advise what pattern of skin and tissue excision will suit you. My technique is customized to meet your goals.
I perform breast reduction surgery using a variety of methods. Some methods allow for more upper breast fullness (cleavage), while others are more reliable and safe for very pendulous or enlarged breasts.
Can a Breast Reduction Improve Asymmetry?
Asymmetry of the breasts is natural. Your breasts may differ in weight, shape, or nipple position. If these differences are significant, they can contribute to overall dissatisfaction with your appearance.
I use safe and reliable techniques to establish symmetry during all of my breast procedures, including breast reduction surgery to help you achieve symmetrical breasts after surgery.
How Long After Breast Reduction Will My Breasts Be Swollen?
During the consultation and preoperative appointments, I always educate my patients about what to expect in the post-operative period. Swelling after surgery is a normal response by the body as it begins to recover and initiate the healing process. Although swelling is part of the normal healing process too much swelling for prolonged periods can cause undue tension on skin and compromise a patient’s cosmetic results. To help control the post-operative swelling I encourage my patients to apply compression with ACE wraps, abdominal binders and other post surgical compression garments. The majority of swelling should subside approximately 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Will Chest Exercises Lift or Reduce My Breasts?
“Chest exercises” such as push-ups can strengthen and develop the dominant (pectoralis) muscle of the chest, but it does not have an effect on the position of the breast. Exercises and diets that lower overall body fat composition can make the breasts smaller but does nothing to lift the breast higher onto the chest wall. Breast tissue position is based on an individual’s anatomy from birth and development thereafter.
The factors affecting the overall position and shape of the breast include forces of gravity, the normal aging process, weight fluctuations, childbirth and breast feeding.
What Age Is Appropriate to Consider Breast Reduction Surgery?
Patients interested in breast reduction surgery often describe debilitating symptoms to includes pain, skin rashes (dermatitis), lowered self-esteem, or limitations in participation of certain activities or wearing certain clothing.
Breast reduction surgery should be considered when the size or weight of your breasts stabilizes. Benign juvenile breast hypertrophy is an entity of rapid or significant breast growth in the younger teenage years. When I see teenage patients interested in breast reduction procedures, I make sure to educate them regarding breast development before proceeding to surgery. Waiting for breast size to stabilize decreases the need for revision surgery.
For optimal satisfaction after breast reduction surgery, you don’t have to be a specific age but rather you should be in overall good health with fully developed breasts.
For patients of child bearing age I also discuss potential changes to nipple sensation and the impact on future breast feeding after breast reduction surgery. Breast feeding can be impacted depending on the technique used for your breast reduction.
What Tips Do You Have for Getting Insurance to Approve a Breast Reduction?
Coverage of breast reduction varies depending on your insurance plan. When I see a patient for a breast reduction consultation the symptomatic complaints I often hear include serious health and emotional problems. After the consultation I put together an authorization letter that is sent to your insurance company – this letter lists the subjective complaints and objective physical examination findings which illustrate the debilitating effects of your large breasts.
In addition to the letter I also obtain standardized de-identified photographs of your breasts which are sent to your insurance company for approval. An additional letter from your primary care doctor that reinforces your diagnosis of enlarged breast (macromastia) and your symptomatic complaints may be beneficial.
How Can I Avoid Scars After Breast Reduction?
During the consultation and again at the time of the pre-operative appointment I discuss where incisions are placed on the breast for breast reduction procedure. Optimal scar healing depends on a variety of factors that are inherent to the patient (skin quality and tone), location of incision, surgical technique and the recovery process. By minimizing tension on the incisions, delicately manipulating the skin during the procedure, and making sure to provide extra time and effort to a fine closure, I strive to prevent widened or hypertrophied scars.
After surgery I continue a dialogue with patients regarding optimal scar management. I generally advocate sun avoidance and occasionally recommend scar massage. Patients who have higher risk of scar widening or hypertrophy may need additional treatments or care to optimize their outcomes.
Are There Pills or Nonsurgical Methods to Make Breasts Smaller?
In short, there are no proven oral medications to make your breasts smaller. Liposuction has been discussed as one alternative to reducing the size of your breasts with less scar burden but it is still surgery and does have its own inherent risks. Most important is to understand that liposuction does not have inherent capability to tighten the skin or shape the breast.