Breast reduction is a breast enhancement and reconstructive procedure that reshapes the breasts in order to make them smaller, lighter, and firmer. Reduction is accomplished by removing excess fat, breast tissue, and skin. Large breasts can cause physical back, neck and shoulder pain as well as emotional and social anxiety. Women who take advantage of the breast reduction procedure find that they are able to lead a healthier, more comfortable life, in addition to enjoying a beautiful, more proportionate appearance.
Most breast reduction procedures can be considered medically necessary and are therefore covered by insurance companies, but it is up to our San Diego plastic surgeon to initiate the claim with your insurance company. Although some plastic surgeons prefer to charge the patient cash for the surgery because insurance reimbursement is very low, Dr. Gupta will work with you and your insurance company to help get the procedure covered by your insurance whenever possible.
There are many different techniques used for breast reduction, each with slightly different scars. Dr. Gupta will discuss these options with you and will choose the procedure that is the best option for you. The most common breast reduction procedure leaves an anchor-shaped scar that circles the areola and extends down to hide underneath the breast within the natural crease line. Breast reduction is a combination procedure consisting of (extra) breast tissue removal along with a breast lift.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis, and typically takes 2.5 to 3 hours. Dr. Gupta uses only dissolvable sutures, which eliminates the painful suture removal process following surgery. Dr. Gupta does not use staples or cumbersome drains. Recovery time is typically two to three weeks. Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction is one of the more successful and results in the quickest body-image changes. Patients are pleased with the elimination of physical pain caused by large breasts as well as a better proportioned body, an enhanced appearance, and better fitting clothes.
Generally, post-operative instructions call for rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. Bandages are applied immediately following surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts. Bandages can be removed the next day and a specialized surgical bra will need to be worn for several weeks. It is normal to experience some pain for a few days following breast reduction surgery. Dr. Gupta will give you a prescription for pain killers to treat this pain. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following Dr. Gupta’s postoperative directions and instructions.
While other breast surgeries, such as breast augmentation and breast lift, are considered elective and ineligible for insurance coverage, breast reduction is different. Many cases are deemed “medically necessary” because oversized breasts can cause chronic neck, back and shoulder pain and other health concerns (e.g., skin infection and irritation). Breast reductions performed for medical reasons may be eligible for partial or complete coverage by some insurance companies. It’s best to confirm with your individual insurer.
Dr. Abhay Gupta is widely-regarded as one of the best breast surgeons in Southern California. He has trained at a number of internationally renowned surgery centers including the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Florida. In addition, Dr. Gupta regularly presents his breast surgery research at national and international plastic surgery conferences.
Read more about Dr. Abhay Gupta’s extensive surgical experience, in his Curriculum Vitae.
If you are considering breast reduction surgery and would like to learn more about the procedure, schedule a consultation at Gupta Plastic Surgery in San Diego by calling (858) 408-6100.