Breast Reduction Surgeries
Some women present with breast size excessively large and out of proportion to their height and weight.
Large breast size can result in a variety of physical problems to include neck and back pain, bra strap grooving, progressive forward-slumping shoulders, intermittent chest wall rashes, recurrent breast infections, and arm and/or hand numbness and tingling. Some women also relate difficulty finding appropriately fitting bras, clothing, sportswear and bathing suits. Many may have limitations to physical activities as running, tennis, aerobics and the like that make a healthy lifestyle more challenging.
Women with disproportionately large breast size may consider breast reduction surgery to promote improved health and happiness.
Breast reduction surgery can be completed using a variety of incisions to include a traditional “inverted-T” or “anchor” incision formally referred to as a Wise Pattern Inferior Pedicle Design. More sophisticated approaches limit the incision along the inframammary fold and are referred to as Vertical Pattern Reductions. Both methods can be used to relocate the nipple and areola to a more youthful position on the central breast. The diameter of a widened areola is additionally reduced to a diameter of 3.5 to 4.0 cm. All attempts are made to focus on the best method that will result in the most attractive breast possible after surgery.
Breast reduction surgery is covered by US health insurance companies by federal mandate. All US health insurance companies have specific guidelines that may be found on internet websites to include presenting symptoms and minimal excision volume per a patient’s body mass index (BMI). Most insurance companies require a minimum of a 500-gram reduction per breast in a symptomatic patient with a BMI greater than 28. Patients with a lower BMI may have lower resection weight requirements. Patients with a BMI greater than 38 may be required to pursue a physician-directed weight loss program prior to breast reduction surgery. It is best to work with your personal health insurance company to fully understand your insurance company’s coverage requirements.
Breast reduction surgery in smaller volumes can be completed using liposuction. Liposuction additionally can be used to address excess tissue under the arms and in the region of the bra band. Liposuction for small volume breast reduction or improved lateral under arm cosmesis along with Wise Pattern or Vertical Reduction is not covered by US-based health insurance companies nor Medicare. We would be pleased to provide you with a self-pay plan for such services after your in-person consultation if requested.
Patients undergoing Onco-Plastic Surgery for Diagnostic Lumpectomy or Breast Conservation for Cancer may require breast reduction on the contra-lateral breast to promote symmetry. Such counter balancing breast surgery is covered by health insurance as is outlined by the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) of 1998 (www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Other-Insurance-Protections/whcra_factsheet.html).
Patients seeking breast reduction surgery typically are 18-years of age or older. Patients are evaluated by physical examination and may require a screening mammogram prior to surgery. All patients undergo pre-operative testing and clearance based on unique medical profiles and age.
Patients are limited to no-weight-lifting greater than 5 pounds for 6-weeks after surgery. Patients may require surgical drains for up to one week after surgery.
Dr. Marga would be pleased to evaluate you for breast reduction surgery either in the context of a phone consult or in-person in the downtown Charleston. Please be prepared to provide a copy of your most recent screening mammogram if you are 40-years of age or older.