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Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction


When people think about plastic surgery and breasts, many automatically think of breast augmentation with implants.  However, surgical breast “enhancement” isn’t always about making breasts bigger. Many times it is about making very large breasts smaller in order to reduce pain and improve self-esteem in the process.  The breast reduction removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with a woman’s body. The operation also ameliorates the discomfort associated with very large breasts High patient satisfaction rates reflect the dramatic impact this operation can have on patients’ lives. 


Candidates for the operation

Women with very large breasts (macromastia) often suffer from neck, shoulder, and/or back pain, rashes underneath the breasts and headaches as a result of the weight of their pendulous breasts.  These women often find that the breast reduction operation will greatly alleviate their discomfort. Some insurance plans will cover this operation if the patient meets certain pre-operative criteria.


The Procedure

The procedure is usually performed as an outpatient.  Under the direction of board-certified anesthesiologist you will have a general anesthetic. Typically, based on the size of the patient’s breasts, the operation takes between 2.5-3.5 hours.  A primary incision is made around the areola, and often vertical and horizontal incisions are used depending on the breast size and shape.  During the operation excess breast tissue and skin are removed.  At the conclusion of the operation your breasts will be smaller.  Additionally, the areola is reduced in size and the nipple and areola are lifted to a higher position. Patients may go home the day of the operation or be admitted to the hospital overnight for monitoring and pain control. 




Swelling and occasionally some bruising are common after the operation.  Indvidual results will vary, however most patients can expect mild to moderate discomfort lasting for a few days. Recovery time usually takes seven to 14 days.  Patients will wear a soft bra day and night for 1 month.  Although patients will immediately notice that their breasts are smaller, the results will continue to improve as swelling goes down.  After 1-2 weeks, most women return to work or their normal daily activities.


Complications following the breast reduction operation are usually minimal. Some complications that may occur include infection, bleeding, hematoma, changes in nipple sensation, contour irregularities, delayed wound healing, over vs. under-correction, and thickened scars.  

Using Insurance for Breast Reduction Surgery

A breast reduction is sometimes considered to be a reconstructive procedure, which insurance companies sometimes cover as an approved benefit.  We accept the following insurance carriers for breast reduction surgery. 

  • Aetna 
  • Regence Blue Cross
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Regence Blue Shield               
  • Boeing 
  • Uniform
  • Cigna - United  
  • First Choice - Lifewise
  • First Health - Multiplan
  • Group Health
  • Guardian                                                     
  • Premera
  • Premera Microsoft
  • Pacific Care
  • Regence

If you would like your breast reduction to be processed through insurance, we require a referral letter from your primary care physician to our clinic. We will bill your insurance for the consultation visit to our clinic. At the time of consultation,  our clinic will attempt to obtain a pre-approval letter from your insurance company before surgery. Sometimes the type of  breast reduction that is safest for a patient will not be covered by insurance. In these cases, you have the option to pay for the procedure prior to surgery.

Before and after photos on this website are of actual patients who have given permission for their photos to be published. Individual results may vary. No guarantee or prediction of outcome is implied.

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