Breast Reduction Surgery Questions and Answers Archive

Jun
2001

Q&A: Can liposuction improve the shape of my body if I am 50 pounds over weight?

Question:

I'm about 50 lbs overweight and I am definitely getting a breast reduction. I was thinking about liposuction as well, now I knw lipo is not the solution for obesity but I've seen before and after pics of women who were larger than me and lipo really help them. There were great noticeable differnces. What is your opinion on this. Thank you in advance.

- Tesha

Answer:

 Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Tesha, Yes, liposuction can give great improvement to the body shape but it will not greatly reduce weight. Most of us feel that it should be limited to being performed on a few areas - for safety sake. There have been a number of deaths across the country due, in large part, to overly aggressive liposuction. Also, although for many people, liposuction can give a "kick-start" to weight reduction campaigns, it will not lead to the lifestyle changes that result in permanent weight loss and fitness.

-- Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



May
2001

Q&A: Am I a candidate for breast size reduction and could some or all the surgical costs be covered by insurance?

Question:

Hi, I am really short (5') and am almost a 36 D breast size. I am extremly unhappy with my breast and after thinking about a reduction for over a year now, I have realized that I would really like to get one. I am not very overweight (130) and I am continuing to lose weight, but my breasts have not gone down in size. I was wondering if my size would be a good candidate for a reduction or am I not big enough? Also, I know that insurance covers some reductions and I was wondering if the amount that I would be reduced is enough to be covered (36D to a small B)? Thanks a lot!

- katherine

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Katherine, Each insurance company is different. Usually, they base coverage on the amount of tissue removed with a minimum being required. I would suggest that you visit with a plastic surgeon in your area and be examined. He or she will be able to give you an estimate on the amount of tissue which would need to be removed to reach your aesthetic goals. You could then check out this amount with your insurance company. Good luck - you will be very pleased as the vast majority of women are who have this procedure performed - especially those who are short waisted.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



May
2001

Q&A: Could the weight of my heavy breasts case me pain in my arm?

Question:

Can the weight of heavy breasts cause pain in a woman's arm? I have a lot of pain in my right arm and wondered if the bra strap cutting into my shoulder from the weight of my breasts could be causing this.

- Jeanne

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Jeanne, The answer is yes to your question. There are a number of nerve entrapment problems which are well known to be associated with the weight of heavy breasts coupled with pressure from the bra straps. I would suggest that you visit with a plastic surgeon and make certain that there are no permanent problems with the nerves of your arm and then investigate the possibility of a breast reduction surgery which, in your case, should largely be covered by your insurance.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



May
2001

Q&A: What is involved with breast reduction surgery and the length of time in a hospital?

Question:

I need breast reduction..How much surgery is involved and how long will I be in the hospital?

- Barbara

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Barbara, That depends upon how much of a breast reduction needs to be performed. The "average" breast reduction that I now perform is done on an outpatient basis meaning that the patient goes home after the surgery. I have never had to transfuse a patient and the procedure is very safe and relatively little pain is needed to be endured. I would suggest that you would need to be off work for from 2 to 3 weeks following the procedure. An average breast reduction surgery takes about 3 to 5 hours to perform under general anesthesia.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



May
2001

Q&A: What is the cost, will insurance contribute and what is the recovery time for mid-section liposuction and breast reduction to loose weight?

Question:

I have degenerative disk disease...I have tried all sorts of weight loss programs..I am wondering, how much does liposuction cost, is it covered by most insurance companys, how long is recovery, & if I were to get liposuction for my mid section & breast reduction would I get this done at the same time, & how much would it cost. I am serious, I did contact you before, but I never heard anything. Please, I am desperatly seeking an answer. thank you

- NANCY

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Nancy, I am not certain what happened with the previous answer but they should all be posted. Liposuction is a rather expensive proposition and it is not for weight loss. Despite your disability, diet and exercise are the only means to safe weight loss. Liposuction is to change your contour in specific areas and is not an easy out for weight loss. Liposuction generally costs about $2000 per paired area (like the outer thighs, lower abdomen, etc) although prices vary with amount to be removed and across the country. Insurance will not cover any of the cost of this procedure. Breast reduction surgery is still sometimes covered by insurance if the amount to be reduced is significant. The cost of this procedure is from $4000 to $7000. I would suggest that you visit with a physiatrist or weight loss specialist and get on a program that you can physically and psychologically handle for the weight loss.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



May
2001

Q&A: Can I fix the removal of a benign breast lump with breast implant surgery?

Question:

Are there any types of benign breast diseases/conditions that would require breast tissue removal? If so, have people with any of those such conditions had breast implant surgery for reconstruction?

- Victoria

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Victoria, There are a number of benign breast tumors and cysts whose removal results in smaller breasts, but usually these are localized reductions of soft tissue and generalized augmentation helps little with the contour of specific areas.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Apr
2001

Q&A: Could I be a candidate for breast reduction surgery based in 38D size, very different sized areola, and pain in my back and shoulder?

Question:

I currently live overseas and I am thinking about getting a breast reduction when I return to the U.S. The reason for this is I am only 21 and am a size 38d maybe a little bigger. My breasts are quite saggy and look terrible. I also have one areola that is 3-4 times bigger than the other and the other one is very large to begin with. This problem causes soreness in my shoulders and back, the skin on my upper chest is stretched and uncomfortable, and my bras always leave indentations on my shoulders. I will be 23 when I return to the U.S. Do you think this is something I should seriously consider? Thank you for your time.

- jennifer

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Jennifter, Breast reduction surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures by plastic surgeons. The satisfaction rate is the highest of any of the surgeries that we perform. I would suggest that you visit with a surgeon upon your return. If you email me I would be happy to send you an informational brochure explaining the details of the procedure.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Apr
2001

Q&A: What information can you provide on breast reduction surgery relative to health problems and back pain?

Question:

What information can you give me for breast reductive surgery due to health problems? Back Pain

- Mary

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Mary Jane, Breast reduction surgery is a very effective means of helping not only back pain but also bra strap furrows, intertrigo (infection of the skin under very heavy breasts) as well as occasional women with numbness and tingling in the hands and arms due to the weight of the breasts and resultant nerve problems. If your back pain is due to very heavy breasts and it is a functional problem, your insurance carrier will be able to help with the cost of the procedure. Many of my happiest patients are those who have undergone this procedure with only the drawback of scarring as the main unfortunate sequela of the surgery. Contact your local plastic surgeon for more information.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Mar
2001

Q&A: Should I have breast reduction surgery if my 34DDD size breast are causing me strain and what are the costs, recovery time, extent of scaring and insurance coverage?

Question:

Hello, I am 28 years and have never had any children. I have always had very large breasts (32 DD)but not had many problems with them. Recently they have grown to 34 D--DD. I had to discontinue using birth control pills as they were becoming excessively large and painful (34DDD). Now they also sag slightly. I have gained 10 pounds in the last three years, but I am still considered extremely light for my size (5'10") Most people wouldn't know that I have large breasts because I have adjusted my posture to hide them. Unfortunately, I was recently involved in a car accident and injured my neck. While recovering from the trauma, I placed increased strain on my upper back. Radiographs have shown osteophyte formation along several of my thoracic vertebrae. I am concerned that the excess weight of my cleavage is harming my back permanently. I have been seeing a chiropractor, physical therapist, and working on ergonomics, but am still having problems with my posture as well as severe back aches. I would like to have a breast reduction, but have a few concerns: 1. length of recovery, 2. extent of scars 3. cost 4. feasibility--is this really a size that should be reduced. 5. would insurance even consider paying for this procedure??? Thank you your time

- Tonia

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Tonia, In your case I would certainly encourage you to seek breast reduction surgery. The recovery time will be about two weeks and the discomfort is rather minimal. Depending upon your insurance, a large portion of the procedure (which costs about $6000 or so) should be covered due to the physical problems that your large breasts are causing you. The scarring in your case would be around the areola (the dark area around the nipple), down the center portion of the breast and along the crease under the breast to a variable extent. I would suggest that you visit with a plastic surgeon in your area for input and to determine exactly the breast size that you would like following the procedure.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Mar
2001

Q&A: Can I make my two breast more equal in size without cosmetic surgery?

Question:

One of my breasts is larger than the other, is there a way to even them out with out cosmetic surgery such as excercises?

- Shannon

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Shannon, No that is not possible. Usually uneven breasts require either reduction of the larger one, enlargement of the smaller one, or some form of reshaping on each. There are also a number of breast deformities such as tuberous breasts which require special treatment. I know that the prospect of surgery is not great but I would suggest that you visit with a qualified plastic surgeon to discuss the options. This type of surgery often yields the most pleased patients we have.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Mar
2001

Q&A: What is the cost of breast reduction and tummy tuck surgeries?

Question:

As my 46th birthday approaches, I have become increasing distressed about my burgeoning breast size. I am up to a C cup and gaining on a D. I would also like to have a waist again. What would ballpark figures be for Breast reduction and Tummy Tuck or Abdominioplasty?

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear p, The amounts vary across the country and with the extent of the procedure that you require but ballpark for the tummy would be $4000 to $6000 and for the breast reduction about the same. I would suggest that if the tummy tuck is fairly major, not to perform the two at the same time and to split the surgeries up by a few months. Hope this helps.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Feb
2001

Q&A: What is a breast lift, how is it done, and does is look natural?

Question:

Years ago I had a breast reduction. Since then I have lost a lot of weight. Now my breasts are very small-YEAH!! but droopy. What is a breast lift, how is it done, and does is look natural?

- Bonnie

Answer:

David Ross, MD - LocateADoc.com

The breast lift surgery is very similar to breast reduction surgery in that the final scarring for both operations is identical. The result is quite natural as well. However, sometimes the lift can be accomplished using a breast implant.

--David Ross, MD
Chicago, Illinois