What is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Woman holding breast reduction los angelesBreast reduction aims to remove excess breast fat tissue, and skin. Its goal is to reduce the breast size and create a more pleasing shape. Your new breast size will be more proportionate to the rest of your body. Mammaplasty reduction is the medical name for breast reduction surgery.

In 2017, ASPS estimates there were more than 43,000 breast reductions performed. These only include breast reductions for aesthetic, not medical reasons. Dr. Kapoor is a member of the prestigious ASPS in Los Angeles. You can trust Dr. Kapoor to answer your questions about a possible breast reduction. He has extensive experience in all areas of breast surgery. Many of his patients describe their results as stunning.

Breast reduction is one of the many plastic surgery procedures that offer aesthetic and functional benefits for the patient. For women with overly large breasts, even minor tasks can become difficult due to the burden of weight placed on their back and neck. I see many women in my Los Angeles practice who wish to be able to live their lives pain free so that they can accomplish the goals they have set for themselves. I take great pride in performing this procedure as the immediate physical and psychological benefits are clearly evident. As more women look to breast reduction surgery to enhance their figure and lifestyle, insurance coverage for this procedure is becoming easier to obtain. As a plastic surgeon practicing for years in Los Angeles, it’s exciting to see tremendous gains in beneficial, medically necessary procedures.

– Dr. Vishal Kapoor / Board Certified Los Angeles Plastic Surgeonrr

Why do women want breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery offers many benefits to women with large breasts. Women can reduce the size, shape, and volume of their breasts with this surgery. Breasts come in all different shapes, sizes, and weights. Some women are very happy with their breast size and some are not. In fact, some women with too large of breasts face health issues. As well as a lot of discomfort.

Reducing the size of your breasts with surgery has many upsides. You may feel healthier, more comfortable, prettier, and more active. The number one thing Dr. Kapoor hears women say is that they can now fit into the tops and dresses of their choice.

Next, let’s take a closer look at why women choose to reduce the size of their breasts.

  • Chronic suffering from spinal pain and an achy neck;
  • Skin irritation beneath your breasts;
  • Experiencing problems breathing;
  • Unexplained cuts in your shoulders from bra straps;
  • Poor posture and numbness in the upper body;
  • Unable to fit into the clothing you like;
  • Very troubled with their appearance due to such large breasts;
  • Otherwise healthy with no major illness or medical conditions;
  • Realistic desire for breast reduction results;
  • Skin has enough elasticity so it can regain tightness after surgery;
  • Mental and physical stability;
  • Old enough in age after breasts have developed;
  • Embarrassed to exercise because of your breast size;
  • Difficulty sleeping or laying down flat;
  • Your breasts are hanging very low (breast ptosis);
  • Your nipples hang below the crease of your breasts;
  • Your nipples have become very large because of the size of your breasts.

What To Know About Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction involves the removal of excess fat, glandular tissue and skin in order to improve the size, shape, and position of the breasts, this creating a more attractive and better shaped figure. Most candidates for this procedure are seeking aesthetic enhancement as well as relief from physical symptoms.

  • Breast reduction surgery should be performed by a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in making incisions on your breasts and surgically removing excess fat, glandular tissue and skin.
  • If your breasts have a large amount of fatty tissue, liposuction may be used along with surgical techniques to achieve optimal results.
  • The actual technique that Dr. Kapoor will use to reduce the size of your breasts will be determined by your individual condition, breast composition, amount of reduction desired, and your personal preferences which will all be discussed during your consultation.
  • It is generally advised that women of child-bearing age who intend to breastfeed should postpone breast reduction surgery until a later date as the procedure may involve the removal of the milk ducts.
  • It is recommended that teens postpone the surgery until the breasts are fully developed. Exceptions may be made in cases where discomfort or embarrassment is intolerable. These issues will be discussed with Dr. Kapoor during your consultation.
  • The symptoms (back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, etc…) caused by your overly large breasts will be immediately relieved by the procedure and the results of your breast reduction surgery will be immediately visible.

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The Benefits After A Breast Reduction Procedure

Breast reduction procedure is a highly effective because it directly addresses the cause of the symptoms from having overly large breasts. In the recent past, several medical studies have documented the benefits of breast reduction procedure for women with symptoms related to excessive breast weight. A recent study published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons examined the satisfaction rates of patients undergoing breast reduction procedure. It is considered to be amongst the first of its kind in regards to documenting satisfaction following breast reduction. The study found that of the women who were polled 6 months following their breast reduction procedure, 90 percent rated their cosmetic outcomes as “good" or “very good." Other benefits of breast reduction surgery include:

  • Improved ability to run and exercise
  • Relief from back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain
  • Better posture and walking pattern
  • Improved ability to breathe
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Lower incidence of headaches
  • Improved breast visualization on mammography

What to Expect Following A Breast Reduction?

Following your breast reduction surgery you will awake in a surgical recovery room where you will be monitored while you rest. Dr. Kapoor will discuss specific instructions for breast reduction recovery that will include: how to care for your breasts, medications you will need to take, what to look for at the incision sites to ensure optimal healing, and when he will see you at your follow up appointment.

  • Dressings and/or bandages will be applied to the incision sites
  • An elastic bandage or support bra should be worn to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal.
  • A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
  • Swelling and bruising are common but should fade within a few weeks following the procedure.
  • Patients should sleep on their backs during the recovery period to allow the breasts to heal.
  • Patients will be prescribed medication to manage pain, reduce swelling, and fight potential bacterial infections.
  • Moisturizer may be applied to the breasts several times daily as the breast skin may be dry.
  • Some loss of sensation may occur in the nipples and areas of the skin as a result of swelling.
  • Most patients report that they return to work within 7-10 days following the procedure.
  • More strenuous activities should be avoided until you are cleared to do so by Dr. Kapoor.

Insurance Coverage For Breast Reduction Surgery

One of the biggest debates on-going in plastic surgery circles is the coverage of breast reduction surgery by insurance policies. As breast reduction awareness increases, more and more insurance companies are covering medically necessary breast reduction surgery. If you are considering breast reduction in Los Angeles, there are several things to consider:

  • First you should read your insurance policy to see if breast reduction is covered.
  • In most cases, insurers require the surgeon to write a letter requesting coverage based on your symptoms and physical findings.
  • These first 2 steps should be done before you schedule the procedure as insurance companies are not obligated to pay for the procedure if it was not preauthorized.
  • If your insurance carrier denies your request for coverage by labeling it as a cosmetic procedure, Dr. Kapoor will submit a letter on your behalf to educate your provider about symptomatic macromastia and explain that it is a medically necessary procedure to treat your symptoms.
  • Most legitimate insurance providers are familiar with the current standard of care for treating symptomatic macromastia, and will authorize pre-approval for coverage of breast reduction based on documentation of medical necessity.
  • If you are denied coverage by your provider and feel that breast reduction is necessary for your health, you are legally entitled to appeal their decision.
  • You should write your own letter describing your symptoms and how they have caused you physical distress and kept you from performing activities of daily living pain-free.


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