Breast Reduction

Women with large, heavy breasts who experience difficulty breathing, have back, shoulder, or neck pain, poor posture, bra-strap indentations, or chafing under the breasts are prime candidates for breast reduction surgery. Excessive breast size, which decreases sense of attractiveness and self-confidence, also prompts individuals to consider breast reduction. Some candidates, both men and women, choose reduction because their breast size interferes with normal daily activities or exercise. Breast reduction is performed to achieve a more attractive contour and smaller breast size. Diminished health problems associated with excessively large breasts are also attained. To enhance surgery results, breast reduction patients may want to consider liposuction of the axillary area to reduce excess fat deposits.


How is a breast reduction performed?

Breast reduction surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure in a hospital or surgery center operating room. Incisions are made around the nipple’s pigmented area (the nipple-areolar complex) and extend vertically below the nipple and in the fold under the breast. The nipple-areolar complex is moved upward to the desired location. At this time, excess breast tissue, fat, and skin are removed. Our surgeons use techniques, which are designed to provide the best result after a breast reduction. They prefer short scar techniques when possible. The nipple and areola are rarely detached. Rather, they are left intact, which allows for improved sensation and the ability to breast-feed. Other surgeons routinely disconnect the nipple, affecting sensation and nipple function. Our surgeons prefer the medical pedicle technique during a breast reduction. This provides a fuller feminine beast and enhances cleavage. This technique minimizes scarring, and appears to reduce drooping over time. Liposuction is also routinely performed on the area below the armpit. This reduces the size of the fatty roll so it is more proportionate to the smaller breast. 

Recovery after a breast reduction

Incisions are covered with light dressings and the breasts are protected by a supportive bra used to hold the breasts in a symmetrical position during the healing process. Initial discomfort subsides daily and can be controlled with oral medication. Scars usually fade in 6 to 12 months. Surgery may reduce the ability to breast feed, although our surgeons encourages women to try.

Insurance guidelines for breast reduction

Most insurance companies provide coverage for breast reduction surgery if the patient has large breasts, and experiences problems associated with heavy breasts. Insurance companies usually require a minimum weight of breast tissue be removed during the surgery (most women with a D cup would qualify). Insurance carriers usually require that the surgery be approved prior to surgery. The office staff at the Lewisburg Plastic Surgery Center is quite experienced and successful in obtaining insurance pre-approval and will be happy to assist you with this process. Pre-approval usually requires submitting photographs (which our nurses will obtain) and providing documentation of the problems women experience from their large breasts. Some insurance carriers require documentation that the patient has tried other treatments such as physical therapy or chiropractic care to minimize the symptoms prior to approving the surgery.

Several insurance companies in North Central Pennsylvania limit coverage of this procedure while other policies specifically exclude breast reduction surgery. This is unfortunate, as studies have shown that the surgery is highly effective in improving neck, back, and shoulder discomfort, as well as making a tremendous improvement in the lives of these affected women.

Lewisburg Plastic Surgery provides an affordable alternative for those patients who must pay for their own breast reduction surgery. Because our center is dedicated to only Plastic Surgery, we can provide a more cost effective surgical experience than area hospitals. We encourage patients to discuss options for self-payment of a breast reduction before considering surgery at a more expensive area hospital. Additionally, the Center’s staff can refer you to companies which specialize in financing breast reduction surgery.

Before & After Photos: Breast Reduction


*More photos are available at the time of consult.