Women with overly large breasts bear two kinds of pain: physical and emotional. The physical discomfort is real, and it includes neck pain, back pain and shoulder pain, deep grooves and chafing from bra straps, even skin rashes and infections. Many women say the emotional pain is even worse, describing the embarrassment of being the object of stares and gossip. At Fox Valley Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons perform breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, in Wisconsin to remove excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with the body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts.
Dr. David Janssen and Dr. William Doubek are experts in breast reduction. The Wisconsin plastic surgeons are helping women and men from places such as Green Bay, Appleton, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan perfect their personal Renaissance. To learn more about how breast reduction can improve your life, request your consultation in either the Oshkosh or Appleton office using our online form or contact us at (920) 233-1540.
Breast reduction surgery may be covered by insurance. The criteria for medical necessity have become more restrictive in the last year and vary among the insurance carriers. Some insurance companies consider breast reduction a contract exclusion.
Generally, insurance companies require that patients have significant symptoms associated with overly large breasts. The vast majority of patients have back pain, neck pain associated with headaches, shoulder pain associated with shoulder grooves and numbness on the inner arms, rashes beneath the breasts and pain within the breasts themselves. These symptoms improve dramatically with breast reduction surgery.
One of the more important insurance criteria is the anticipated amount of breast tissue to be removed. This number, usually a minimum of 500 grams per breast, varies from insurance company to insurance company. Many insurance companies use weight and height calculations to determine how much tissue should be removed from each breast. In most cases, estimating the amount of breast tissue to be removed is relatively straight forward. In borderline cases it can be very difficult. Usually a woman needs to be a DD or larger.
Even when these criteria are met, some insurance carriers continue to deny benefits for breast reduction surgery. For these reasons, many patients undergo breast reduction as a cosmetic procedure. As a cosmetic procedure, a breast reduction costs approximately $10,732. The price includes the surgeon’s fee, the facility fee at the Theda Care Surgery Center, and anesthesia. The pricing is subject to change, and will change if the surgery is done at another facility. The non-refundable $80 cosmetic consultation fee can be applied towards the cost of the procedure.
The use of Stratamed® immediately after wound closure and for several weeks afterwards, is highly recommended for optimal healing. Stratamed is the first film-forming silicone gel-based wound dressing approved for the use on open wounds and compromised skin. Depending on the length of the incision, a tube of Stratamed® costs $35-$95.
There are also multiple procedure discounts: 15% off the surgeon’s fee for the 2nd procedure, and 30% off the surgeon’s fee for the 3rd procedure. There is a 50% discount off the facility fee for the 2nd procedure. Anesthesia is based solely on time. There are many financing options available. However, payment by cash gives the patient an additional 5% discount. There could be additional discounts, which are too varied to be mentioned here.
If the consultation is for cosmetic purposes, the non-refundable $80 cosmetic consultation fee can be applied towards the cost of the procedure. Otherwise, the initial consultation can be billed to insurance.
Dr. David Janssen and Dr. William Doubek combine experience, refined surgical techniques, and artistry to produce beautiful results for their plastic and reconstructive surgery patients.
Breast reduction is a good option for women who:
Patients should be aware that:
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Breast reduction surgery is usually performed through incisions on the breasts with surgical removal of the excess fat, glandular tissue and skin. In some cases, excess fat may be removed through liposuction in conjunction with the excision techniques. If breast size is largely due to fatty tissue and excess skin is not a factor, liposuction alone may be used in the procedure for breast reduction.
The technique used to reduce breast size will be determined by the patient’s individual condition, breast composition, the amount of reduction desired, personal preferences and the surgeon’s advice. Anesthesia is administered for the patient’s comfort during breast reduction surgery. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. The anesthesiologist will recommend the best choice.
Incision options include:
After the incision is made, the nipple (which remains tethered to its original blood and nerve supply) is then repositioned. The areola is reduced by excising skin at the perimeter, if necessary. Underlying breast tissue is reduced, lifted and shaped. Occasionally, for extremely large pendulous breasts, the nipple and areola may need to be removed and transplanted to a higher position on the breast (free nipple graft).
The incisions are brought together to reshape the now smaller breast. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts; sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape close the skin. Incision lines are visible and permanent, although usually well concealed beneath a swimsuit or bra. In most cases the scars will fade and significantly improve over time. The results of breast reduction surgery are immediately visible.
Prior to surgery, patients may be asked to:
Patients will receive special instructions to cover what to do on the day of surgery, post-operative care and follow-up. Breast reduction surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient/ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.
FVPS will notify patients if they are affected by this policy. At the pre-operative appointment which normally occurs two days before surgery, patients must take a cotinine test, which detects the presence of nicotine. Test results are immediately available with this quick blood test. If the test is positive, then surgery will be cancelled and the patient loses the 10% booking fee. If they cannot quit smoking, smokers should not schedule a surgery.
When the breast reduction procedure is complete, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. An elastic bandage or support bra may 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.
Following the physician’s instructions is vital to the success of any surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. The doctor will give patients specific post operative instructions.
The ability to return to work at a desk job depends on the patient’s pain tolerance and motivation. The patient should take off 5-7 days before returning to her desk job. The patient can return to her desk job on the 5th day only if she is highly motivated; there will still be discomfort. A patient should not return to work any earlier because the patient may still be using narcotics. Strenuous activity should be avoided for the first two weeks. Lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds should be avoided for the first 6 weeks.
Read about Amanda’s experience with her breast reconstruction and other real patient stories in the Real Patient Stories section of our website. No one, especially someone in her 20’s, expects to get breast cancer. When it happened to Amanda, she took control and made a full recovery. She became an advocate for breast cancer awareness and educates women on the importance of mammograms.
Patients will sign consent forms to ensure that they fully understand the procedure and any risks or potential complications. The risks of breast reduction include:
Without undergoing a personal consultation with a surgeon, and submitting a pre-authorization with the insurance company, it is not possible to determine if breast reduction surgery will be covered by insurance. Dr. David Janssen and Dr. William Doubek are highly experienced with breast reduction surgery, and can help patients determine the best course of action. At the consultation, patients should be prepared to discuss:
The surgeon may also:
Find out how breast reduction with Dr. David Janssen or Dr. William Doubek at Fox Valley Plastic Surgery can improve the way your breasts look by calling (920) 233-1540. Our board certified Wisconsin plastic surgeons are helping women from all over the upper Midwest to perfect their personal Renaissance. Request your consultation today.