San Francisco, California-The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world, representing more than 94% of all Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in the United States.
“Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery” is the medical journal of ASPS where a recent study was reported on the health benefits (both physical and mental) for breast reduction patients. This study was done to justify the necessity of breast reduction surgery to the insurance companies. For purposes of evaluation, “Breast Q”, which is a well validated questionnaire, was used in this study.
The study included 49 patients that were preparing to undergo breast reduction surgery. Of the 49 women, there were 78% who completed the questionnaire either before or after their reduction mammoplasty surgery. Satisfaction with surgery and quality of life issues were evaluated in four areas; appearance, psychosocial, sexual and physical well-being. Not surprisingly, the study showed significant improvement in all four areas. Based on a scale of 100, the improvement for each area was reported as follows:
1. Satisfaction with breast appearance went from 20 to 80 after surgery
2. Psychosocial well-being was 41 and increased to 84
3. Sexual well-being went from 40 to 78
4. Physical well-being was 43 and increased to 81, noting great relief of pain in the breast, back, neck and shoulders.
Appearance of the breasts showed the greatest satisfaction with the overall outcome of the surgery. Women stated they slept better and had greater ability to exercise, in addition to the reduction of pain.
Medical insurance companies notoriously have many conditions the patients must meet in order to get coverage for surgery. For example, many insurers require that the patient has documented proof that they have tried; physical therapy, good support bras, analgesics, and most require the need of a minimum of 500 grams of breast tissue to be removed.
The study also determined that for many, improvements occurred for women that had small reductions, which disputes the insurance coverage guidelines for a mandatory amount to be removed. Researchers plan to continue with additional studies with more patients and a longer term follow up.
Presently, the only way to know if your insurance will cover reduction mammoplasty surgery is to call them. Have your I.D. number available. Don’t be surprised if the answer is “that depends”, at this point it is recommended that you see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon that specializes in breast surgery, to help you with the ins and outs of obtaining approval for surgery.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obama Care” is probably going to continue to change as it moves forward, with Congress arguing over each detail. It is impossible to know how the Affordable Care Act will affect breast reduction surgery approvals in the future.
In addition to breast reduction, many patients are now choosing to have some areas of fat reduced by CoolSculpting which is now available to Dr. Delgado’s patients. CoolSculpting is a non-surgical treatment that can reduce stubborn pockets of fat that resist reduction by diet and exercise. For a consultation call today at (415) 898-4161 or email.