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Breast Reduction


What is a breast reduction?

Women with unusually large, sagging, or uneven breasts may be helped with breast reduction surgery performed at Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery. Many women are troubled with discomfort and the inability to perform physical activities they would like to do because of the size of their breasts.

Breast reduction surgery reduces the breast size and reshapes the breast, eliminating the discomfort from larger breasts and giving the patient more self-confidence and a better quality of life. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia and usually takes about two hours depending on the size of the breasts.

The incisions for reduction surgery are placed around the areola and on the underside of each breast. During the procedure, your surgeon removes excess tissue and contours the breasts into a more pleasing shape.

Differing methods and techniques are used to perform breast reduction surgery. In some patients, Dr. Humphrey applies a vertical mammoplasty technique, which gives the breast a more natural appearance with less scarring.

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Before & After Photos

During your consultation visit, your surgeon will show you before and after pictures of patients who have undergone a breast augmentation. You will be able to see firsthand the difference the procedure made for these people. Interested in viewing before and after photos before your consultation? Visit our online gallery

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Breast Reduction using Vectra 3D

Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery is proud to offer free VECTRA 3D imaging consultations for their many breast reduction patients.  The VECTRA system provides precise breast measurements and helps our doctors and patients agree upon the clear-cut goals for breast reduction surgery.

Informational Video


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“Wonderful experience, my breast lift, and reduction were quick and easy. Dr. Humphrey left my breasts looking very nice and natural. Everyone at the office is very nice and helpful as well. I will be returning for a few tattoo removals.”

“The staff is always very friendly. Dr. Humphrey was great as a surgeon and made me feel very comfortable the whole time. If I had to have another procedure, I would definitely go back to Heartland Plastic surgery.”

“Dr. Humphrey is superb! He did a great job, Im very very pleased with the results! He took the time to answer any and all questions before and after the surgery. Anna is very helpful and informative. Everyone at HPHS is very nice and helpful. The nurses and staff in the surgery center are great. Everyone made me feel at ease. I recommend Dr Humphrey for your tummy tuck! I cant wait til summer so I can rock that bikini ;-)in HAWAII.”


What is the average cost of breast reduction? Is there a charge for the consultation?

The cost of breast reduction depends on the extent of surgery necessary to achieve optimum results. A cash discount is applied to all cosmetic procedures if the procedure is paid in full before surgery. If you have commercial insurance, this is a surgery that may be a covered benefit.

Is financing available? And will insurance cover any of my fees?

Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery accepts several types of payment. They are cash, credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express), money orders, and cashier checks. You may want to obtain financing from an agency of your choice.

Breast reduction may be covered by commercial insurance. During your consultation at our office, information is collected, and a predetermination letter is sent to your insurance company. It will take an average of 4-6 weeks to get a response from your insurance provider. If insurance denies coverage because the procedure is not medically necessary, then a letter of appeal is submitted with a support letter from the patient’s family physician. If you are opting for a cosmetic breast reduction, the balance must be paid in full, or financing arrangements can be made in advance with a financing company of your choice before surgery.


How do I start the process to see if my insurance will cover a breast reduction?

Patients who have very large breasts can have symptoms from the large breasts with neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, bra straps digging into their shoulders, inability to find bras or clothing that fit appropriately, and difficulty exercising. They also…

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Will I be able to breast-feed after breast surgery?

Very commonly when we see patients in the office in consultation for aesthetic breast surgery, one of the issues that comes up is the ability to breast-feed. I commonly tell patients that, on average, 70% of American women find breastfeeding…

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Medical Minute: Breast Cancer Awareness

Ladies, if they have very large breasts, complain of neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, their bra straps can dig into their shoulders, and they finally get heat rashes underneath the breasts. Most women have been having problems for many…

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Is a breast reduction permanent?

The results of your breast reduction are long-lasting, and unless significant weight gain or pregnancy occurs, your breast size should remain the same. However, other changes like sagging may occur due to the natural aging process.

Do I have to stop smoking prior to having this procedure?

Yes, Dr. Humphrey requires the patient to stop smoking one month before surgery and one month after surgery. Nicotine in cigarettes, vapes, and other tobacco products decreases the blood supply to the skin, and blood supply is important to the healing process. We also require patients to eliminate secondhand exposure to all tobacco and marijuana products for the same duration.


Is there anything I need to do to get myself ready for surgery?

To reduce bruising and the risk of hematoma, you must stop taking blood thinners and vitamin E at least two weeks before and after surgery. If you are on prescription blood thinners, you may need to get medical clearance from your family doctor as well as instructions on how to stop these medications. We also want all herbal medication and diet pills (prescription and over-the-counter) stopped at least two weeks before surgery and one week following.

At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery, cosmetic surgeries are elective procedures requiring you to be in overall good health before the surgery can be performed. If there are questions regarding your health, medical clearance from your family doctor may be required.

How many breast reductions are performed at Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery annually?

Although each year can vary, we perform an average of 30 to 50 breast reductions per year.

How long does it take to recover from a breast reduction?

Depending on the techniques used during your procedure, it can take two to six weeks to recover from your breast reduction procedure. After this time, most patients can resume regular activity, but may still experience some swelling for several more months.

Do I need to stay in the hospital?

Most breast reductions are outpatient surgical procedures in which the patient may return home the same day. However, some insurance requires the procedure to be done in a hospital. Based on the patient’s overall health, Dr. Humphrey may recommend having the surgery performed at a hospital instead of at his office in Cape Girardeau.

Is there a better time of year to have the surgery performed?

You should make sure you take off enough time to allow you to heal. After a breast reduction, you will have a 10-15 pound lifting restriction (that will include lifting children) for at least 10 days following surgery. You also have to make adjustments at work due to swelling and being on pain medication. The average time off work for patients in the Cape Girardeau area ranges from 2-6 weeks.

Does breast reduction affect breastfeeding?

Your success with breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery will depend on the techniques used by your surgeon. While it’s always best to wait until you are done breastfeeding to undergo a breast reduction, most women are still able to breastfeed after surgery without difficulty. Always discuss your concerns about breastfeeding with your surgeon prior to surgery.

This could be for me. What should I do next?

At Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery, J. Stewart Humphrey, MD is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. He offers plastic and hand surgery to patients across Missouri including Cape Girardeau, Jackson, and Sikeston. Our Cape Girardeau office is located 72 miles from Paducah, KY and 50 miles from Carbondale, IL. Your next step is to contact the Heartland Plastic & Hand Surgery office today to schedule your initial breast reduction consultation. In the meantime, jot down all your questions and concerns and bring them to your consultation so your surgeon can address them. Call us today at (888) 515-2847. Make this important first step now!


Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Dr. J. Stewart Humphrey is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the gold standard for plastic surgery certification in the United States. Dr. Humphrey…

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