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KTEN HealthWatch Investigation

Breast Reduction Surgery


We continue our HealthWatch series of cosmetic surgery tonight with a look at breast reduction surgery.  KTEN's Deeda Payton reports on the cosmetic procedure that is not just cosmetic.

Breast reduction mammaplasty is a surgery designed to improve the body contour, reduce pain, and make the individual more comfortable when engaging in physical activities.

Dr. Harry Galoob is a cosmetic surgeon in Oklahoma who performs this surgery. "There are more scars involved and more incisions involved with breast reduction than there are with breast augmentation." 

"If you're a person considering breast reduction surgery, the first step you will take is to meet with a doctor like Dr. Galoob and discuss whether you're an eligible candidate for this operation and then he will transfer you to his patient coordinator to talk about scheduling and financial options and also whether or not your insurance provider will cover this type of surgery."

"For instance if a patient tells me they can lift their breasts up off their chest and they get immediate relief from their symptoms that makes sense to me and it's something I can use to decide whether they're doing to get some improvement." 

Ashley Patton is one of Dr. Galoob's patients. "I was a triple-D almost an E and now I'm a D they took about seven to eight pounds off."

Ashley is 22 years-old. She has had the same bra size since the seventh grade and says she has wanted the surgery for years.

"I mean before I was very very large and I think that's what people seen when they seem me they might not admitted it but it was more the emphasis to my chest then my face and now that I've had the surgery they can actually see who I am."

Just one day after surgery Ashley says she could feel difference in her posture.

"I think I was not expecting what I got because I got a lot better results."

Ashley, like many patients, paid for her surgery out of her own pocket because her insurance provider would not cover it.

"Many of the insurance carriers have placed a lot of stumbling blocks in the way of getting approval for breast reduction. Some of the rules don't make a lot of sense to me or other physicians and many of which aren't based on any scientific studies."

"They say that it is cosmetic, it's not cosmetic it's health and when you are living with something like this it's a health reason for . I didn't do it for cosmetic reasons."

"The requirements that some insurance carriers place on to approve people for breast reduction keeps people from getting it done."

The cost, which can be anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000, may also be a deterrent for some.

"Money is a big deal, but my health and my life was more important to me than the money I spent on the surgery, my happiness."

Ashley says now that her clothes fit, she can be herself.

Deeda Payton, KTEN News