Finding the Right Doctor for Breast Reduction

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Doctor comforting patient in office
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If you’re thinking about having breast reduction, you’ll want a highly qualified cosmetic or plastic surgeon to perform the procedure. How do you find the best surgeon who is right for you? 

There are five top things to consider.

Find a cosmetic or plastic surgeon who:

  • Is board certified and who specializes in breast reduction or breast surgery

  • Has experience treating patients like you

  • Practices at a hospital known to have high-quality clinical outcomes 

  • Accepts your insurance

  • You are comfortable talking with and who fully answers your questions

Here are five steps to finding the best surgeon to perform your breast reduction surgery.

1. Ask around and talk to other patients.

Start by creating a list of potential surgeons. Ask your family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. If you’re starting without any referrals, or you’re looking for more options, search for cosmetic and plastic surgeons on Healthgrades.com

Healthgrades.com shows patient satisfaction ratings, which give you insight into how your own experience might be with the doctor. Patients rate the doctor and the doctor’s medical practice, and say if they would recommend the doctor to family and friends.

Also, ask potential surgeons for references. It’s often helpful to hear firsthand about a person’s experience with the procedure and the surgeon.

2. Research credentials and experience.

Take time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience. Look for a doctor who is board certified in cosmetic or plastic surgery and performs breast reduction on a regular basis. The more experience a doctor has performing breast reduction surgery, the better prepared he or she is to anticipate and prevent complications. 

Also, confirm that the doctor is in good standing with state and federal agencies and that he or she has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You’ll find all this information on Healthgrades.com.

3. Examine hospital performance.

Plastic surgery procedures often require a team of highly skilled and experienced healthcare providers. For this reason, you should also consider the overall quality of surgical care at the hospital where the surgeon practices. 

Find out where the surgeons on your list can treat patients. Then research those hospitals on Healthgrades.com. Healthgrades evaluates hospitals on mortality and complication rates of patients while in the hospital for a range of common procedures. Healthgrades also recognizes hospitals for overall clinical excellence. 

If a particular hospital falls short in quality, determine if the surgeon also operates at a different facility. Otherwise, find a surgeon who treats patients at a hospital likely to offer you the best possible outcome.

4. Interview the surgeon.

As you narrow down your list of surgeons, call each one’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the doctor. 

  • Ask yourself if you are comfortable talking with the doctor.

  • Does he or she respect your opinions and answer your questions in a way you understand?

Here are some questions to ask the doctor:

  • Do you typically treat patients like me?

  • How many breast reduction surgeries have you performed?

  • What results do you usually see? Do you have outcomes data to share?

  • How frequently do you encounter complications from the surgery? 

  • What do you do to avoid complications or correct them if they occur?

5. Determine your insurance benefit. 

Your insurance coverage is a practical matter. You want to receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your surgery. If your insurance covers breast reduction, this may mean you need to choose a surgeon who participates in your plan. 

But keep in mind, just because a doctor participates in your insurance plan doesn’t mean he or she is a high-quality doctor. You still need to consider the doctor’s experience and expertise.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2019 Sep 29
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  1. Breast Reduction. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. http://www.smartbeautyguide.com/procedures/breast/breast-reduction  

  2. Breast Reduction. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reduction.html#content 

  3. Gynecomastia Surgery. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/gynecomastia-surgery.html#content