As a teenager, Destinee Deely of Macungie played sports. But then the late bloomer, well, bloomed, and suddenly she couldn't enjoy those activities anymore. "After college, because of my breast size, I could no longer run," says Deely, now 30. "It was painful and hurt my back."
Fast-forward a few years, as Deely and her husband, Kevin, welcomed daughter Rory. After pregnancy and breastfeeding, Deely's bustline increased to a 36GG. "I had divots in my shoulders from my bra straps from having such large breasts," she says.
So she discussed breast reduction with Marshall Miles, DO, with LVPG Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery–1243 Cedar Crest. He believed she was a good candidate for reduction mammoplasty surgery.
"Many times women with larger breasts have symptomatic complaints," Miles says. "These may include back, neck and upper shoulder pain, along with bra straps cutting in and making grooves in their shoulders. Some women have scars from years of [the weight of their breasts] pulling down."
While some insurance companies see breast reduction as an elective cosmetic surgery, Miles sees it differently. "In these cases," he says, "having large breasts is more of a hindrance than an asset."
For patients like Deely, Miles charts an extensive health history and creates a narrative that emphasizes the medical necessity of breast reduction surgery. "I would say that 80 to 90 percent of the time, insurance approves the surgery and an overnight hospital stay," says Miles, who performs breast reduction surgeries inside Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest.
Insurance covered Deely's surgery, which took place in May 2013. Still, Deely couldn't request a certain bust size after surgery; insurance dictates how much breast tissue needs to be removed. With 200 grams of tissue per cup size per breast, surgery patients most often have 500 to 600 grams removed. In the end, Deely's chest size was reduced approximately three cup sizes, down to a 36D.
These days Deely is more active than ever, even with a 3-year-old in tow. She takes boxing classes at the gym and, if she wanted, could go to the driving range with her husband. "Kevin likes to golf," she says. "I couldn't golf with him before because my breasts were in the way."