Breast Augmentation/Reduction at Kaiser

Parent Q&A

  • Kaiser Breast Reconstruction Doctors

    (2 replies)

     I am a breast cancer survivor who had a lumpectomy and radiation at Kaiser. I want to have my radiated breast reconstructed with fat grafting or other means ( but do not want implant).

     I hope to hear from other Kaiser patients regarding plastic surgeon doctor recommendations and experiences with fat grafting to radiated breast or other surgery used to reconstruct  breast.

    Hi,  I had bc last year and was treated at Kaiser in Walnut Creek. First, I had a surgical biopsy/lumpectomy with dirty margins.  My second surgery was done by my oncological surgeon along with my Kaiser plastic surgeon, Tina Smith, in WC.  They removed the cancer, then my non cancer breast was reduced to match the cancer breast and then the tissue of the cancer breast was rearranged so I had two matching, smaller breasts.  I really liked Tina Smith and would recommend her.  I am pleased with the results.  I ended up having some wound separation issues that took a few months to heal which was a drag, but it was just an unfortunate thing that happened and I don't believe it had anything to do with the quality of the surgery. This was all done before my radiation, so I don't have any input on fat grafting.  Good luck :)

    You should see Dr. Benjamin Hornik at Kaiser Oakland. I had mastectomy with immediate DIEP flap reconstruction in March. Mine case was pre-radiation but from my initial appointment with him, I got a strong feeling that he prefers not doing implants because of the risk of infection.  I will be using him again for my "clean up" surgery post radiation. He was the only plastic surgeon that Dr. Shim, the director of the Breast Care Center recommended for the procedure.  Good luck. Fell free to message me if you have any other questions.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

2008 Recommendations

Sept 2008

Re: Looking for great cosmetic surgeon for breast augmentation
Hello: I'm in treatment for breast cancer, which includes breast reconstruction post-mastectomy. Kaiser Permanente's plastic surgeons do a lot of reconstruction surgery for patients like me and so are excellent at breast procedures such as the augmentation you're considering. My Plastic Surgeon is Karen Yokoo, MD, and I highly recommend her from my own experience and from the photos of other patients. Kaiser has a fee for service cosmetic plastic surgery offering. Dr. Yokoo is worth checking out. I would, however, recommend that you take care to make certain that you're doing this for yourself and your body - because you want it. Anon

Sept 2008

Re: Health insurance and breast reduction surgery
I had breast reduction surgery from Kaiser in SF w/Dr. Robert Anooshian in 2004. He was excellent! Took my 34H breasts to a 34C. I am 5'2'', 120lbs. My scars look excellent, and he was very professional and answered all of my questions. I was very nervous on surgery day, and just seeing him made me feel more at ease. I was referred to him by my NP Jenna Lewis, and I had the surgery 5 months later. I paid nothing more than my co-pay on the day of surgery. I did have to meet with Dr. Anooshian, and talk about the possibilities of not being able to breast feed, scars, loss of sensation in nipples, etc... I haven't had children yet, so I can't tell you about that, but my nipple sensation is still excellent! It actually increased! ;) They use the ''keyhole'' technique for surgery. You also cannot smoke and must be under a 27 BMI to be ''approved.'' Bottom line, just ask your women's health provider for a referral, they'll tell you whether or not you are eligible. But from what I know, no uncomfortably busty, back-pain having woman has been denied. Hope this helps!!! happy breasts

Feb 2008

I've been considering breast reduction surgery for a while, and have decided that I'd like to get it done. I recently got Kaiser health insurance and I'd really appreciate hearing from anyone who had the surgery with them. Recommendations for surgeons, info about going through the approval process, anything! J

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most satisfying operations I do because the patients always feel better. All of the plastic surgeons at the local Kaiser centers are excellently trained. There are women plastic surgeons at Kaiser Richmond, Oakland, Walnut Creek and San Raphael. Breast reduction surgery is one of the most common operations they do. Because there are so many to be done at Kaiser, the surgeons have great experience, but the waiting list is long so you have to be patient. Kaiser also has some pretty stringent rules about your being at your appropriate weight before breast reduction surgery, which can delay your scheduling. I don't know enough about the process of getting surgery approved at Kaiser to be of alot of assistance, but I can tell you that if this operation is indicated, you will likely feel better afterward and that the Kaiser plastic surgeons are excellent. I hope this helps. Good Luck

2007 Recommendations

Sept 2007

I am considering breast reduction surgery and am a Kaiser Permanente Health Plan Member. Does anyone have experience with Kaiser for breast reduction? Specifically, did you have to be put on a wait list? I am 50 pounds overweight - so did you have to loose weight before surgery, if so how much? With my weight gain I am now out of a DDD and my back and shoulders hurt. I realize that if I lost weight it would help. I am working with Weight Watchers, but as an adult I have never been smaller than a DD. Any information or experience would help. Front Heavy

I had a mastectomy on one side and breast reduction on the other side. The operation was performed by the general surgeon and a plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon's name is Karla Werninghaus. Her office is at Kaiser Hayward although the surgery was done at the Fremont hospital. Dr. Werninghaus was recommended to me by a nurse anesthetist who knew many of the surgeons. The work on my reduction was excellent. I have been complimented by 2 different women who specialize in fitting women with bras and have seen the results of many breast surgeries. They were very impressed with Dr. Werninghaus' work. anon.

2006 Recommendations

Jan 2006

I was hoping someone could share their experience having a breast reduction at Kaiser Oakland or Walnut Creek. I have chronic back, neck and shoulder pain as a result of large breasts. I didn't want to have it done before having children, because I wanted the opportunity to breast feed them ( I breastfed both my children successfully). At this point I have gotten bigger not smaller after breast feeding. Any advice would be helpful at this point. big (breasted) mama

I had breast reduction surgery twenty years ago and I'd do it again in a heart beat. I can't speak to the different hospitals you mentioned but I can say that I had all the same afflictions as you and they all went away after it was done and the recovery (about 6-8 weeks) was over. My only regret was that I wish I had waited a little longer to do it (but my insurance covered the cost as it qualified as a medically necessary procedure--and we were about to change insurance carriers) As I was not finished ''developing'' yet. That doesn't sound like the issue for you. I will say however, that having the surgery did NOT interfere with my breastfeeding my duaghter at all. But that's not an issue for you now either. I would say just make sure you will have an experienced surgeon (a plastic surgeon) and that you are not allergic to the kind of stiches the they use on the inside that ''melt'' away--sorry I don't remember the medical term for them--as that caused some infection for m! e (though not scary) and left more small(er breasted) mama
To my sister of the mamory clan, Kaiser did my breast reduction in 1994. They were wonderful! I needed a touch up surgery, done by liposuction, 6 weeks after the initial procedure. All including meds and co-pay - it cost me $65. I gave birth in 2002. My breasts did lactate but ws unable to nurse for other reasons (latching, medication, and flat nipples complications). The surgeon did pay attention to the milk ducts and nipple attachment as he said he would. Post surgery I have enjoyed an increase in neck/ shoulder mobility, less head-aches, increase nipple sensation (yeah!), the ease of shopping off the rack, and the benefit that most men now look in my eyes when we talk. They have grown back over the years. I originally reduced from FFF cups to a B/C. Currently I wear a C/D cup. If you would like to talk 1:1 please ask the moderator to forward you to my home email and or number. anon
I had breast reduction surgery about 13 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I can't tell you about Kaiser Oakland or Walnut Creek because I had my surgery in San Francisco, but I just wanted you to know that I wholeheartedly recommend it. I went from a 38 DDD to a 36 C and it changed my life. I even did it long before I had my kids, which made breastfeeding difficult, but I still never regretted it. Go for it! K.
I recently had breast cancer and my breast surgery included reduction. Although I had been seeing doctors at Kaiser Oakland and Walnut Creek, the plastic surgeon I chose was Dr. Karla Werninghaus in the Hayward office (ph. 784-4070). The surgery was done at Kaiser Fremont. She was highly recommended to me by a surgical nurse anesthetist who had worked with many surgeons. After my surgery, when I went for bra fittings, the fitter, who has seen many boob jobs, commented that my surgeon's work was excellent. I'm very happy with the results. no longer pendulous
I am a plastic surgeon in Berkeley, and I have found that breast reduction surgery is one of the most physically liberating surgeries a woman can have. Back pain, neck and shoulder pain improve almost immediately. I have not had the surgery myself, but when I was nursing, I discovered what it was like to be pretty huge in the bust and was very relieved when they returned to normal size as my children were weaned.

Dr. Wang in Kaiser Oakland and Dr. Smith in Kaiser Walnut Creek are both excellent plastic surgeons, you can feel very comfortable with either of them. I cannot speak to the actual Kaiser facilities as I am in private practice and have not worked in either of those operating rooms. The one thing about Kaiser that I hear from patients who come to me from there is that the waitlist is long, about 2 years to have the surgery. Also, if you are at all overweight, they will often want you to lose weight before the surgery. I have found that breasts do not change much, even with weight loss and that aerobic exercise is often difficult with large breasts, even with 2 supportive bras one on top of the other. My heavier patients are able to lose weight more easily after the reduction and that loss does not detract from the aesthetic aspect of the reduction.

Congratulations on making the decision to pursue this. Good luck. Local Plastic Surgeon

2005 Recommendations

June 2005

Re: A great plastic surgeon to perk up my breasts
I would like to recommend my plastic surgeon, Karla Werninghaus at Kaiser in Fremont/Hayward (you can see her at either office). Last year I had to have a mastectomy, and I had the other breast reduced. I am very happy with my remaining breast. When I went to the breast prosthesis shop, the owner of the shop, who has seen many breasts in all states of repair, complimented the work that the surgeon had done. I am pretty sure that Kaiser plastic surgeons do outside work because it is so profitable. Just one thing: Dr. Werninghaus is not a ''people person.'' But she was very highly recommended by a nurse anesthetist who works with many different surgeons. Lovin' the one I got

2002 Recommendations

Nov 2002

After being on the waiting list for almost two years, I am scheduled to consult with Dr. To-Nao Wang at Kaiser Oakland about having breast reduction surgery. Has anyone on the list had any specific experience with this plastic surgeon? Apparently, Dr. Wang is the only plastic surgeon at Kaiser Oakland who does this surgery. I would appreciate any and all input.
Thanks. Top Heavy Mama

My son had surgery performed by Dr Wang two months ago. I have been very pleased with Dr Wang. Her communication skills are outstanding. She is one of a few Kaiser doctors who can explain things well to children and parents at the same time. She's highly skilled and has done a lot of follow up care. I've been very pleased that she has taken the time to get to know my son and to help him through his surgery. Dr Wang tends to run late for appointments, but at the same time doesn't rush you. I think you are in the best of hands! Good luc W
Dr. Wang is great! She did my first breast reduction in 1993 during this surgery she took 10lbs. Then after I had my last child in 1995 she did it again and took about 5lbs. I have minimal scarring and would do it again if I had to. I was approx an H cup ( I used to wear two bras, one for support and the other to fit) now I am a 38C. Please contact me if I can answer questions for you. tina