First of all, my reduction was performed in October, 2008, covered by insurance 100% except for the cost of some pain medication. My surgeon's office handled all the paperwork. I did have to see my regular doctor once to confirm it was needed and this cost me a $15 co-pay. I think the cost I input was approximately my total out of pocket expense for everything.
My pre surgery bra size was 34F. I was a size 10 on the bottom, a 14 to 16 on top. I had not worn a dress in years. Certain yoga poses were impossible. Golfing? Forget it. And the back pain was constant.
I had approximately 3 pounds of tissue removed in total. I was a 34F before surgery, a 34DD after. I went from an XL knit top to a medium or large.
My breasts were hard at first, heavily bruised, and I was not pleased with the shape. A stitch was left in the areola of one and was cut out without any numbing (I was told that it would have been just as painful and taken longer, so he just snipped it out - two cuts). I thought he was being brutal, but the doctor I was dating a few months later said the surgeon was probably right - it would have been just as painful, perhaps more so, to have it injected, and definitely taken longer.
I had to use Kelo-cote as it appeared I was scarring poorly. The gel worked great to improve the look of my breasts (my nipples, which were reduced to an appropriate size, looked great from the beginning, except for that dimple caused from the hidden stitch).
Four or five months after the surgery, when I was dating the physician who was a "breast man", his handling of them broke up the scar tissue and made them softer, more natural feeling and looking. I rather liked them harder, firmer, perkier, but they definitely looked more natural afterward.
I felt good in three weeks, though I went back to work in 10 days. I felt normal in six to eight weeks. I felt great and looked great in year.
More than two years post reduction, I am a 34D (after losing 30 lb.) and absolutely love them. They are, without a doubt, my best feature. I wear the most beautiful bras, great dresses and shirts, my back pain is gone, the grooves in my shoulders a memory, they aren't in my way no matter what I do. My only regret is that I didn't do this years before. They are works of art...I'm recovering from a tummy tuck now. I can only hope my abs are half as nice as my chest.