Type of Surgery

Introduction to Breast Surgery

Last updated: 01/28/2009

Breast surgeries fall into four major categories: breast augmentation surgeries, breast lift surgeries, breast reduction surgeries, and breast reconstruction surgeries. Breast augmentation, also known by augmentation mammoplasty and the more commonly used term breast implants, are the most popular and widely performed of the four. This type of cosmetic breast surgery involves inserting synthetic implants into incisions made in or around the breasts. Most women choose breast augmentation for purely aesthetic reasons, but breast augmentation surgeries, along with breast reconstruction surgeries, are also used for patients who have suffered through a breast cancer mastectomy or some other type of accident that has caused permanent damage. Breast lifts are used to help reverse the effects of age and gravity, while breast reduction surgeries are offered for both women and men who suffer from overenlargement that interferes with their daily lives. Clearly, the field of cosmetic breast surgery is a wide-ranging one, with a multitude of options available to the patient.


Costs of Breast Surgery

Based on data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the average cost of a breast augmentation surgery was $3,813 in 2007. The same source lists the average national cost of a breast lift, or mastopexy, as $4,258. Breast reductions in women cost an average of $5,429, while breast reduction in men was $3,400. The cost of breast reconstruction surgeries are more difficult to estimate, because depending on the amount of damage done and the desired end results, your surgeon may choose a combination of many different procedures. Consult potential surgeons about your specific case to receive an estimate.

Read the Fine Print

A word of warning: the above estimates provided by the ASPS are only for the surgeon’s fee in a cosmetic breast surgery procedure. The numbers do not account for hospital facility fees, anesthesiologist fees, consultation fees, medical test fees, or post-op checkup fees. Go into your breast surgery with a healthy understanding that you will probably need to cough up anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 dollars to cover the non-surgical elements of your desired breast surgery. The best solution to attaining a realistic estimate? Talk to your surgeon.

Financing Options

Because almost all breast surgeries fall under the heading of elective cosmetic procedures, attaining some sort of financial assistance from your insurance provider is unlikely in most cases. There are special exceptions, of course. Breast cancer survivors who turn to breast reconstruction surgeries may successfully appeal to their healthcare providers for full or partial coverage of the costs, as may patients who look to reconstructive surgery for other pressing reasons. Some cases of breast reduction surgery may also be eligible for financial assistance, particularly if the overenlargement of breasts is shown to cause medically relevant complications such as difficulty breathing.

Most women, however, elect to undergo cosmetic breast surgery for personal reasons and will find themselves unable to turn to their healthcare providers. In this case, discuss financing options such as installment plans and loans to see whether the cost of breast surgery makes it worthwhile to you.

Last Updated: 01/28/2009

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