For many patients, breast reconstruction cost plays a big role in their decision to undergo surgery. Often times, breast reconstruction takes place over several surgeries and medical procedures, and is a significant financial investment. The type of reconstructive surgery that a patient receives, as well as their specific health conditions are two major factors that will determine the cost of breast surgery. Although your surgeon is the only one who can provide an exact price of the surgery, below is some information on that factors that influence breast reconstruction cost.
Understanding Reconstructive Surgery Cost
Breast reconstruction surgery is a highly individualized procedure, and like most other surgical procedures, its cost can vary greatly. In fact, the cost of surgery can range from $3,000 to $9,000. When deciding whether or not to undergo breast reconstruction, it is important to understand all of the aspects that make up the cost of surgery.
Costs that are specific to breast reconstruction include:
- Whether one or both breasts are being reconstructed
- The time of surgery, whether reconstruction is being performed with the mastectomy or after breast removal.
- What breast reconstruction surgery method is being used (implant or flap)
- Special circumstances in relation to breast health that may cause complications
Costs associated with any surgical procedure, include:
- Type of anesthesia
- Surgical supplies used
- Surgeon’s Fees- based on surgeon experience and training
- Location of doctor (urban, suburban, rural)
- Blood and other laboratory tests
- Hospital Fees
- Post-operative care costs
Any questions that you have regarding breast reconstruction cost should be addressed during your consultation with your surgeon. Be sure to ask your surgeon to include all costs of the surgery (including hospital and anesthesiologist fees) in his or her estimate. Before going ahead with the procedure, you should have a full understanding of the financial obligation the surgery will impose so that you can budget accordingly.
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Breast Reconstruction and Insurance
Many insurance carriers cover the cost of breast reconstruction following mastectomy. According to the Women’s Health Rights and Cancer Act of 1998, if your group health plan covers mastectomies, it must also provide certain reconstructive surgery benefits. These insurers must cover:
- All procedures necessary to reconstruct the affected breast
- Any surgery on the other breast necessary to achieve a symmetrical appearance
- The cost of remedying potential reconstructive surgery complications
Because each insurance plan is different, the specifics of what is covered will vary on a case by case basis. Before undergoing breast reconstruction, carefully review your insurance plan and contact the company to determine the extent of your coverage. If you have insurance coverage for a mastectomy, you may be able to greatly reduce or even forego the cost of your breast reconstruction.
Is there financing available?
Yes. While many insurance plans cover the majority of the cost of breast reconstruction, there may be some residual expenses that are not covered. In these cases, patients can speak to their surgeon about payment plans and financing options.
Contact a Plastic Surgeon
Contact a plastic surgeon in your area to learn more about breast reconstruction costs.