Why a Breast Lift?
A woman’s breasts can change throughout her life. Many women find that their breasts begin to sag as they age, particularly if their breasts were larger to begin with. Additionally, if a woman experiences a significant weight loss (for example, from bariatric surgery), her breasts may sag because there’s extra skin and less breast volume. Not only can saggy breasts affect a woman’s self-esteem, but they may also cause rashes to form on the underside of the breast where it rubs on the skin of the abdomen. Many women spend a small fortune on bras to try and lift their breasts, but these are often uncomfortable and may not be adequate to lift the breasts. For this reason, some women choose to have a breast lift procedure.
If you’re choosing breast lift surgery, make sure you’re choosing it because you really want it, not to please someone else or to fit an imagined ideal. No one else can make the choice for you; it’s your body, and you’re in charge of it. After you do your research and understand the procedure, if you believe that a breast lift is right for you, then proceed. You can learn more about the breast lift procedure, its risks and benefits, in our Education Wiki.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a breast lift is $4,207. Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual surgeon, so you should check with the surgeon(s) you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
Some patients are surprised to find out that the surgeon’s fee isn’t necessarily the only expense they’ll need to consider for their breast lift. There may be anesthesia costs and operating room or hospital fees that aren’t included in the surgeon’s fee. Medications (for example, pain medication, or antibiotics) may also be an extra cost. In some cases, you also have to pay separately for your postsurgical garments. If any medical testing is required, this could also be a separate cost. A few surgeons may not include your preoperative and postoperative appointments in their fee, although most do include these visits to ensure that you’re adequately cared for. You should ask what all of the fees will be before your procedure, so that you aren’t surprised when the bill comes.
It’s also important to make sure you have access to a little extra money, via financing or savings, in case you have medical complications from the surgery (for instance, if you develop an infection). Your insurance usually will not cover complications from an elective surgery. While complications from this surgery are not common, they do happen to a few women, and so you should be prepared in case that rare woman is you.
Will Insurance Cover It?
In most cases, insurance will not cover your breast lift, though there may be rare exceptions. If your breasts are sagging due to aging or weight loss, then your breast lift procedure likely won’t be covered, even if it’s due to a bariatric surgery that was covered. Occasionally, if sores are forming under the breasts and cannot be treated through other means, the insurance may cover a breast lift to treat this problem; however, the company will usually still refuse coverage for the procedure. You can call your insurance company to be sure. Usually, you’ll need to pay all of the costs above: the surgeon’s fee, any extra fees, and any postoperative complications that may arise.
What Are the Financing Options?
To many people, paying thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. Many physicians offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Plastic Surgery Financing page.