Why Breast Reduction?
The size of a woman’s breasts can play a major role in her body image. If a woman has particularly large breasts, particularly if her figure is unbalanced, it may affect her self-esteem. She may find them inconvenient, as she avoids particular activities because her breasts get in the way. She may find it difficult to get clothes and underwear that fit right. Additionally, many women with large breasts experience back, neck, or shoulder pain, as the body strains to carry the weight of the breasts. For any of these reasons, a woman may choose a breast reduction.
If you’re choosing breast reduction 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 breast reduction is right for you, then proceed. You can learn more about the breast reduction procedure, its risks and benefits, in our Education Wiki.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a female breast reduction procedure is $5,165. 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 reduction. 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 reduction. However, if you are experiencing medical complications from your large breasts, such as back pain, that cannot be successfully treated any other way, then your insurance may cover all or part of the cost. If you’re choosing the procedure for aesthetic reasons or because your large breasts are such an inconvenience, your insurance won’t cover it. That includes 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.