Breast reductions differ from most cosmetic procedures in that they can often be justified as medically necessary. that is, there are real physical symptoms including pain, headaches, rashes, numbness, and tingling that can be relieved by this procedure, also called a reduction mammoplasty. this makes some patients very happy: not only do they feel much better afterwards, but they can finally find tops that fit them well.
For many women, this makes it worth saving up for the procedure. but the cost, around $9,000, isn’t chump change. that’s because there’s a lot to it, including:
- hospital or facility fees
- anesthesia fees
- surgeon fees
- lab fees and other tests
- prescription drugs
- special garments for after surgery
- There may be paperwork that needs to be completed even before your first visit with a plastic surgeon. many carriers want a paper record of failed non-surgical treatments for specific complaints. for example: pain medications or muscle relaxants were prescribed without help; prescription antifungal creams for rashes were unsuccessful; physical therapy or chiropractic care failed to relieve neck pain; or weight loss did not change symptoms. It may also be helpful to provide letters from other doctors, such as your primary care provider, pain doctor, or OB/GYN, saying they think you would benefit from breast reduction.
- You may need to see an orthopedic surgeon first or undergo weeks of physical therapy treatment.
- You may only qualify for coverage if a certain amount of breast tissue needs to be removed. this is called the schnur scale and is based on the patient’s height and weight. it is simply a chart indicating the weight of tissue that must be removed (in relation to your height and weight) in order for it to be considered a reduction and not a breast lift.
The good news is that there are several options when it comes to paying for breast reduction.
As long as a treatment such as a breast reduction is considered medically necessary, there is a chance that insurance will cover it. that’s the case for some of the patients we see here in north texas. but covering it is not always as simple as it seems. It is important that you take a close look at your particular insurance policy. Policies vary widely and can even change from year to year.
If you think you might be a candidate for insurance coverage, first take a close look at your policy, go online, and even call your provider. if they cover breast reductions, make sure you understand their requirements.
Beware of breast reduction policy exclusions. this means your insurer will not cover breast reductions, no matter the reason, even if your doctor says it’s medically necessary. It’s also important to note that the combination of a high deductible and copay requirements sometimes make it less expensive to pay out of your insurance.
Most of our patients pay for their breast reductions without insurance. the cost may vary depending on each case, but dr. slack offers all pre-op and post-op visits at no additional cost. this generally includes about five visits. These are the most common ways our patients pay:
credit: many of our patients pay by credit card. this can be attractive due to the various incentive and points programs available. however, beware of high interest rates. You can even take advantage of an introductory offer and pay no interest.
Cash or Check: In this increasingly paperless society, you’ll be happy to know that we still accept cash and checks. start saving. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll have enough for something important to you if you pay yourself instead of Starbucks. better yet, quit smoking (which you should do before surgery anyway) and you’ll save big.
Medical Financing: Companies like prosper and carecredit® offer convenient monthly payment options exclusively for health care services. They often have no upfront costs or prepayment penalties, which means you can get the surgery you want sooner rather than later.
However you choose to pay for your breast reduction, it’s important to remember that cost isn’t the only (or most important) factor to consider. The value of a qualified plastic surgeon you can trust and who will give you the care you need should not be underestimated.
dr. slack will be happy to offer you a consultation to help you understand the options available to you.