Women who have had one or both breasts removed due to a mastectomy may consider breast reconstruction plastic surgery to restore the appearance of their breasts.
During the pre-operative consultation, the breast surgeon will provide the patient with information on various facets of this procedure, including its approximate costs.
Working things Out
Many patients will be eligible for insurance coverage for breast reconstruction surgery under their health plan. The patient should discuss her impending surgery with her insurance provider in advance.
In addition, she should seek details from the surgeon on the costs and medical documentation necessary for the process of insurance coverage. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jacob Bloom provides breast reconstruction to patients in Chicago, IL, and surrounding communities.
The costs of breast reconstruction plastic surgery may vary between practices and even between two patients at the same practice. The following factors may impact the costs of breast reconstruction surgery:
Geographical Location of the Practice
The location of the practice will influence the costs of the procedure. The overhead and real estate costs in prime urban centers and metropolitan cities are usually higher, which impacts the costs of surgery procedures such as breast reconstruction cosmetic surgery.
The surgeon’s fee will be commensurate with their credentials, experience, training, and recognition in the field of breast surgery.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons advises patients to select the best possible plastic surgeon for their specific needs. The fees of the surgeon should only be a secondary consideration in this decision.
Surgical Venue Expenses and Anesthesia
The breast reconstruction procedure may take place at a hospital or an accredited surgical center. An anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist will administer the anesthesia to the patient. The surgical venue chosen as well as the skills and experience of the anesthesia provider will affect the overall procedure costs.
Type of Technique
While some patients may undergo breast reconstruction surgery with flap reconstruction techniques, others will require saline or silicone implants.
At times, a combination of both these techniques may be used for more complete results. The patient may decide to undergo the breast reconstruction right after her mastectomy or at a later date after healing from the procedure. Such factors will influence the overall costs of the surgery.
In most cases, the insurer will bear full or partial breast reconstruction surgery costs. Ideally, the patient should discuss this aspect with their insurance provider in advance of the reconstruction procedure. Stemming from this, the patient should speak to the surgeon’s staff to understand what documents they may require to file the insurance claim.
An ideal scenario will involve the patient placing the insurance claim prior to the procedure if they have adequate time to plan for the mastectomy and reconstruction procedure. Patients without insurance coverage may consider seeking financing from medical care finance providers.
An Investment in Quality
For a major procedure such as breast reconstruction surgery, the patient should ideally choose an experienced cosmetic surgeon and a well-established practice.
The procedure costs should only be a secondary consideration in this decision. Choosing to undergo the procedure at a practice with sub-optimal quality standards can potentially cause further expenditure on revision surgeries in the long-run.
Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jacob Bloom receives patients from Chicago, IL, and nearby areas for breast reconstruction.