The average cost of a breast lift is $5,012, according to the most recent statistics from the Aesthetic Surgery American Society. This average price only represents a portion of the overall cost, it does not account for anesthesia, operating room equipment, or other related costs. To determine a breast lift surgery, you should read this article.
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How Much Does a Cosmetic Breast Lift Typically Cost?
The average surgeon’s fee for mastopexy was $4,864 as of 2021. But your surgeon’s actual fee could be a lot more or less, depending on factors like:
- The surgeon’s years of experience
- The specific techniques the surgeon uses
- Market pricing in your local area
However, the price of a breast lift goes far beyond the surgeon’s fee.
What Other Breast Lift Costs Do I Need to Pay?
You’ll also face some or all of the following costs:
- Consultation fees
- Anesthesia fees
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Medical tests
- Post-surgery garments
- Prescription medications
- Follow-up care
As an example, a self-pay patient in Chicago would typically pay $5,112 for a breast lift, according to the cost estimator Fair Health Consumer. According to the organization’s website, the cost of the facility—$13,137 at an ambulatory surgical center or $13,885 at a hospital outpatient facility—and the cost of anesthesia together total $3,575 for the procedure. The surgery would cost about $22,000 if these were the only components.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery estimates the cost to be much lower. The average cost of a breast lift in Chicago, according to their specialists, could come to about $8,500, according to a 2018 survey. In addition to surgeon fees, the estimated cost would also include all patient expenses.
Regardless, medical tests, prescriptions, and compression garments aren’t likely to be expensive. Affordable and commonly prescribed pain medications include opioid/acetaminophen mixtures, NSAIDs, and opioid/NSAID mixtures.
What Are Breast Lift Costs May Include?
- Anesthesia fees
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Medical tests
- Post-surgery garments
- Prescriptions for medication
- Surgeon’s fee
Remember that the experience of the surgeon and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the total cost of the procedure when selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area for a breast lift.
What Happens During a Cosmetic Breast Lift?
Breasts that are sagging, flat, drooping, or uneven can be given a rounder shape with a breast lift. During the procedure, the surgeon may reposition low or downward-pointing nipples that are located beneath the breast crease.
Your surgeon will pick an approach and an incision pattern that are appropriate for you. There are three typical incision patterns:
- Around the areolas only
- Around the areola and vertically from the areola to the breast crease
- Around the areola, vertically to the breast crease, and then along the breast crease
In choosing the best approach, the surgeon will consider:
- The size and shape of your breasts and areolas
- The quality and elasticity of your skin
- The amount of sagging tissue and excess skin you have
You’ll either be given general anesthesia or intravenous sedation on the day of the procedure. The incisions are made, the breast tissue is lifted and reshaped, and the nipple and areola are moved if necessary by the surgeon. The surgeon can remove extra breast skin and trim the areola’s perimeter to reduce its size. After securing the internal breast tissue, the surgeon carefully minimizes scarring by closing the incisions with sutures.
Breast implants are not used; only the pre-existing breast tissue is. However, some women decide to combine a breast lift with an augmentation or a reduction.
Is a Breast Lift Worth It?
You might decide to get a breast lift to improve the look of your breasts and raise your self-esteem. Only you know how much that is worth to you and whether you’ll struggle to cover the costs out of pocket.
A breast lift has risks, just like any surgical procedure. Before making the appointment, you should carefully take them into account. Potential drawbacks include:
- Anesthesia side effects
- Breasts that are not completely symmetrical
- Post-surgical breast shape that doesn’t match what you wanted
- Temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the breast or nipple
- Potential loss of nipple and areola
- Infection or poor healing
- Risk of deep vein thrombosis
- Risk of cardiac or pulmonary complication
- Risk of fat necrosis (death of fatty tissue)
It’s a good idea to prepare a list of questions in advance to aid in your evaluation of the benefits and drawbacks of a breast lift. During your appointment with your plastic surgeon, bring it with you.
Am I a Candidate for a Breast Lift?
You may be a good candidate for breast lift surgery if the following applies:
- One breast is lower than the other
- You have enlarged areolas and stretched skin
- Your areolas and nipples point downward
- When unsupported, your nipples fall below the breast crease
- Your breasts are pendulous or have a flatter, elongated shape
- You feel like your breasts have lost their volume or shape or that they sag
- You do not smoke
- You are healthy physically and able to maintain a stable weight
What Should You Consider Before Having Breast Lift Surgery?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) suggests you ask surgery-related questions such as:
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- What outcomes are acceptable to me?
- What should I do to achieve the best results?
- Will you carry out my procedure where and how I specify?
- What surgical procedure is suggested for me?
- How much time will it take me to recover?
- How much assistance will I require while recovering?
- What are the possible risks and side effects of my procedure?
- Do you have before-and-after pictures of this procedure I can view?
- How should my breasts change over time? After pregnancy?
- What are my options if I’m not happy with the way my procedure turned out?
Inquire further about the experience and credentials of your surgeon. The ASPS proposes these questions:
- Do you hold an American Board of Plastic Surgery certification?
- You had specialized training in plastic surgery, right?
- How long have you been training in plastic surgery?
- Are you authorized to carry out this procedure in the hospital? If so, which hospitals?
- Is the office-based surgical facility licensed by the state, certified by Medicare, or accredited by an organization that is nationally or state-recognized?
Does Insurance Cover Breast Lifts?
When done as cosmetic surgery, a breast lift is not covered by private health insurance. Nevertheless, mastopexy might occasionally be regarded as necessary for medical reasons. An insurer might, for instance, pay for a breast lift if records show that, after a mastectomy or lumpectomy, the patient with cancer will have symmetrical breasts.
Medicare doesn’t cover cosmetic surgery, either, so you’ll typically pay 100% of the cost of a breast lift. Medicare will, however, pay for plastic surgery if it is medically necessary, just like private insurance does. For breast cancer survivors who have had a mastectomy, the surgical implantation of breast prostheses is covered. You are responsible for paying your Part B deductible in full as well as 20% of the amount approved by Medicare.
In a similar vein, Medicaid does cover medically necessary breast reconstruction surgery but not cosmetic breast lift surgery. In some cases, mastopexy may qualify.
You might want to finance the procedure if you’re paying for your breast lift out of pocket. Payment plans might be available from your surgeon. Additionally, you could use a healthcare loan like Prosper or a medical credit card like CareCredit. The interest rates on these accounts, however, can be high. Using funds from your savings account makes more sense from a personal finance perspective. If you’re unable to do that, at the very least look around for a credit card or personal loan with the lowest possible interest rate.
How Long Does a Breast Lift Last?
Although many women have multiple breast lifts, the results of one can frequently last for a decade or longer.
How long your breasts will likely remain supple after mastopexy should be thoroughly discussed prior to surgery between you and your plastic surgeon. The answer depends on the individual and a number of factors, including:
- The texture and elasticity of your skin
- The size of your breasts
- Your age at the time of the breast lift
- Natural hormonal changes that may cause loss of breast volume over time
- How consistently do you wear a supportive bra after surgery
- Whether you lose or gain weight
What is the Recovery Time to Expect?
A mastopexy is performed as an outpatient procedure, so there is no requirement for an overnight stay. Sedation is administered to patients prior to surgery, putting them to sleep during the procedure.
Minor bruising and swelling are experienced by patients, but they soon go away. In a few days, you can return to your regular activities. Typically, there are no visible scars.
Is a Breast Lift Painful?
After a breast lift, you’ll have some discomfort, swelling, and bruising. You might experience tight skin. The effects last for about two weeks and gradually get better. Your medical team will remove any drains you may have had close to the incisions a few days following the procedure.
How Permanent is a Breast Lift?
A breast lift procedure that raises and firms your breasts may be right for you. The effects are long-lasting, but not strictly permanent.
How Long Did Your Breast Lift Last?
In general, women are usually able to enjoy their breast lift results for about 10–15 years, though some patients are able to go much longer before a revision is needed.
Be prepared to foot the entire bill yourself as health insurance won’t pay for a breast lift performed for purely cosmetic reasons. The price may exceed $20,000 when you factor in the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia, facility fees, and other expenses. The breast lift must, however, be covered by any insurer that covers mastectomy if it is a component of post-mastectomy reconstruction.