Are you interested in breast reduction surgery? If so, you’re not alone. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the number of women under age 18 who had breast reduction surgery increased by more than 1,200 percent between 1997 and 2017.
The reason for this increase is unclear, but it could be related to a rise in body positivity and acceptance among young women and men. Whatever the cause, there are plenty of factors that go into deciding whether or not breast reduction surgery is right for you.
In this post, we’ll take a look at how much breast reduction surgery costs on average across different cities and states around the US—and what that means for your pocketbook.
average cost of breast reduction surgery
So, a quick refresher on what a breast reduction actually is. This plastic surgery is used to reduce the soft tissues of the female breast (the same procedure in men is called a gynecomastia surgery). A breast reduction can be used for aesthetic purposes or functional purposes for women experiencing chronic discomfort or pain secondary to overly large breasts. There are three surgical incision techniques for a breast reduction: inverted T, periareolar, or vertical.
We’ll also mention here that oftentimes breast reduction surgery and breast augmentation may be combined with a breast lift. If your breast reduction or augmentation is going to be one component of a multi-step procedure, costs will be different than the numbers seen on this page. However, it is still useful to understand what goes into the price of a breast reduction as a standalone procedure.
How Much Does Breast Reduction Surgery Cost? A Detailed Look
The choice to undergo a breast reduction compared to other elective surgeries is differentiated simply by the fact that it’s often associated with a medical condition or discomfort rather than vanity. Women considering breast reduction are typically driven by physical discomfort due to large or heavy breasts, such as back pain, neck strain, skin rashes, difficulty fitting into clothes, and unwanted attention.
For that reason, we’ve created this article to help women like yourself who are looking for answers to how much breast reductions cost; and weed out the wide range of estimates you likely stumbled across in the process.
Continue reading for a breakdown of the factors contributing to the cost of a breast reduction to provide you with a realistic view of what to expect when weighing the costs and benefits of surgery.
When debating whether to have breast reduction surgery, there are a variety of factors to consider when deciding, but above all else, the price tag tends to be at the forefront of our mind. According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the national average cost of for breast reduction is $5,631.
However, it’s important to note that this cost can vary dramatically from one patient to another and often does not include other surgery-related expenses. Generally, the major costs that factor into your total are the surgeon’s fee, facility fee, anesthesia fee, post-surgery fees and cost of implants.
After calculating the additional expenses including the surgeon, anesthesia, and operating facility fees, that are often overlooked, the cost of a breast reduction can range from $8,900 – $12,000 (if not more).
But ultimately, the total cost will depend on a variety of factors:
- Surgeon Selection
- Scope of Procedure
- Operating Facility
- Surgical Expenses
- Geographic Location
All surgeons have their own approach for performing breast reductions, based on different amenities at their disposal, experience level, and accreditations. Surgeon selection is a critical piece of the puzzle, especially when it comes to influencing the cost of surgery.
It’s important to choose a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) with extensive experience in all types of breast surgery. Board certification may not always guarantee the best results; however, it does require rigorous education and surgical training to improve the odds of a successful outcome. Certification type is also important; there are over 150 self-designated boards but only a handful recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
At Austin-Weston, our three plastic surgeons have accumulated a combined 75 years of experience, and with that have cultivated an excellent reputation in the DC Metro Area and surrounding community. Each surgery is preceded by an extensive consultation appointment and the expert-eye of our surgeons to create life-changing results.
As with most procedures, the cost for a breast reduction will depend on the scope of the surgery required and according to the individual, their areas of concerns and expectations. Patients with extremely large, oversized breasts require a more extensive surgery in order remove excess tissue and to reposition and reshape the nipple, which can increase the cost of the procedure. Each breast reduction surgery procedure is unique, so addressing cost can be premature until a surgeon has examined the breasts and develops a surgical plan tailored for each patient.
This is an important factor to consider not only because of overall cost but because it may put a price tag on the importance of your safety and satisfaction. The importance of having your procedure performed in an accredited surgical facility by qualified staff is critical in the decision-making process. Do not try to cut costs by sacrificing safety and having your procedure performed at a non-accredited practice or surgeon who is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).
The Austin-Weston Center is a free-standing surgery facility located in Reston, Virginia, equipped with five surgical suites and certified by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Our surgeons are in plastic surgery, our Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are nationally certified by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists, and all personnel is licensed and certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).
You should ask the surgeon directly if these are all the costs involved in your estimate. Since there are no set costs for any of these expenses, it is important to explore multiple options by meeting with several surgeons and getting estimates for not only their surgeon fees but also the additional surgical-related expenses.
When estimating the cost of a breast reduction, always account for additional surgery-related expenses:
- Anesthesia Fees
- Post-Surgery Garments
- Prescription Medications
Anesthesia costs for breast reductions vary considerably. If anesthesia is administered by a Anesthesiologist the cost will be higher. With a CRNA (or Nurse Anesthetist), on the other hand, the price is lower. Another factor for lower costs is using a non-certified anesthetist nurse, or medical assistant to deliver the anesthetic drugs (and yes, this happens). Anesthesia fees are incurred hourly, so if the surgeon has a meticulous technique causing them to operate at a slow pace, the price will increase in conjunction with speed.
When researching procedure, it’s important to consider geographic location instead of the national average when it comes to calculating the cost. The fly in the ointment is that the total cost varies widely among regions, with plastic surgery hotspots like Manhattan, Beverly Hills, Miami and Los Angeles at the higher end of the spectrum. In comparison, lightly populated areas, such as the Mid-West, will have much lower costs.
The reason plastic surgery costs vary geographically, like major urban centers, is typically due to higher overhead costs for surgeons in these areas. The first step in considering the price is to assess costs based on your location and the cost of living is in that area. To get ballpark prices for procedures in your area, use the Healthcare Blue Book (works the same as Kelley Blue Book for car prices).
Considerations Aside from Cost
While cost will always be a factor, it should not be the only reason for selecting one plastic surgeon or practice over another. There are several other factors to consider:
- Experienced in Performing Procedure
- Former Patient Ratings and Reviews
- Emotional Connection with Surgeon
Payment and Financing
Since breast reduction surgery is often performed for medical and non-cosmetic reasons, the procedure can occasionally be covered by your insurance policy. To confirm, contact your insurance provider to find out if all or part of the procedure is covered. For procedures not covered by insurance, or if a portion of the procedure is not covered, most plastic surgeons offer monthly payment plans and financing options if a patient is interested in taking that route.
When the time comes and you’re ready to take the leap, it sometimes becomes necessary to look at the benefits of financing your procedure. Almost all practices accept credit cards but patients should carefully consider the interest rates associated with all available options. There are also several third-party financing companies that deal exclusively with patients interested in treatments not covered by insurance.
What affects the cost of a breast reduction?
To continue our deep dive, let’s look more closely at the variables we introduced above. First, a quick PSA: the information here is an estimate and the most accurate cost analysis will always come via consultations with possible plastic surgeons.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, the following points can help you get a feel for the questions to ask and factors to consider during a plastic surgery consultation. Knowledge is power! Woo!
- Provider: A more experienced, board certified plastic surgeon or specialized provider usually has higher fees for their skills and so higher consultation fees. The consultation fee may be applied towards the final cost of the procedure.
- Anesthesiologist: Just like with the plastic surgeon, education, training, and experience will impact cost. General anesthesia requires more expertise and is more expensive than local anesthesia. Most local anesthetics can be administered without an anesthesiologist.
- Location: The 2020 ASPS Report shows procedure occurrences by region. The east and west coasts accounted for 51 percent of all breast reductions performed in 2019. The central portion of the country held the remaining amount.
- Recovery: Breast reduction recovery will vary by each candidate, but recovery generally includes prescriptions, compression garments, follow up appointments, and time away from work.
What does the cost of a breast reduction include?
When it comes to medicine and health insurance, it’s safe to say we all want to know what we are actually paying for. For starters, the hours the surgeon spends performing the breast reduction is usually what is reported as the ‘average cost’ or ‘surgeon’s fee.’ It’s not exact, but think of it as your surgeon’s hourly rate. Keep in mind your surgeon has business expenses like rent, staff payroll, professional liability insurance, and office and medical supplies in addition to their personal salary.
Breast reduction costs rise as the other variables are added in. Additional medical personnel assisting in the procedure (anesthesiologist, nurses, and surgical assistants), tools and supplies used during your breast reduction (needles, bandages, surgical gowns, gloves, etc.), medications before, during, and after your breast reduction (sedatives, painkillers, antibiotics, etc.), and the fee for the hospital or facility’s procedure or operating room.
And one more consideration is the personal expenses you will encounter during your breast reduction experience. These may include consultation fees with other plastic surgeons while you’re shopping around, travel costs, pre-surgical care, time off from work, and recovery supplies you elect to personally purchase.
How much does a breast reduction cost?
Time for some real numbers. A breast reduction averages $3,500 to $12,500 in the U.S. This estimate is inclusive of all the variables we mentioned minus your personal expenses. The range is, yes, wide-ranging, but it can help with understanding what a procedure may ultimately cost you. It’s worth noting that many providers and facilities have financing options to assist with cost and payment.
Location, location, location! The table below hopefully will drive home the point that location plays a major role in the overall cost of a breast reduction. The ASPS 2020 Statistics Report showed an even distribution of breast reduction occurrences across the country, however, there are still significant differences in cost between states.
AVERAGE BREAST REDUCTION COST BY STATE
*these states are presented as national averages as specific information is not available
How much does a breast reduction cost around the world?
For those considering pursuing a breast reduction abroad, the following table compares average cost ranges across a few countries. Friendly reminder to add in travel expenses, research the facility and provider reputation, and factor in costs related to recovery when reviewing the listed prices. The table below reflects costs converted to U.S. dollars.
AVERAGE BREAST REDUCTION COST BY COUNTRY IN USD
|Canada||$5,000 to $8,000|
|Mexico||$2,000 to $5,000|
|Colombia||$2,000 to $5,000|
|United Kingdom||$6,000 to $11,000|
|Australia||$6,000 to $10,000|
|Japan||$5,000 to $8,000|
|United Arab Emirates||$6,000 to $9,000|