Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How Much Does A Breast Reduction Cost Australia

A breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure aimed at reducing the size of the breasts by removing excess tissue and skin. This can help alleviate discomfort and pain caused by large breasts, as well as improve self-esteem and body image. If you are considering undergoing a breast reduction, one of the important factors to consider is the cost of the procedure.

The cost of a breast reduction can vary depending on several factors, including the surgeon’s experience, geographical location, hospital fees, anesthesia fees, and the extent of the surgery. On average, the cost of a breast reduction in the United States ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. This cost typically covers the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia, operating room fees, and follow-up appointments.

It is important to note that the cost of a breast reduction may not be covered by insurance unless it is deemed medically necessary. Insurance companies usually require documentation of physical symptoms related to large breasts, such as back, neck, or shoulder pain, in order to consider coverage for the procedure. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider to see if they cover breast reduction surgery and what their requirements are.

During a breast reduction surgery, the excess breast tissue, fat, and skin are removed through various techniques. The most common methods involve making incisions around the nipple (periareolar incision) or under the breast fold (inframammary incision). The surgeon will then reshape the breasts, reposition the nipples if necessary, and close the incisions with sutures.

After the surgery, patients may experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication prescribed by the surgeon. It is important to follow post-operative care instructions, such as wearing a surgical bra and avoiding strenuous activities, to ensure proper healing and optimal results.

In conclusion, if you are considering a breast reduction, it is important to research the cost of the procedure and understand what is involved in the surgery. Consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the first step to determine if you are a good candidate for a breast reduction and to discuss your goals and expectations. Remember to factor in the potential cost of the surgery and check with your insurance provider for coverage options. A breast reduction can not only improve physical discomfort but also enhance your quality of life and self-confidence.

How Much Does A Breast Reduction Cost Australia

While the specific costs of each procedure may vary, the following fees are often included in the estimates for plastic surgery:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Anaesthetist’s fee
  • Surgeon’s Assistant’s fee
  • Hospital and facility fees (e.g. accommodation, operating theatre, medicines and dressings)
  • Recovery garments and supplies
  • Routine follow-up visits

Additional costs such as transportation, time off work or management of complications are not included. Be sure to consider the total investment you may need to make before deciding if plastic surgery is right for you.

DOES THE TYPE OF BREAST REDUCTION AFFECT THE COST?

There are many different reasons why you may want breast reduction surgery. For some women, it is a matter of aesthetics and personal preference. For other women, there are physical limitations or medical considerations involved. 

Large breasts may contribute to:

  • Chronic neck, shoulder or back pain
  • Frequent skin irritation or infections under the breast fold
  • Headaches
  • Depressions in the shoulder area from bra straps
  • Posture issues
  • Restricted activity

The reasons for your breast reduction do not affect the cost of the procedure. However, they do affect whether your surgery may be covered by Medicare or private health insurance. 

Cosmetic breast reduction is considered an elective procedure. Therefore, the full cost of the procedure is the patient’s responsibility.

If there are health issues involved and prior attempts to alleviate those issues have failed, breast reduction surgery may then be considered a medically necessary procedure and become eligible for coverage through Medicare and private health insurers, thus reducing the financial burden on the patient.

DOES MEDICARE COVER BREAST REDUCTION IN AUSTRALIA?

The Medicare system does not cover breast reduction surgery if it’s undertaken purely for cosmetic reasons. 

However, there are circumstances in which breast reduction is deemed medically necessary, most often related to a developmental abnormality, breast cancer or significant physical discomfort that diminishes the patient’s quality of life. 

To be eligible for Medicare coverage, the surgeon must provide evidence of a medical need for the procedure. The surgeon must be a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon who is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and who is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). Dr Choy meets these requirements. 

DOES PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE COVER BREAST REDUCTION IN AUSTRALIA?

Private health insurance may help reduce your costs if you qualify for one of the MBS items listed above. 

Depending on your policy, your private health fund may pay some or all of the hospital costs, while Medicare covers some of the doctors’ costs. Your health insurer may also cover some or all of the remaining doctors’ costs.

Be prepared to pay some out-of-pocket costs. Your out-of-pocket cost is the difference between the amount charged and the combined amount paid by Medicare and your private insurer. 

Contact your insurer for accurate information about what your policy includes and what is restricted or excluded.

THE FINAL TALLY: WHAT IS THE COST OF BREAST REDUCTION IN SYDNEY?

The cost of breast reduction in Sydney typically ranges from $12,000–$20,000. This range includes purely cosmetic reductions as well as reductions for patients with medical concerns.

Please note that the costs outlined above are general estimates only. Each patient is unique in her goals, needs and body type, and the cost of plastic surgery is highly individualised as a result. Exact quotes can only be provided as part of your consultation with Dr Choy.

In Dr Choy’s office you will receive a Cost/Payment Schedule that breaks down all costs associated with your proposed breast reduction procedure. At this time, you can contact your health fund provider regarding eligibility for any rebates.

Public Waiting List For Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction Self Pay Surgery Package Includes
  • Pre-admissions assessment and testing
  • Hospital charges from admission to discharge
  • Surgeon fee
  • VR Assistant Surgeon fee
  • Anaesthetist fee
  • Prosthesis
  • Medications prescribed in hospital relating to surgery
  • Follow up review with surgeon
  • Individualised recovery plan

Cost benefits studied

The ASPS is pushing for greater Medicare coverage for people accessing breast reduction surgery. 

A 2021 survey led by Dr Tamara Crittenden found the surgery was a cost-effective tool for women with symptomatic breast hypertrophy. 

A woman with short hair and glasses smiles.
NIcola Dean thinks the surgery should be more readily available in public hospitals through Medicare.(Supplied)

The study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, quantified the benefits at $7,808 per quality-adjusted year of life, which it used as evidence the Australian healthcare system should support access to the surgery in public and private hospitals. 

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“That research also found that it’s very long-lasting, it’s a surgery that’s beneficial for the rest of a woman’s life,” Dr Dean said. 

Dr Dean would like to see the surgery be more readily available in public hospitals under Medicare. 

She said it was a surgery that suffered from a lack of public understanding.

While celebrities such as Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, Modern Family actress Ariel Winter and comedian Rachel Bloom have brought the surgery to the mainstream, a sense of confusion remains. 

“Patients coming to my clinic often say that their friends or family or colleagues don’t really understand that this is a medical procedure that they’re having for their health,” Professor Dean said. 

“I think that there probably does need to be better community awareness that this is a health procedure.

“It’s not a cosmetic procedure.”

 A deft touch

Like many surgeries, breast reduction techniques have advanced across the past decade. 

It’s one thing former ASPS president Mark Ashton credits to the increase in women booking breast reductions. 

He said previously young women were put off by potential complications including nipple death, breastfeeding issues and significant scarring. 

“It means that young people, those 23, 24, 25-year-olds, who are born with very, very large breasts now have an option in front of them where they can correct … the back pain and neck pain, the shoulder pain in an operation that takes maybe an hour and a half,” Mr Ashton said.

It’s information Helen Stojanovic wishes she had at that young age.

“I think that there needs to be more information about it available to women to say, ‘Yes, you can have this done,” she said. 

“This is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

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