Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How much does breast reduction cost in ireland

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has spent an estimated €207,000 on male breast reduction operations over the past four years.

Gynaecomastia – colloquially known as “man boobs” – is swelling of the breast tissue in men or boys, caused by an imbalance between estrogen and testosterone.

Figures provided by the HSE in response to a written Dáil question by Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy TD on the issue show that between 2014 and the end of August last, the HSE had carried out 46 gynaecomastia operations.

The figures show that between January and August last year, the HSE performed nine elective procedures; 12 elective and one emergency procedure in 2016; 10 elective procedures in 2015; and 14 elective procedures in 2014.

In its written reply to Mr Troy, the HSE said those who underwent surgery were usually treated by a general breast surgeon or plastic surgeon.

They are embarrassed when they are with their partners or even children, who often, innocently, pass remarks

According to Dr Peter Prendergast, medical director at the privately owned Venus Medical in Dublin, he performs 20-30 cases of male breast reduction annually and the number is growing.

“I meet several men every week who are extremely concerned about the appearance of their breasts. They wear loose, baggy clothes to conceal the contour of their chest. They avoid beaches,” he said.

Life-changing surgery

“They are embarrassed when they are with their partners or even children, who often, innocently, pass remarks. Surgery on these patients, whether excisional surgery or liposuction, is often indicated and can be life-changing for them.”

Up to 30 per cent of men have enlarged breasts and many of them are extremely bothered by their appearance

Dr Prendergast said men continued to be “extremely” embarrassed by their gynaecomastia.

“The number is growing in my practice as more men become aware of the possibility of improving the appearance of their chests without the need for surgery that requires general anaesthesia. Men also realise that it is a very common concern, and nothing to be ashamed about.”

Dr Prendergast said: “Up to 30 per cent of men have enlarged breasts and many of them are extremely bothered by their appearance. For some, it is true gynaecomastia, where the actual breast gland is enlarged. Others have so-called pseudogynaecomastia where there is simply excessive fatty tissue in the chest. It is often very resistant to diet and exercise, and the only remedy for aesthetically acceptable results is surgery.”

Dr Prendergast said the cost of each procedure, which takes an hour, was about €4,500. “Apart from wearing a special compression garment and taking mild pain relief, the recovery is quick and most men return to work within two or three days.”

How much does breast reduction cost in ireland

Studies suggest that the majority of women are dissatisfied with the natural size of their breasts. While some women seek to have breast augmentation procedures to achieve rounder, fuller breasts, other women opt for breast reduction surgeries. Breast reduction is a common goal for patients who feel that their large breasts are affecting their personal or professional life in a negative way. It is also a good option for patients whose breast size is causing them physical discomfort, like back pain or neck strain.

Breast reduction is the ideal surgery for women in this situation because it removes some of the excess tissue and fat that’s weighing down the chest. A breast reduction can significantly improve your quality of life no matter when you choose to have it.

Reduction vs lift

Some people may think that they need a reduction surgery when, in reality, a breast lift – to reposition the breasts to a higher part of the chest and create a more youthful, perkier shape – is the more appropriate choice. In other cases, a breast reduction combined with a breast lift may be the ideal approach. The fact that there are multiple options is why it’s so important to discuss your goals with a plastic surgeon who can help you decide which procedure is right for you.

Breast reduction surgery has a very high satisfaction rate, as patients are typically quite happy with the relief it provides them once the extra weight is removed. Generally, if you’re in physical pain, the sooner you get breast reduction surgery the better, so that you can enjoy a better quality of life.

Continue reading for some signs that you might be the perfect candidate for a breast reduction:

Timing breast reduction surgery

Additionally, you need to consider when the best time will be to get the reduction surgery done, so it won’t be overly stressful or disruptive to your daily life. Since breast reduction is a surgical procedure, you’ll need to take a couple of weeks off from work to recover at home afterward. If you have a flexible work schedule or can take time off during a holiday break, it will usually be better to do it then.

Patients often decide to have this surgery during the colder months because people spend more time indoors and wear bulkier clothing, meaning there’s less sun exposure and it’s easier to conceal swelling and other temporary side effects. It’s also better to plan to have this surgery after you’ve got close to your goal weight because losing a substantial amount of weight in the future could alter the results. If you plan to have children in the future, know that childbirth and pregnancy can also affect the shape of your breasts.

Is breast reduction right for you?

To find out more about who would be a good candidate for breast reduction, seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area by using the ASPS Find a Surgeon referral service.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

does vhi cover breast reduction

If you are reading this article, you are likely considering breast reduction. It has become more and more common to consider a breast reduction procedure. There are many reasons that women consider breast reduction which can include post-childbirth changes or that your breasts have become so large that they are hindering everyday activities such as exercising. A breast reduction procedure that can benefit you in many ways.

Many women wonder if your insurance benefits cover a breast reduction surgery. If you are asking yourself, “does insurance cover breast reduction?” you are not alone. Our office is asked this question frequently and we work hard to ensure that our patients know all of their options and exactly what their insurance company will provide and what they will not cover.

There are Many Reasons You May Be Considering Getting Your Breast Reduction Covered by Insurance

Unlike many places on our body, it is often very difficult to lose weight in the breasts. It has become a bit of a catch 22. For example, many women seeking to lose weight can perform all the cardio exercise that they can, while still not losing weight in their breasts. However, having extremely large breasts can also lead to pain when performing cardio exercise such as running, leading to a hindrance to do so, hence the catch 22.

If you are considering breast reduction surgery cost may be an issue when considering the procedure. However, what many women don’t know is that there are important factors that are considered when you are trying to get a breast reduction surgery through your insurance company. This is ideal for women who truly struggle with having breasts that are interfering with their everyday life and activities.

If you are considering having your breast reduction covered by insurance, here are a few different important points that can help make your case for a breast reduction covered by insurance.

See a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist for Neck and Back Pain

For many women, one of the reasons they are considering having breast reduction surgery in the first place is due to back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, or just general stress on the back area. The first step is typically to visit a physical therapist or chiropractor in order to have your specific pain looked at. During your visit make sure you mention that you are considering a breast reduction surgery to alleviate your pain. Ask them to make a specific note on your patient file documenting your symptoms of pain and discomfort. These visits will show them that your symptoms are truly causing you pain and that you have made additional attempts to remedy them prior to going the route of surgery.

Meet with Your Primary Care Physician

When looking to get a breast reduction covered by insurance, it is important to meet with your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms from dense heavy breast tissue. A primary care physician will document the pain you are having and go over the long-term effects of neck and back pain. Don’t forget to include minor pains like being uncomfortable due to pain from bra straps digging in deeply. This will give you another example to show that you have a real physical problem and are not just seeking a cosmetic breast reduction surgery.

Meet with a Plastic Surgeon

Meet with a plastic surgeon, specifically one that specializes in breast reduction surgeries. A consultation will demonstrate that you are being proactive in gathering information to help make the best informed decision regarding a surgical procedure. A plastic surgeon will be able to write a letter of medical necessity which will highlight the important history of neck and back pain along with the treatments and recommendations of your other doctors. A plastic surgeon will include as part of that letter the number of grams to be removed from each breast that is an important parameter for the insurance company to review as part of the pre operative authorization process.

Insurance companies may require pre operative photographs as part of the pre authorization process for a breast reduction procedure. As part of the insurance pre authorization each insurance company will let the physicians office know if photographs are required.

Note Specific Activities That Are Affected by Your Breast Size and Pain Caused

These can also include physical symptoms, such as being uncomfortable sitting at work all day with your bra straps digging sharply into your shoulders. While these are not medical proof you need back pain, it gives insurance company a better idea of why you should have breast reduction surgery insurance covered.

A breast reduction surgery can have many great benefits and help you live a more confident, active lifestyle. A plastic surgeon who performs breast reduction surgery on a regular basis will work diligently with you to get your insurance company to cover the procedure. As long as your insurance company receives all of the medical necessity and pre operative information regarding your case they will likely approve the procedure. Most insurance companies just want to make sure your surgery is not being performed for cosmetic reasons.

breast reduction criteria for insurance ireland

Irish women are facing bills running into the hundreds of thousands for life-saving medical treatment. Even stints in hospital for the less serious health problems typically encountered by women could easily cost tens of thousands in this country. Furthermore, while private health insurance can be a big help if you want to be treated privately and quickly, even this is no guarantee that you won’t be hit with a scary hospital bill. So what are the typical health problems that land Irish women in hospital – and what bills could they face should they have to pay their own way?

Breast and skin cancer: €80,000 plus

Breast and skin cancer are among the most common cancers suffered by Irish women. The cost of cancer treatment can run into the hundreds of thousands if you are being treated as a private patient. For example, the bill for Ipilimumab – a new cancer drug which has been described as life-saving – could easily run over €80,000. “A single dose of the drug Ipilimumab (Yervoy) is about €20,000 and a patient would need at least four doses in a course of treatment,” says Simon Nugent, CEO of the Private Hospitals Association.

Although most insurers cover Ipilimumab, your insurer may only cover it in certain circumstances. For example, VHI provides cover for Ipilimumab “for the treatment of advanced (unresectable or metastatic) melanoma in adults – subject to prior approval”. Laya covers the drug on a case-by-case basis. Aviva, which has previously refused to cover Ipilimumab, now does so “provided the drug is being used within the terms of its license”.

Having a baby: Up to €11,000

You could face a bill of €11,000 or more to have a baby – if you don’t have private health insurance and want to attend hospital as a private patient. This is largely due to the consultant fees and accommodation costs you will be hit with.

Expect to pay consultant fees of €2,000 to €6,000 as a private patient – and of €1,000 to €2,000 as a semi-private patient, advises Barbara Sheahan, head of health and dental at the Kindlon Insurance Group.

On top of this, you must pay for hospital accommodation. An overnight stay alone in a private room costs €1,000; a night in a semi-private room costs €813. As a woman will typically stay in hospital for between two and three nights after a standard delivery, the least that a private patient can expect to pay for accommodation after having a baby is between €2,000 and €3,000. The least a semi-private patient will pay is between €1,626 and €2,439.

Your accommodation bill will be even more expensive if you have a Caesarean section – as women often stay in hospital for five nights after this procedure. A private patient could therefore easily face a €5,000 bill for accommodation after having a C-section. So between consultant fees and accommodation, a C-section could cost a patient up to €11,000.

There are also additional charges for the delivery itself. A normal delivery for a private patient in a Dublin hospital usually costs around €300. These fees are typically covered by your private health insurance – but you will have to foot the bill yourself should you not have health cover and decide to be treated privately or semi-privately.

Even if you have private health cover, you could still have to pay a few grand on top of your insurance for your maternity care. Semi-private patients attending Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital for example must pay either €1,100 or €1,800, depending on whether their care is consultant-led or not.

Before going into hospital to have your baby, ask your private health insurer if you are fully covered for a semi-private or private room – and to what extent consultant fees are covered. If you have only recently signed up to private health insurance, you may not yet have served the 52-week waiting period for maternity care and so you won’t be covered.

You can avoid all of these costs by having your baby as a public patient. “If you choose to go publicly, maternity care is fully funded by the State,” says Sheahan. “This includes GP appointments, pre-natal appointments and ultrasounds. You will be in a public ward in a public hospital when having your baby. You cannot opt for a private room at the time of birth if you are a public patient all along.”

However, public patients usually have to wait longer than semi-private or private patients for hospital appointments – and their appointment times may be restricted to certain days and times. (Private patients usually have a choice of days and times). Public patients are also less likely than private patients to be seen by the same doctor at each antenatal visit and for their delivery.

Many women suffer from urinary incontinence problems after childbirth. There are a number of treatments for such problems, including a surgical implant known as urethral sling. This procedure is covered by private health insurers, according to Sheahan – though of course, this will depend on your plan.

There is also a new laser treatment for urinary incontinence. “This is not yet covered by any of the health insurance providers – nor will it likely be for a number of years,” says Sheahan. This laser treatment typically costs €1,900 a go, according to Sheahan. Three treatments are usually recommended – and offered for €4,500.

Many couples go down the in vitro fertilisation (IVF) route when they’re struggling to conceive. You could face a bill of €40,000 or more should you try to have a baby through IVF and even after paying this, there is no guarantee that you will have a baby.

“The average cost of a round of IVF is €5,000 to €10,000,” says Sheahan. “The average number of treatments per couple is four so a couple could face bills up to €40,000.”

Your private health insurance (should you have it) will offer little if any cover for IVF.

“The cover offered for IVF under private health insurance is very limited and it is only available from some insurers under certain plans,” says Sheahan. “The best plan on the market for IVF treatment is Glo Health’s Best Ultimate Cash II. The most you can claim back on this plan for IVF treatment is €2,000 – and this can be claimed twice per lifetime.”

Women often suffer with weak knees – particularly in old age. It could cost €19,000 to get a knee replaced.

Problems with the lower back and hips are also common. A discectomy is a type of surgery that you may undergo if you have back problems. It involves the removal of the whole or a part of an inter-vertebral disc. “It can cost anything from €5,000 to €15,000 for a discectomy – sometimes more,” says Dermot Goode, health insurance expert with It could cost between €12,000 and €15,000 to get a hip replaced.

Most insurers have co-payments on orthopaedic procedures, which means they won’t foot the entire cost of such surgery – leaving you to cough up a few thousand euro. Many VHI plans for example have a co-payment of 20pc on certain orthopaedic and ophthalmic procedures when they are carried out in a private hospital. This means you must foot a fifth of the cost of such surgery yourself.

Many Glo Health and Aviva plans have a co-payment of €2,000 for certain orthopaedic procedures in private hospitals – which means you must pay up to €2,000 towards the cost of such surgery. Laya is the only health insurer in Ireland which has no co-payments.

The cost of breast enlargement surgery could run to several thousand euro or more – and the least you can expect to pay is around €5,000. As private health insurance typically won’t cover such surgery, you will need to foot the bill for yourself. Breast reduction surgery is treated differently however. “Breast reductions are covered by each of the four private health insurers,” says Sheahan. “This is subject to pre-approval and a substantial amount of clinical indicators must be met – for example, a Body Mass Index of under 25 is usually a condition.”

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