Cost is one of the largest contributing factors in the decision for someone to pursue cosmetic surgery. Price can often be an important differentiating factor to consider when comparing surgeons. A surgeon’s expertise specific to the procedure you are interested in, the quality of their results, and photos demonstrating high-quality results can often be reflected in a higher price. If a particular surgeon is more expensive but you appreciate their opinion and results more than another, speak with their office coordinator to review payment options. Be very wary of free consultations as these are often not thorough enough for the provider to give you full education on a procedure. Proper knowledge is essential for making an appropriate, informed decision regarding surgery. Prices range from $10,000 on the very low end, to above $30,000 for very experienced high-quality surgeons on Park Avenue.
What Affects the Cost of a Breast Lift?
The cost of a breast lift procedure can vary depending on several factors. One major factor would be geography. The larger the city (New York City for example), the greater the density of plastic surgeons. Board-certified plastic surgeons look to stand out by obtaining the highest level of training available within their field. A surgeon with advanced training and a well-established practice will often be more costly than a junior surgeon without the same credentials. Many warm-weather cities are known for offering inexpensive plastic surgery. While there are qualified providers in those places, it is important to research implications of seeking surgery away from home – downtime, hotel/travel expenses, and what would happen in the case of any complication. Another aspect of surgery that can affect cost is the associated surgical center and anesthesia fees. These are usually billed based on time in surgery, so how effectively a surgeon can achieve the desired result within a certain time constraint is a consideration. The average, uncomplicated breast lift typically takes around three to four hours. Lastly, the type of practice the plastic surgeon maintains can affect cost. For example, a surgeon seeing many more patients within a given day with less time and attention per patient can charge less due to volume. In this case patients may often be seen by a lower-level provider (PA, RN) for many of their post-operative follow-up visits. On the contrary, some surgeons prefer to minimize patient overload to allow each patient a large amount of individualized care, and that type of extra attention comes at a higher cost.
What is Covered Under This Cost?
Below is a list of common items included in a surgical quote for breast lift surgery:
Surgeon’s Fee: This is the component that covers the actual surgical technique employed by your plastic surgeon. That typically includes addressing any sagging skin because of aging or weight loss, using a vertical incision or incision placed in the breast crease. Breast tissue can also be removed in the case of any breast asymmetry. Both elements result in a more youthful, higher position on the chest. It is important to note that additional procedures are not typically included in primary surgeon’s fees, so be sure to ask your surgeon or coordinator to clarify the office policy on revisions.
Anesthesia: This is the fee paid to the anesthesiologist or CRNA, based on the length of time in surgery. Much like with the surgeon you chose, a senior anesthesia provider will incur more cost. You will meet with the anesthesia provider usually for the first time on the day of your operation. Any anesthesia considerations such as reactions or sensitivities should be relayed directly to your plastic surgeon in advance.
Facility Fee: This is the fee paid to the operating facility, based on the length of time in surgery. Each facility has its own fee structure. Some plastic surgery procedures are performed in-office at qualified locations. Others use a credentialed ambulatory surgery center affiliated with a major hospital. Fees are usually quoted based on estimates of surgical time and provided to you in advance.
Implants: Breast lift surgery can also be performed concurrently with breast augmentation using implants. If breast sagging is coupled with a loss in volume, breast implants can be used to restore youthful fullness if deemed necessary by your plastic surgeon. Some of the biggest considerations are usually how surgery may affect the relationship of the areola to the breast, nipple sensation and/or breastfeeding. These topics will require detailed conversation between you and your surgeon to make the best decision.
How Can I Set Up a Consultation?
The first step to schedule a consultation would be doing thorough research. There are many ways to find a plastic surgeon. Arguably the best way would be to receive a referral from another physician, such as primary care, dermatologist, or OB-GYN. These providers often see multiple patients with good results and can attest to those by referring their own patients somewhere. Friends are a secondarily good referral source, especially if they are patients themselves. When it comes to advertising, the most essential consideration is the plastic surgeon’s education, board certification ONLY by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and before/after gallery. If those components match your desired outcome, then they would be a good source of information to seek in consultation. You will often come across taglines such as “no downtime surgery” or “no anesthesia required”. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are no shortcuts to SAFE plastic surgery.
The next step would be to contact the provider’s office to find a time to meet them. First impressions last a lifetime, so pay attention when speaking to the receptionist upon calling. Should you decide to have surgery, this is the team you will be dealing with multiple times per month for at least a year. The administrative team is a direct reflection of the surgeon’s ways of working. Another thing to clarify would be a potential timeline for surgery. This is sometimes best done before reaching out to qualified providers because they are booked one to six months out, on average. Knowing well enough in advance will give you adequate time to interview surgeons, get any preoperative lab work done, and feel confident moving forward with your scheduled procedure.