What is the average cost of a breast reduction?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the average cost of a breast reduction (a.k.a. reduction mammaplasty) in 2019 procedure was $5,475, but there are other expenses (more on these below!) to consider when booking a cosmetic surgical procedure.
- Average Cost of Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammaplasty): $5,475
- Price Range for Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammaplasty): $3,500 - $12,500
Candidates considering a breast reduction surgery will find it useful to understand the various factors that create the total cost of a plastic surgery. The following table offers an overview of various factors that will contribute to the final cost.
Factors to Consider in the Total Cost of a Breast Reduction Procedure
|Provider||Training, experience, specialty|
|Consultation Fee||May or may not be applied towards procedure cost|
|Anesthesiologist Fee||Training, experience|
|Location||Facility fees vary by region|
|Recovery Expenses||Special equipment, follow ups, etc.|
What is a breast reduction (a.k.a. reduction mammaplasty)?
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.
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 2019 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.
How much does a breast reduction cost across the United States?
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 2019 Statistics Report showed an even distribution of breast reduction occurrences across the country, however, there are still significant differences in cost between states.
The table below breaks down costs by state. The numbers in this table are from zip codes selected from the capital of each listed state.
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|
Does insurance cover the cost of a breast reduction?
Does insurance cover my breast reduction? It’s a common question with a complicated answer. Let’s review two definitions from the American Medical Association (AMA):
- Cosmetic Surgery: Procedures for reshaping normal structures for improved appearance and self-esteem.
- Reconstructive Surgery: Procedures performed on abnormal body structures resulting from congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, disease, infection, or tumors.
Cosmetic procedures will not be covered by insurance, but reconstructive surgeries possibly could be. In the case of breast reduction procedures, there could be a medical condition that provides an indication for performing the procedure. Women experiencing significant and chronic health problems — like shoulder pain, back pain, and/or neck pain — secondary to overly large breasts may have a medical indication to cover breast reduction procedures.
If a breast reduction procedure could possibly be covered by your health insurance company, your medical provider will need to consistently document medical necessity and provide evidence that alternative therapies have been tried to your insurance company. The ASPS has more specific criteria you can review with your doctor or a plastic surgeon during consultation. One more note: hybrid procedures combining an aesthetic and functional benefit may not be covered despite the functional indications.
If a breast reduction procedure to lessen breast tissue and breast size may be the right choice for you, then we hope this article has given you an idea of what it may mean for you and your wallet. Remember that interviewing potential plastic surgeons will give you the best idea of what the actual cost will be for your specific needs.