Who Pays for the Cost of Emergency Room After Surgery if It Becomes Necessary?

If something goes wrong and I end up in an ER as a result of a breast augmentation surgery, who will pay for the ER's cost? I asked my insurance company, and they said because it's cosmetic surgery based reason, they don't cover the cost. I called my surgeon's office and the receptionist said if insurance doesn't cover, it would be on me. Really? Then how much I need to be prepare myself for this worst scenario?

Doctor Answers (16)

Who Pays for the Cost of Emergency Room After Surgery if It Becomes Necessary?


It is so rare, it probably is not worth worrying about!! In almost 20 years of practice, I have never had one patient that needed the ER after Breast Augmentation. And as has been suggested, always call your surgeon before going to an ER...And some insurance companies will cover emergencies, just not anything elective...But you really should not need it....

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Emergency room after breast augmentation


Going to an emergency post breast augmentation is rarely needed.  In 30 years of practice, we have had one patient go and that was from anxiety.  Each office would handle this situation differently. In our case, we worked with the hospital to waive the fees.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

ER costs and insurance.


The likelihood of a visit to an ER is very low following a breast augmentation. However, should this occur, the costs can be significant. You have done the appropriate first steps by contacting your insurance provider to see if they cover the costs. There are separate insurance companies which will provide term limited coverage for cosmetic procedures. CosmetAssure is one company that provides this service. Ask your plastic surgeon about this prior to having your procedure done.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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Hospital treatment after elective breast surgery


Fortunately, hospital treatment after elective breast surgery is rare, especially if you go to qualified plastic surgeon who has been diligent in screening you from a health standpoint for your upcoming surgery. However, emergencies can happen and it will be difficult to predict whether or not a post operative ER visit or hospitalization would be covered by your insurance company. There is a company that provides insurance for complications after cosmetic surgery if the complication occurs within 30 days of the procedure. This company is called CosmetAssure and would be a company that your surgeon contracts with. You may want to consider choosing a plastic surgeon who offers CosmetAssure on the rare chance that you would need ER treatment after surgery.

Antonio Gayoso, MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
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Cosmetic Surgery and Emergency Room Visit


Complications following cosmetic plastic surgery is extremely rare when performed by a Board certified Plastic Surgeon. Most health insurance companies will not cover the cost of ER visits from cosmetic surgery. We offer all our patients CosmetAssure to give everyone the peace of mind about their cosmetic surgery. However, if you are considering cosmetic surgery, make sure that your Plastic Surgeon is a “real Plastic surgeon”. There is a huge difference between Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Surgeons. Do your homework you sign the contract. 

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Who pays for post operative complications?


Great question.  A trip to the ER is very, very rare after cosmetic surgery but complications can happen and sometimes they need attention after hours.  And sometimes they need hospitalization.  And, oh yeah, it's expensive. 

I cover all of my cosmetic patients with Cosmetassure which covers postoperative complications that occur within 30 days of surgery.  I sleep better at night.  Check out my blog on this topic.

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Going to the ER after breast augmentation


Although this is very unlikely, I've heard of it happening and yes, you would likely be responsible for your bills.

Be informed that there are companies, CosmetAssure is one example we carry, that provide insurance specifically for the procedure you are having.  It's a one-time fee paid at the time you sign up for surgery and covers you in case there are problems.

It's like purchasing travel insurance, you don't think you are going to get sick or injured in a foreign land; but if you do, aren't you really glad you bought it instead of being stranded in Timbuktu.  (No offense intended to the kind residents of Timbuktu, Mali. Yes, it is a real place).

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Emergency Room Costs after Elective Cosmetic Surgery


It is extremely rare for a patient to end up in the emergency room after breast augmentation surgery.  Some insurance companies will cover any emergency situation and others will not cover emergency visits that are the result of cosmetic surgery.  It is best to check with your insurance carrier to find out their policy. However, I would proceed with your breast augmentation and not expect to visit the emergency room after surgery. If you experience any untoward issues after the procedure contact your surgeon first.

Rondi Kathleen Walker, MD
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast augmentation and emergency room


While it is a rare occurrence, it could possible happen. Many insurance companied will not cover emergency care after cosmetic surgery.  CosmetAssure is a company that can offer insurance for just this problem.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

CosmetAssure has you covered


This is an excellent question.  Complications following cosmetic plastic surgery are not common, but they do occur.  And, very few people who are gong to have cosmetic surgery budget for this eventuality.  Because your normal heath insurance generally won't pay for the care of a complication that is entirely attributable to a cosmetic operation.

Many plastic surgeons provide coverage for this by participating with CosmetAssure.  This will cover the cost of caring for complications after cosmetic surgery provided that they develop within 30 days of the surgery, and that they aren't covered by health insurance -- which they wouldn't be.  Think of this as your safety net.  It's just another way of making sure you get the care you need.

We began using this program about two years ago, and the only regret is that we hadn't been using it sooner.  So, when you are considering what to have done, and who to do it, this might be something to think about.  It's a great program for the surgeon, and the patient.

All the best,

David B.


David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.