Payment for Revision Breast Surgery when Implants Bottom Out?

My left breast has bottomed out. I am 9 weeks post surgery. Who pays for revision surgery? My doctor, insurance, or me... again? Is the price usually discounted b/c it's a re-do?

Doctor Answers 10

Who pays for revision breast surgery

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Actually in a sense, both the patient and the surgeon pay. The patient probably will have some costs for a revision surgery. The patient pays for the anesthesia and the OR costs. It's usually a small amount compared to the initial surgery, but no patient expects to have to go back to surgery to "fix" something they paid for.

On the other hand, a good surgeon is going to be disappointed in a less than optimum outcome. The time spent doing the revision is money lost for him too. Surgeons usually have a limited amount of time they can spend in the operating room and that's where they earn their money. If they're doing a revision case for free, he's not getting paid.

Everytime a surgeon enters an OR he expects for the outcome to be nearly perfect. That's why you spend all those years learning, training, studying, reviewing, and you expect perfection. When that doesn't happen, everyone is disappointed, but just keep in mind that we're all on the same team. The patient and surgeon should work through the process together to get whatever the problem is corrected.

Good luck!

Payment for Revision Breast Surgery when Implants Bottom Out?

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I am sorry to hear about your disappointment with the results of the breast surgery.  Policy regarding coverage of expenses for revisionary surgery will vary from office to office and probably on a case-by-case basis as well. Costs of revisionary surgery may range from zero,  to anesthesia/surgery center fees, to discounted surgeon's fees.

Generally, successful plastic surgeons rely on positive word-of-mouth and will work hard to maintain satisfied patients.  Also, I generally speaking, I suggest patients communicate their concerns in a calm and constructive fashion; this form communication tends to be much more effective than confrontational communication.

Best wishes; hopefully through courteous/respectful communication you and your plastic surgeon will be able to work out a plan to achieve your goals.

Payment for Revision Breast Surgery

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You should discuss that with your plastic surgeon. Many surgeons offer a discount on services if you have done been a patient before. 

Revision breast surgery cost depends upon the practice and the patient

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Each practice handles these things differently. In most cases there are costs borne by both parties. The surgeon usually forgoes much in the way of professional fees and the patients end up paying for operating room costs and/or anesthesia.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Do you have a photo?

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It can occasionally be the case that an implant can descend more than desirable (bottom out) from mechanisms beyond the surgeon's control. Some patients have vague, ill-defined creases and are more prone to bottoming out. Sometimes a patient will over massage the implants and cause their own descent. Sometimes it can be from garments worn improperly.

On the other hand, there can be things done at surgery that can open up a greater risk for bottoming out. One of these is lowering the inframammary crease to fit a larger implant behind the breast. This isn't the surgeon's "fault" but something that was done to give you a better result based on your own anatomy.

Finally, there is the possibility of a technical error. If this were the case, you would likely have seen it from the very start after surgery. Work closely with your doctor through this process. I expect that either your surgeon will cover the costs or will ask you to pay for the "cost" of doing the revision. It is the right of each surgeon to decide this depending on whether thay feel the result fell short of their expectations through something they could have done differently or if it was contributed to by the patient's own actions and healing. Good luck!

Breast implant revision costs

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The cost of revision is something you should go over with your surgeon. Everyone handles it differently.  I hope that they can work with you to correct your problem.

Must have a written policy for revisions and touch ups

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My general office policy is to correct problems withing the first year at a reasonable cost. There is a modest supply charge when performing a cosmetic revision under local anesthesia. If general anesthesia is required then there is a charge for this as well. I do not charge a surgeon's fee. I have a written policy for this and all patients receive it at the time of their consultation. It is certainly a difficult subject to discuss but necessary.

Revision policy clarified in advance

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As a surgeon I attempt to produce beautiful results and happy patients. However I often tell patients that surgery is imperfect. My office provides all patients with a quote during their preop consultation that spells out our policies about redo surgery and which items the surgeon will discount, and which items the patient would be responsible for. Patients know this before agreeing to initial surgery. If you have such policies from your surgeon, that would clarify redo costs, and I am sure the office will explain their policies.

In general surgery does not come with a warranty of patient satisfaction or guarantee of a specific result. You should not expect another surgery "for free." Of course as a surgeon I would want my patient to have the best final outcome with the least risk and expense.

Health insurance would not cover cosmetic surgery. Implant company insurance covers early deflation. So I doubt if you have insurance that will pay for a revision.

You will probably have some financial responsibility.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Who pays the price of revision breast surgery?

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This is a difficult question for which there is no universally applicable answer.

There are multiple different issues at play.

Clearly, it is in the surgeon's best interest to get the best possible result the first time around. The surgeon does not seek to profit from multiple surgeries nor are they expected to pay to correct every unfavorable outcome for every possible complication.

On the other hand, the patient has typically compensated the surgeon and expects a favorable outcome from the procedure. Why should they pay for revisionary procedures?

So the question is: Who should pay for revisional surgery to correct an unfavorable outcome?

In some states, doing surgery for free or offering to pay for the surgical revision is interpreted as admission of responsibility.

Typically most surgeons will discount revisionary procedures.

Inframammary fold repair for bottomed out breast implants

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In my office, we only charge for anesthesia and surgery center fees for similar cases.

Things happen and sometimes an implant can drop. If that is the case, a small surgery will fix it.

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.