Breast Reconstruction Cost 2020

What is the cost of breast reconstruction in Sydney?

Breast reconstruction comes in a wide variety of forms and the cost in the private sector is dependent on the stages of surgery, and type of reconstruction. Different types of breast reconstruction have different complexity and therefore different amount of time and effort required by the surgeon for your surgery.

 

It also depends on whether it is performed at the same time as the mastectomy or in a delayed fashion, and may also include costs for an anaesthetist, surgical assistant, hospital excess, and other fees. Usually, in the private sector, all fees are quoted inclusive of follow up both in hospital and in rooms after the surgery.

 

What is the cost of breast reconstruction in a public hospital?

In Australia, it is possible to have all forms of breast reconstruction in a public hospital free of charge, covered entirely by Medicare. Read what it means to be a public patient section of our website for more information. The main limitations of this option are:

 

–      Possible increased wait time

–      Less say of when and where your surgery will be performed with limited flexibility

–      Registrars or fellows may be doing all or part of the procedure

–      Follow up is generally in public hospital clinics, and wait associated with these

–      Your date of surgery or supervising surgeon may be changed

 

Why is there is an out of pocket cost for breast reconstruction in a private hospital?

Despite having ‘top’ level of cover many patients ask why there is an out of pocket for procedures done in the private sector. This also applies to breast reconstruction. This is because the reimbursement or what Medicare and Health Funds pay is dependent on the schedule fee as listed for each Medicare item number. Unfortunately, the government has frozen this for decades meaning the reimbursement for each procedure is way behind what the actual cost of the procedure.

The Australian Medical Association each year publishes what it considers the fair value to be charged for each procedure and this is what many surgeons, including plastic surgeons, use to guide their fee structure. This means there is usually a ‘gap’ between the AMA fee and the Medicare schedule fee, and this constitutes the out of pocket cost. This often applies to both surgeon’s fees and anaesthetist’s fees.

While the main disadvantage of private treatment is an out of pocket cost, there are many advantages of private treatment:

–      Total flexibility over time: often surgeons work with the patient’s time commitments and availability as to when to schedule the surgery

–      Complete say over where your surgery will be performed

–      Complete choice over surgeon and the main consultant surgeon performing your surgery

–      Follow up is in private rooms with direct contact with the main surgeon who makes all the decisions

–      Your date of surgery is usually fixed and won’t be changed (Unless negotiated with you)

 

What are the aims of breast reconstruction?

The aim of breast reconstruction is to:

–      Create a breast mound

–      Look great in clothes (even tight-fitting dresses)

–      Achieve symmetry with the opposite breast (in cases of one-sided or unilateral reconstruction)

–      Avoid the use of a prosthesis

 

What types of breast reconstruction are there?

There are 3 main categories:

  1. Implant or expander based breast reconstruction (i.e. using foreign tissue)
  2. Autologous breast reconstruction (using your own tissue only)
  3. Combination of autologous and implant or expander reconstruction – usually reserved for patients who have required radiation in their cancer treatment and do not have enough own tissue to make an entire breast

In general breast reconstruction is always a staged operation. This is often the case with implant reconstruction, which is often performed in 2 stages. Own tissue reconstruction is usually performed in a single stage but there may be a second stage for nipple reconstruction.

 

 

 

What is the cost of DIEP flap surgery in Sydney?

The approximate out of pocket cost for DIEP flap surgery (as at February 2020) in the private sector is:

 

–      Approx. $25000-30000 for a bilateral procedure (double reconstruction) – this includes the cost of 2 plastic surgeons, surgical assistants, an anaesthetist and all follow-up. In case of any complications, no further fees apply.

–      Approx. $17000-22000 for a unilateral procedure (single reconstruction) – this includes the cost of 2 plastic surgeons, surgical assistants, an anaesthetist and all follow-up. In case of any complications, no further fees apply.

–      These fees assume appropriate health insurance coverage and do not include fees for a breast surgeon (where needed) or the hospital excess.

 

 

What is the cost of implant breast reconstruction in Sydney?

The approximate out of pocket cost for breast implant-based reconstruction (as at February 2020) in the private sector is:

–      Double reconstruction

o  Approximately $7000-8000 for stage 1 – this includes the cost of a plastic surgeon, surgical assistant, an anaesthetist, prosthesis, and all follow-up. In case of any complications, no further fees apply.

o  Approximately $5000-6000 for stage 2

–      Single reconstruction

o  Approximately $3000-4500 for stage 1 – this includes the cost of a plastic surgeon, surgical assistant, an anaesthetist, prosthesis, and all follow-up. In case of any complications, no further fees apply.

o  Approximately $7000-8000 for stage 2 (often including an opposite breast reduction or breast lift, of the non-reconstructed breast)

 

What is the cost of latissimus dorsi reconstruction in Sydney?

The approximate out of pocket cost for latissimus dorsi based reconstruction is calculated on an individual basis and it depends on if this is being performed alone on one side or combined with reconstruction on the opposite side.

 

Who is the best breast reconstruction plastic surgeon in Sydney?

This is a difficult question to answer and often the answers are all inherently biased. Rather than giving you a specific answer the things you should look for when choosing a breast reconstruction surgeon, ask or research the following:

o  Does the surgeon perform breast reconstruction regularly in the private sector?

o  Have you had direct contact with patients who have been operated on by your nominated surgeon? What were their experience and outcome? What are the patient reviews specifically regarding breast reconstruction?

o  How many breast reconstructions has the surgeon performed and specifically the type of reconstruction you are interested in?

o  It is important to ask does your surgeon if he/she performs both own tissue reconstruction (such as DIEP flaps) as well as implants (as if they don’t do own tissue reconstruction, they will not be in a position to offer you the whole range of options).

o  What training have they had in breast reconstruction and specifically own tissue reconstruction (which involves complex microsurgery)? Have they done a fellowship in this area?

o  Does your surgeon work in a public hospital? (Public hospitals only employ safe and reputable surgeons and being part of a busy tertiary hospital may give you confidence the surgeon is of a certain standing)

o  Does your surgeon perform breast reconstruction in a public and private hospital? (This will allow them to offer you reconstruction regardless of cost, and also advise you as to the volume and difficulty of work they may be doing)

 

To read about Dr Aggarwal’s qualifications, hospital appointments and bio click here.

women with flat tummy tuck

All you need to know about getting a tummy tuck in Sydney, Australia.

How much is a tummy tuck in Sydney?

The surgical fee for a tummy tuck (full abdominoplasty) is $7200 + GST. There is also a fee for the anaesthetist and assistant. In cosmetic cases there is also a fee for the hospital and theatre costs (which on average for a 3-hour operation and 3-day stay are around $7000-8000). The total fee is therefore around $18000 – 20000.

Unfortunately Medicare changed the item number for abdominoplasty and this is now only available for patients who have lost a lot of weight (BMI drop greater than 5 points), and can demonstrate they have trouble with daily activity, have skin breakdown/rashes or other skin compromise due to their excess skin and fat, AND that this has not resolved after 3 months of non surgical treatments. In some patients, there may be a hernia of the abdominal wall and they may also qualify for a Medicare item number.

The advantage of a Medicare item number is that, with the appropriate level of health insurance, the health funds will pay the hospital and theatre fees associated with the procedure, no GST is applicable on the medical costs, and a small rebate is offered for surgical, assistant and anaesthesia fees. This reduces the out of pocket cost to around $8000-10000.

Tummy tuck surgery is not available in a public hospital.

What is a tummy tuck?

tummy tuck sydney

A tummy tuck also called an abdominoplasty, is where the skin and fat of the lower tummy from the belly button all the way down to the groin crease and from hip to hip is removed. The remaining skin of the tummy above the belly button is lifted all the way to the rib cage, and the belly button is cut out and left where it was originally. The tummy muscles (rectus muscles) are tightened and their separation repaired. At the same time any umbilical hernias are repaired. The skin is then pulled tight, and the belly button takes a new position on the tummy skin although its physical position has not actually changed.

This procedure takes around 3 hours, and patients generally stay in a hospital for 3 nights. It produces a beautiful flat appearance to the tummy. In addition, there is now also a lot of evidence to say that this increases core strength, improves back pain and may help other things like urinary incontinence (leakage of urine when coughing).

What is a mini tummy tuck?

In a mini tummy tuck, a smaller incision is made along the groin crease. The main purpose of this operation is not to remove skin and fat, but to repair the six-pack or rectus muscles so that they come back to the midline, and improve core strength. A small amount of skin and fat can also be removed. This is the main difference to a full tummy tuck where ALL the loose skin and fat is removed – a mini tummy tuck is therefore not possible if you have a lot of loose skin and fat. In this case, a full tummy tuck is required.

Do I need a full or mini tummy tuck?

Everyone is on a spectrum, and it really depends on what you need to get you the flat tummy you are after.

For example, if you have a lot of loose skin, no amount of liposuction will help. In fact, by doing liposuction you can create more loose skin and this can look worse than where you originally started.

Contrastingly, patients with great skin quality and a mild amount of fat that doesn’t shift from diet or exercise may get away with liposuction alone.

Patients who have a small amount of skin that needs to be removed, but the main reason for surgery is that they need their six-pack or rectus muscles repaired (because for instance they were separated by pregnancy or weight gain and loss) will also probably best suit a mini tummy tuck.

How much for a mini tummy tuck in Sydney, Australia?

The surgical fee for a mini tummy tuck (mini-abdominoplasty) is $4500 + GST. There is also a fee for the anaesthetist and an assistant. Please note, a mini tummy tuck is always regarded as a cosmetic case so there is also a fee for the hospital and theatre costs (which on average for a 1.5-hour operation and overnight day stay the costs are around $3500-4000). The total fee is therefore around $10000.

Who is the best tummy tuck surgeon in Sydney?

You will never hear us gloat about ourselves, or claim that we are the best as we are just not that sort of plastic surgery practice. However plastic surgeon Dr Aggarwal performs many tummy tuck abdominoplasty procedures, and breast surgeries as this is an area of focus for his practice.

His interest is also breast reconstruction and breast augmentation using a patient’s own tissue, where the tissue usually discarded in a tummy tuck is actually transplanted to the chest for breast reconstruction. He will be able to show you many before and after photographs of the spectacular results our patients have achieved from this surgery.

Contact us here, with your email and we will send you the before and after results.

Where can I find tummy tuck before and after photos?

Follow our social media pages (Facebook and Instagram@modeplasticsurgery) as we post before and afters of our patients every week across all procedures that we perform in our practice. Targeted before and after photographs will be shown to you during a consultation with Dr Aggarwal – as not all before and after photographs are available on our website and social media pages to protect patient privacy and confidentiality.

Do tummy tucks last?

Yes, tummy tucks last!

This is provided that you maintain your weight. Major changes in the tummy area with pregnancy for instance, or massive weight gain or loss will undo all the work of having surgery. Obviously, things age as one gets older and some loose skin will be created, but overall the appearance will stand the test of time if a stable weight is maintained.

Our patients are generally men and women who have lost a lot of weight or women you have completed their families but multiple pregnancies left their core muscles weakened and separated, combined with an excess of skin in the tummy region.

What should I expect after a tummy tuck?

When you wake up your back and legs will be up, and you will be in a bent position to protect the tummy area as this is tight. There is usually a catheter in your bladder so you do not have to rush to the bathroom. You have pain pumps slowly infusing local anaesthetic in the tummy, and we usually place blocks of nerves during the surgery. In addition, the anaesthetist will chart you for lots of pain relief so most patients are very comfortable when they wake up from surgery and in the days after surgery.

The first two days are spent getting used to transferring out of a bed (hunched over), getting the catheter out, and walking hunched over. Most patients go home with drains, a binder on their tummy, and still walking with a slight hunch. We see patients in our rooms a week out from surgery, and again at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and then depending on how your progress is going. We will always see people at 3, 6 and 12 months to see long term results.

You are asked to not drive for 4 weeks (to avoid twisting motions of the tummy area to check blind spots or rear seat passengers such as kids), not lift anything heavy for 8 weeks and to wear the binder for 8 weeks, and resume gym at 3 months post surgery.

How long will it take for the incision to heal?

The scar from a tummy tuck heals within 2-3 weeks. During this time you will not be able to swim at a pool or a beach. The area remains swollen for several weeks and also numb for a few months.

How long will I need to wear a bandage after a tummy tuck?

We use waterproof dressings that are placed along the wound and stay in place for the first 2 weeks after surgery. Other than this no special dressings or bandages are required, and you often don’t need anything on the wound after it has healed.

You are allowed to start showering after a few days out of surgery, but not swim in a pool or beach until all the wounds are healed.

You will be required to wear an abdominal binder around the tummy which is like a corset. This helps support the tummy during healing but more importantly, it is a tool to reduce fluid collections under the skin where the surgery has taken place. We ask patients to reduce their activity and wear the binder for 8 weeks after surgery.

How long will it take me to stand up straight after a tummy tuck?

It takes one week to stand up straight after a tummy tuck. Initially, you will need to walk hunched over as the tummy area will be tight after surgery and each day you can sleep and walk a little straighter than the day before as the skin rapidly stretches. We ask patients to do everything slowly and deliberately especially getting in and out of bed, and in and out of chairs. Most patients are walking straight within 7 days from surgery.

Find out more about our tummy tuck procedures here.