Breast reduction: risks and costs

Reimbursement by the health insurance

The amount of cost of breast reduction depends primarily on how much tissue is removed from the breast. After a detailed interview and the examination of the breast the doctor will prepare a cost estimate. As a rule, the costs for breast reduction in Germany are between 4500 and 7000 euros. However, these prices are only indicative, the exact cost can only be determined by the attending physician.

Reimbursement by health insurance only in case of medical necessity

Whether a reduction in costs by the health insurance takes place in a breast reduction or not, always depends on the circumstances of the OP. If the operation is considered medically necessary, the health insurance usually covers the costs of the procedure or at least pays a subsidy. In contrast, with a breast lift only desired for optical reasons, there is no reimbursement by the health insurance company.

Breast reduction must be medically necessary

The treating physician must decide on a case-by-case basis whether breast reduction is medically necessary or not. In a report, he must justify whether the operation can heal, alleviate or prevent a disease. Breast reductions are often paid by the health insurance, if it is determined that the weight of the breasts of the back or neck are severely impaired.

In part, a certificate from the doctor is necessary for a reimbursement by the health insurance that the symptoms have not improved despite alternative therapies such as physiotherapy.

Risks of general anesthesia

A breast reduction takes place under general anesthesia and thus initially carries the same risks as any other surgery. These risks include:

  • Disorders of the cardiovascular system
  • ventilation problems
  • Reflux of gastric contents into the trachea
  • Irritation of the throat with coughing and hoarseness through the breathing tube
  • Damage to the anterior teeth during ventilation
  • Nausea and vomiting after surgery
  • Allergic reaction

In addition, wound healing disorders, which can lead to wider scars, and increased risk of thrombosis can occur after surgery.

Risks of breast reduction

In addition to these general risks of surgery under general anesthesia, however, breast reduction also involves some specific risks: for example, local inflammation in the chest may occur after surgery. Also, persistent redness, bruising and swelling of the treated areas are possible - in some cases, it may take several months until they have subsided. Numbness, caused by the severing of the finest nerves, usually disappears by itself over time.

In addition, it may happen after a breast reduction that the ability to breastfeed is impaired. If you plan on having a baby in the near future, you may want to consider moving the breast reduction to a later date. In very rare cases, it may also lead to persistent feelings and loss of the nipple. This is the case if the nipple is completely transplanted during the operation, but then not accepted by the body.

In order not to jeopardize the optimal course of the operation and a smooth healing process, alcohol, nicotine and blood thinning medications such as acetylsalicylic acid should be avoided before and after treatment.

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