Are Breast Lifts Covered by Insurance? A Helpful Guide

Looking in the mirror, I noticed my breasts sagging and looking deflated. This brought me discomfort and distress. I always wanted to feel comfortable and confident. But, this issue troubled me for years. When I decided to see a plastic surgeon, I had many questions. I wondered if my insurance would help pay for it. I was not sure if a breast lift was needed for my health.

In situations like mine, you are not alone. Figuring out if insurance covers breast lift surgeries is hard. But, this guide will help you understand your options.

Key Takeaways

  • Breast lifts can cost between $3,950 to $14,500, with an average of $8,128.
  • Many health insurance companies don’t pay for breast lifts unless they’re a must for your health.
  • Showing that a breast lift is needed for health reasons, like severe pain or rashes, might help get it covered.
  • Getting advice from a plastic surgeon who knows how to work with insurers could be helpful.
  • The plastic surgery field in the U.S. has grown about 7% yearly since 2017, showing more people want these surgeries.

Understanding Breast Lift Procedures

A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgery that tightens and reshapes the breasts. It might be done alone or with other surgeries. These can include a breast augmentation or a mommy makeover. The main aim is to fix sagging, drooping, or stretched breasts. It also moves the nipples to a more youthful place.

What is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift, or mastopexy, removes extra skin and tightens the tissue. This lifts and reshapes the breasts. It aims to make your breasts look younger and more perky. This is helpful for women whose breasts have changed a lot. This may happen due to aging, having kids, gaining or losing weight, or just gravity.

Good Candidates for Breast Lifts

Those perfect for a breast lift procedure may have breasts that are flat, long, or droopy. Their nipples might hang below the breast or point down. The person must be healthy and not smoke. They should also be done with having kids. A breast lift could be the right choice to fix sagging or uneven breasts.

Types of Breast Lifts

Several types of breast lifts are available. Each has a different way of reshaping the breasts. These include the anchor, donut, crescent, lollipop, and scarless lifts. The choice of lift type depends on how much your breasts sag. It is also based on what you want your breasts to look like and your surgeon’s advice.

“Breast augmentation has been the number one cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States since 2006, with almost 300,000 procedures performed every year.”

The Cost of Breast Lift Surgery

Money is a big deal for those thinking about a breast lift surgery. In the US, the average price is about $8,128. But, it can be as low as $3,950 or as high as $14,500. Many things can change the cost of surgery.

Factors Affecting Breast Lift Costs

Several things affect how much a breast lift costs. This includes the surgeon’s experience and where they work. The method used, and the type of anesthesia needed also matter. Different techniques can cost from $5,349 to $7,916.

Average Costs by State/Region

The price of breast lifts changes a lot across the US. States like Rhode Island, Vermont, and North Carolina have higher averages. In these places, it can go over $12,000. But, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas usually have lower prices, often less than $7,000.

StateAverage Breast Lift Cost
Rhode Island$14,170
North Carolina$12,845

It’s good for patients to look up the cost in their area and talk to experienced surgeons. This helps understand the price and what might affect it.

Are Breast Lifts Covered by Insurance?

Many people wonder if insurance will pay for breast lifts. Usually, health insurance won’t cover the cost because they see it as elective, not essential. This means most patients need to pay the full amount themselves.

But, there can be times when insurance does help with a breast lift. If the surgery is vital for health reasons, like easing pain or fixing spinal issues from heavy breasts, insurance might step in. However, what counts as ‘necessary’ can differ from one insurance company to another. So, make sure to see what your plan includes.

If insurance might help, they’ll need proof the surgery is needed. Doctors may have to give detailed explanations about why the breast lift is necessary. Plus, you might need to provide all your medical information related to the issue.

“Breast reductions, on the other hand, may be covered by insurance if deemed medically necessary, with certain conditions such as chronic pain, spine curvature, or physical limitations.”

While insurance doesn’t often cover breast lifts, you have other payment choices. Many surgeons provide payment plans or can recommend lenders for loans. Also, you might consider having the surgery in another country where costs could be lower.

If you’re thinking about a breast lift, talk deeply with your surgeon. Discuss your aims, potential outcomes, and all costs involved, including insurance details. Being well-informed will help you choose what’s best for your health and wallet.

Determining Medical Necessity for Breast Lifts

Insurance coverage for breast lift surgery hinges on it being medically necessary. This means the patient faces serious health issues linked to their breast size and shape. Issues like chronic pain, rashes, or spinal curvature can make a breast lift a needed surgery.

Signs a Breast Lift is Medically Necessary

For a breast lift to be a must-have, challenges from large, sagging breasts should be difficult and ongoing. This usually means problems for over a year. Warning signs include:

  • Chronic neck, shoulder, or back pain
  • Recurring rashes or skin irritation under the breasts
  • Kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine)
  • Numbness or tingling in the upper extremities

Documenting Health Issues for Insurance Coverage

To get insurance help for a breast lift, patients must show their health issues from their health providers. They should prove a real need for the surgery over other treatments. What’s needed includes:

  1. Medical records of health problems tied to their breasts
  2. Photos showing breast conditions and resulting symptoms
  3. Pro evaluations by specialists like PTs or chiropractors
  4. Proof that less invasive treatments have not worked well

Also, insurers might ask for the surgery to remove a certain amount of tissue to be covered.

So, patients who gather strong evidence can better their chances for insurance cover. Their aim is to show the surgery is a true need, not just for looks.

The Breast Lift Consultation Process

Before a breast lift surgery, a consultation with a plastic surgeon is necessary. This meeting is key for the surgeon to check the patient’s health and hear their goals. It’s also when the best breast lift technique is decided. The surgeon explains the whole process to the patient, ensuring they feel ready to decide.

The surgeon checks the patient’s breasts carefully during the breast lift consultation. They take measurements and review the skin’s condition. This helps pick the right surgery type, which could be a standard lift or a more specific one. The patient also talks about what they want their breasts to look like after the surgery.

Before the breast lift consultation, patients must share their health history, surgeries, and medications. The surgeon might ask for tests such as a mammogram. This makes sure the surgery is safe for the patient.

By fully understanding what the patient needs, the plastic surgeon creates a plan just for them. This plan aims to meet the patient’s goals while keeping risks low. Working closely in the breast lift consultation stage is a big step towards a successful surgery and a good experience for the patient.

“The breast lift consultation is a critical step in the surgical journey, allowing patients to work closely with their surgeon to achieve their desired aesthetic goals.”

In the end, the breast lift consultation is key before the surgery. It gives patients the info and advice they need to decide about the surgery.

What to Expect During a Breast Lift Procedure

Getting ready for a breast lift surgery process is key. It starts weeks before the surgery. Patients must stop certain medicines, get a mammogram, and quit smoking. These steps help the surgery go smoothly.

Pre-Surgery Preparation

In the weeks leading to the breast lift procedure steps, patients and their surgeon work together. They prepare for the surgery by:

  • Changing meds that might affect the surgery
  • Getting a mammogram to check breast health
  • Stopping smoking for better healing
  • Having a ride home arranged for after surgery
  • Getting recovery supplies ready

These steps reduce risks and make sure the breast lift surgery process is a success.

The Breast Lift Surgery Process

On the surgery day, the patient gets anesthesia to stay comfortable. The surgeon lifts the breasts by making careful cuts. This helps in reshaping and moving breast tissue. The nipples and areolas are placed higher for a younger look.

After reaching the desired position, the cuts are stitched up for healing. The breast lift surgery process usually takes 2 to 3 hours.

Knowing the steps before and during surgery helps patients feel more ready. It’s important to talk openly with the surgeon. This ensures the best results from the breast lift procedure steps.

Potential Risks and Side Effects of Breast Lifts

Choosing a breast lift can greatly enhance your looks. But it’s wise to know the risks and side effects before deciding. Like all surgeries, a breast lift brings its own set of challenges. It’s important to think through these before you go ahead.

Scarring is a common side effect. Luckily, these marks are often covered by clothes. With time, they become less obvious. Still, some may find their scars more noticeable, which might worry them.

Your feeling in your nipples and breasts may change after a surgery. Usually, these changes go away in a few weeks. But for some, the feeling might not come back completely.

It’s possible for your breasts to heal differently in shape or size. Our bodies react to surgery in unique ways.

In very rare cases, you might lose a nipple or areola. This could alter the surgery’s final look. Also, breastfeeding may become tough for some after a breast lift.

Like all surgeries, there are concerns with anesthesia, bleeding, and infections. Adhering to your surgeon’s post-surgery advice can help avoid these troubles.

Potential Risks and Side EffectsLikelihood and Impact
ScarringCommon, but can often be hidden and fade within 1-2 years
Changes in nipple or breast sensationCommon, usually resolving within several weeks, but some permanent loss of feeling possible
Uneven breast shape or sizeModerate risk, due to variations in the body’s healing process
Partial or total loss of nipples or areolaeRare, but can have a significant impact on the aesthetic outcome
Breastfeeding challengesModerate risk, potentially leading to lack of milk production
General surgical risks (bleeding, infection, anesthesia complications)Moderate risk, can be minimized by following post-operative instructions

Discuss all breast lift risks and side effects with your surgeon. This includes complications of breast lift surgery. Knowing what to expect and how to handle recovery is key.

Breast Lift Recovery Timeline

After getting a breast lift, the recovery takes a few weeks. You have to wear a special bra that your surgeon recommends. You might also need a temporary drain for any fluid build-up.

Most people can go back to work and light activities in 1-2 weeks. By 4-6 weeks, you can start doing harder things again.

At first, you’ll have swelling, bruising, and feel some pain. These will get better as your body heals. It’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s advice and be patient during recovery.

Recovery MilestoneTimeframe
Ability to return to work and light activities1-2 weeks
Resumption of more strenuous activities4-6 weeks
Swelling and bruising subsidingGradual, over time
Scar cream application1-month follow-up appointment
Transition to underwire bras6 weeks post-surgery
Implant settling (if applicable)Several months to 1 year

Recovery times vary, but sticking to your surgeon’s advice is key. The procedure’s cost and any insurance coverage should also be considered during recovery.

“The recovery process can take several weeks, with patients typically able to return to work and light activities within 1-2 weeks, and resume more strenuous activities within 4-6 weeks.”

Understanding the breast lift recovery timeline helps in preparing. It ensures a good recovery working together with your plastic surgeon.

Working with Your Plastic Surgeon

Thinking about a breast lift? It’s key to find a skilled, board-certified surgeon. They’ll lead you, handling insurance details. Many surgeons know how to get insurance to pay for needed breast lifts.

Your surgeon will advise on proving the need for your lift to your insurer. They might stress how the lift will help you physically and emotionally. Also, they can show how it might fix other health problems.

Guidance on Insurance Coverage

Your surgeon can help a lot in getting insurance coverage for your breast lift. They’ll guide you through the insurance process. They might help by:

  • Telling you what your insurance needs to cover a breast lift, like how much tissue must be removed.
  • Organizing your medical records to show why you need the procedure.
  • Talking to the insurance company on your behalf to push for coverage.
  • Offering suggestions for paying if insurance doesn’t come through.

Teaming up with your plastic surgeon can help you get insurance for your breast lift. It can lead to a better, easier surgery experience.

Advantage of Working with Plastic SurgeonDisadvantage of Working Alone
Extensive experience navigating insurance coverage for medically necessary proceduresUnfamiliar with the specific documentation and criteria required by insurance providers
Ability to directly communicate with insurance companies to advocate for coverageDifficulty obtaining approval for coverage without professional support
Guidance on alternative financing options if insurance coverage is deniedLimited options for financing the procedure if insurance is not approved

Trending Breast Lift Procedures

The demand for breast lift procedures is on the rise, offering more choices. Traditional surgeries are still common. But now, the “vampire breast lift” is a popular non-surgical choice.

The Vampire Breast Lift

The vampire breast lift, or PRP (platelet-rich plasma) lift, boosts breasts with their own platelets. This encourages the growth of collagen and elastin, making breasts appear fuller and lifted without surgery.

It starts by taking a small amount of the patient’s blood. The blood’s platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is separated and injected back into the breasts. This kick-starts a natural process that enhances shape and volume, but with less downtime.

The option of a vampire breast lift is preferred by many over traditional surgery. It promises a more natural yet rejuvenated look without long recovery times. Although, it’s crucial for patients to understand this isn’t a one-to-one alternative for those wanting a traditional lift.

Vampire breast lift results are subtle and don’t last as long as surgeries do. Realistic expectations are key. Those interested should work with a skilled plastic surgeon to determine what’s best for them.


In summary, most health insurance plans don’t cover breast lifts. However, there are exceptions for medically necessary cases. If the patient’s health is at risk due to their breast size or shape, they might get coverage. Conditions like severe pain, skin issues, or back problems are key.

It’s a journey that involves working with a skilled plastic surgeon. They help pull together the proof needed for insurance to consider the surgery. This can include a lot of detailed info from health professionals.

The cost of a breast lift surgery runs from $4,000 to $10,000. The final price can change based on location, the doctor’s skills, and what extra work is needed. Insurance might help if it’s not just for looks.

For example, insurance could kick in for breast lifts after a mastectomy or due to major weight loss. But, getting this help means being ready to share a lot of health details. And leaning on your plastic surgeon for support in this process is crucial.

Deciding on a breast lift is deeply personal. Anyone thinking about it needs to carefully consider the upsides, downsides, and costs. Knowing about your insurance, the surgery, and your own health goals makes for wise decision-making.


When is a breast lift medically necessary?

A breast lift might be needed for health reasons. This is when a patient has big problems because of their breast size or shape. These issues could include unbearable pain, often getting rashes, or a curved spine. The patient must deal with these health problems for over a year. Only then might insurance see that a breast lift could really help.

How do I get my insurance to cover a breast lift?

The patient must show their insurance lots of proof from doctors. This proof should say why the breast lift is needed. It should also show that nothing else less drastic would help. For example, the proof could talk about ongoing pain, rashes, or a bad spine because of the breasts.

What is the average cost of a breast lift?

A breast lift in the U.S. might cost around $8,128. But prices can be as low as $3,950 or even reach $14,500. The final cost depends on many things. Like how skilled the plastic surgeon is, where the clinic is, which breast lift type is chosen, and the kind of anesthesia.

What is the recovery time for a breast lift?

Recovering from a breast lift takes a few weeks. Most patients can go back to work and do light activities after one or two weeks. It might take them four to six weeks to fully return to hard activities. Expect to have some swelling, bruising, and discomfort at first. But, these will get better over time.

Can I combine a breast lift with other procedures?

Combining a breast lift with other surgeries is possible. For example, a patient could include breast augmentation or a mommy makeover. It all depends on what the patient wants and what their plastic surgeon suggests.

Also, feel free to check out my recent blog on answering the question “can an insurance company take back a settlement

Are Breast Lifts Covered by Insurance? A Helpful Guide
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Are Breast Lifts Covered by Insurance? A Helpful Guide
Are breast lifts covered by insurance? Find out in our helpful guide covering breast lift costs, insurance eligibility, and more for procedures in the U.S.
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My Insurance Book
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