Ask the Doctor- Can you you improve my issues and tell me the cost?

This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: Due to strong family history of breast cancer, I had a bi-lateral subcutaneous mastectomy. I had this surgery shortly after my husband died suddenly from a MI. I was in my early thirties with two young children to raise. I had such a poor result and complications from that procedure, I am now interested in using abdominal fat for both breasts. Until this year, I had no fat @ 123lbs.

I now have abdominal fat, @ 137lbs. The poor result of the surgery destroyed my self-confidence as a woman. I am 68 yrs. old in great health but, because of the way I look, I have never accepted an invitation for a “date,” in all those years. My chest is tight, painful, with random indentions that were cuts made into the muscle in an effort to give me some relief.

I got no relief, just exacerbated the look, the shape of both breasts. Does this sound like an issue you could improve? Also, could you give me just a ballpark cost, a guesstimate, the range of lowest to highest cost? Thank you.

Answer:  Good questions. I’m going to copy our doctors and physician assistant to answer the clinical questions for you. There are other options for you to consider and they can ask some questions to be able to help you decide what might work out best for you. The whole team is in surgery right now but I am sure they will reply as soon as they have a chance to catch up on their e-mail.

In the meantime, here are some basic ideas of cost. This would be for a “self pay” patient. We do accept most insurances so ultimately your financial responsibility would be based on the contract between you and your insurance company. This is a very rough estimate based on some research into the same question for a patient early last year. We’d have to update for you if you choose to proceed but it’s a good starting point.

The fee for a DIEP flap for a private pay patient is $10,000.00 per side. Rib cartilage resection to access vein $1604.78. Mesh placement to repair abdomen $1032.00. Second side/procedures are discounted by 50%.

Anesthesia is per hour at $500 for the first hour and then $300 each hour after. These procedures typically take 4 to 5 hours for one side.
Pre-operative imaging $3015.44 (MRA pelvis/abdomen)

East Cooper Hospital $ 25,000.00 – covers operating room and 4 day inpatient stay.

Hope this information is useful, please feel free to send any additional questions you may have, we’re always happy to help!

Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!

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