Mammoplasty (Plastic Surgery for the Breasts) (cont.)

In some women, the skin is not strong or resilient enough to support the weight of the breast, causing the breasts to sag. With this condition, called ptosis, there is too much skin compared to breast tissue. To give the breast a lift, the excess skin must be removed. There are three surgical techniques generally used:

  • Wise pattern. The incision, in the shape of an anchor, goes around the chest and below the breast.
  • LeJeour. The incision goes around the areola and down.
  • Donut or peri-areolar. The incision goes around the areola only.
This surgery involves some degree of permanent scarring, but product are available that may help to minimize the appearance of scars.

Will Insurance Cover Cosmetic Surgery for the Breast?

Federal law requires that insurance covers breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. In the case of a cosmetic procedure, however, you should check with your insurance company for details, and talk with your doctor about associated costs.

It's important to know that if you've undergone breast implantation either as an aesthetic or a reconstructive procedure, your health insurance premiums may increase or your coverage may be dropped. In some cases, you may also be denied future coverage. If you experience complications from such procedures, most insurance companies will not provide coverage.

Questions to Ask Your Insurance Company:

  • Will my policy cover the costs of the surgery, the anesthesia, and/or other related hospital costs? (If the carrier only covers a percentage, make sure you know that figure. Additionally, write everything down, including the first and last names of the person answering your questions).
  • Will there be an increase in my insurance premium?
  • Will future coverage be affected?

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic, Department of Dermatology.
Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson , MD, Sept. 2003.

Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2003.



Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005 7:05:59 AM