Breast removal surgery, as the name implies, is a surgery that is carried out to remove one or both breasts as a result of breast cancer or to prevent breast cancer. It is also known as mastectomy. The cost of breast removal surgery varies depending on the type of mastectomy, the location of the health facility, and other additional treatments that may be required.
Most often than not, breast removal surgery to treat cancer is usually covered by health insurance but additional checks may be put in place for preventive surgery.
Initial Costs of Breast Removal Surgery
For patients covered by health insurance, the cost of breast removal surgery procedure will include:
- Visit – This involves your transportation and appointment fees.
- Drugs – Some drugs will be prescribed for you before and after the procedure. The cost will usually be from your pocket.
- Lab Test – A series of tests such as mammogram, breast ultrasound and biopsy may be carried out.
For patients not covered by health insurance, in addition to the above costs, they will have to pay for the mastectomy procedure.
Types of Breast Removal Surgery and Their Costs
1. Simple mastectomy – This is the type of mastectomy that is performed in case of a small tumor, and if cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes. The procedure is simple compared to the other types of mastectomy and is appropriate for people who women seeking prevention of breast cancer.
The cost for a simple mastectomy is about $10,894. Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Nebraska, charges about $14,000-$37,000 for a simple complete mastectomy. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee estimates a cost of more than $15,000 for a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy.
2. Modified Radical Mastectomy – This involves the removal of entire breast tissue along with the axillary lymph nodes but the pectoral muscles are undisturbed. This is the recommended mastectomy if cancer has spread to the axillary(armpit) region. The cost for modified radical mastectomy is about $20,000.
3. Radical Mastectomy – This is a breast removal surgery that involves the removal of the entire breast, the axillary lymph nodes and the pectoralis major and minor muscles behind the breast.
Expect to pay about $37,000 for a radical mastectomy, costs can reach $50,000 or more if there are complications.
Additional Costs of Breast Removal Surgery
To go for breast removal surgery, one has to think about the additional costs which invariably will be required. Additional costs may include
Radiation Therapy: The patient will require radiation therapy after breast removal surgery. This may be covered in between a range of $10,000-$50,000. If the patient has to go for chemotherapy, it may cost around $30,000 or more depending on the drug used.
Breast Implants: In case the patient chooses to undergo breast reconstruction surgery, additional costs may be between $5,000-$15,000 per breast. This range is true in the case of breast implants. For reconstruction with flap technique, a range of $25,000-$50,000 per breast has to be covered.
Follow-up Appointments: Patients with breast cancer need regular follow-up to the doctors for screenings to check for recurrence even after breast removal. This follow-up may be done every three to six months for the first three years which might cost about $100 per visit.