Breast augmentation is a procedure that can have a big impact on a person’s life. With more symmetrical breasts, women can feel more confident and comfortable in their own skin. Although there will be minor scarring, it’s usually covered up by the breast itself or discreetly placed by your plastic surgeon.

However, there may come a time when you need to undergo breast explant surgery in order to treat a medical issue. It may also be that your current implants are causing side effects and potentially endangering your health.

But is breast implant removal covered by Medicare in Australia, and what are some alternative payment options?

What Is Breast Explant Surgery?

Breast explant surgery refers to the removal of breast implants and any scar tissue formed around the implants. The goal is to maintain a natural body profile. Scar tissue is removed due to it being a side effect of implantation.

There are a variety of reasons why a person may opt for breast explant surgery.

To begin with, a person may decide that they do not desire the implants for aesthetic or mental health reasons. They may regret the surgery or simply wish to revert back to how they looked before.

Alternatively, patients may need a breast explant procedure if their current implants are causing issues. Cheaper implants may rupture and leak silicone. They may also cause irritation and further scarring.

Breast Implant Removal and Medicare

The big question is whether or not Medicare covers breast explant surgery. As you may know, a breast augmentation procedure, in most cases, is not covered by private health insurance. It’s considered a type of electric cosmetic surgery, so it isn’t medically necessary.

However, there are certain situations in which you can get Medicare to cover some of the breast implant removal.

Medicare items 45553 and 45554 cover removal and replacement with another prosthesis if there are any medical complications. This may be due to a developmental abnormality or if removal would cause a deformity.

For example, your implant may cause significant scarring or the development of cancer in very rare cases. It may also rupture and cause a medical emergency that Medicare would cover.

Keep in mind that Medicare may not cover the entire cost of the removal procedure. Free plastic surgery may be available in public hospitals, but there will be a significant waiting period. Medicare only offers a partial subsidy for procedures performed at private practices.

If you need immediate surgery, you may need to look into alternative sources of funding.

Other Funding Options

Even though Medicare can cover some of your breast explant surgery, that isn’t always the case. Unless it’s a medical emergency, you’ll most likely need to find some alternative way to pay for your procedure. These include, but are not limited to, private health insurance, medical loans, and personalised payment plans.

Private Health Insurance

One of the first options to consider is looking into private health insurance options. Many private insurance plans offer coverage for breast explant surgery for medical reasons.

They’re also more likely to offer more coverage than Medicare would, especially if you opt to use a private practice rather than go through the hospital. Always make sure to double-check their policies and coverage limits before you commit to one.

Medical Loans

Another way to help afford a breast implant removal is with medical loans. Some financial institutions offer these as a way to help individuals afford surgeries and medical procedures.

The main concerns with any kind of loan are the interest rates and repayment terms. If you fail to pay them back on time, you may be stuck with a much larger debt than you expected. However, they’re a reliable source of money if you follow the terms and conditions.

Always opt for a legitimate financial institution when obtaining a loan. Avoid any sketchy online loans or loan sharks.

Payment Plans

Some surgical centres offer payment plans as a way to afford their procedures. You can opt for plans of varying lengths, such as three months, six months, or twelve months. Whether or not they will accept your application will depend on your credit score and if they require an initial down payment.

As with a medical loan, you may become subject to high fees if you fail to make a complete payment. Only agree to a payment plan if you know for sure that you can afford it.

Credit Cards

Although not recommended, you could always use your credit card to cover your breast explant surgery. The procedure may cost upwards of $12,000 depending on the individual and the surgeon. Depending on how well you’ve paid off your credit card, you may be able to cover the entire cost with one.

The biggest problem with using your credit card is the high-interest rate attached to it. Failure to repay it every month will lead to a direct impact on your credit score. You’ll also be at risk if your financial institution decides to cancel your credit card.

Schedule Your Breast Explant Surgery Today

A breast explant surgery is a big decision to make, especially after you’ve spent so much time and money on your initial implants. However, there may come a time when you’ll need them removed out of either medical necessity or personal preference.

When that time comes, visit The Lotus Institute for all of your cosmetic and plastic surgery needs. Our services cover breast surgery, facial procedures, laser skin rejuvenation, and much more. Contact us today with any questions or to book a consultation.