Patient Protection

Does my health insurance cover medical complications of cosmetic surgery?

All surgery carries the risk of a complication, and cosmetic plastic surgery is no exception. The answer to this not infrequently asked question is “maybe”. Many major medical health insurance policies exclude treatment of a complication following elective aesthetic surgery, even if medically necessary. Though complications like bleeding, infection, drug reactions, and blood clots are uncommon and elective cosmetic surgery enjoys an excellent safety record; they do occur.

At Refine Plastic Surgery prevention of such complications begins with a thorough medical evaluation and careful patient selection and preparation. When appropriate as dictated by factors like age or existing medical health issues, a medical clearance by your medical doctor may be deemed necessary prior to surgery.

After a perspective patient’s health is evaluated, the specifics of the surgery need to be carefully considered. This includes the nature of the surgery, the duration of the surgery, and place of surgery. At Refine Plastic Surgery we perform surgery under sedation or general anesthesia in certified surgical facilities with board certified anesthesists ensuring the greatest in saftey.

The final step to preventing surgical complications is close post-operative follow-up. At Refine Plastic Surgery we provide frequent post-operative checks to monitor not only the aesthetic outcome, but also to minimize complications. Often, early infection or minor bleeding can be managed with antibiotics, woundcare, and close observation. When more significant issues arise, prompt testing and treatment is required and if your major medical insurance excludes coverage or if you do not have medical insurance—you may be left with medical costs.

We have recently partnered with a program called CosmetAssure to address this gap. CosmetAssure is a program promoted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that provides supplemental coverage for medical complications arising from elective cosmetic surgeries that occur within the first forty five days of surgery. It also covers contracture issues related to breast implants up to 18 months. CosmetAssure is endorsed by the prestigious American Society of Plastic Surgeons of which Dr Brown is a member. The coverage is provided to patients and included in all quotes for cosmetic surgery.

For example, if a patient has some unilateral (one side) leg swelling on post-operative day #3, a deep venous thrombosis (DVT-blood clot) in the leg may be suspected. A venous duplex would ordered to evaluate. and CosmetAssure would provide coverage for this expense.

Finally to remove confusion, if you are having a procedure which is covered by your health insurance plan like breast or skin cancer reconstruction, then your major medical insurance would cover the complications arising from those surgeries. To reiterate elective cosmetic surgery is safe, but we at Refine Plastic Surgery wanted to take the extra precautionary step at giving you more piece of mind. Ask your cosmetic surgeon if he/she participates in CosmetAssure and learn more about the program including terms, exclusions and limitations at their website,