Complications of cosmetic breast surgery for cases from 2000 to 2014 cost in excess of $10 million for surgical fees alone, despite the initial procedure being a completely private transaction between patient and surgeon.

According to a review and economic analysis of reported complications of breast augmentation surgery, the total burden on the Australian health system is an unknown figure.

In a research paper by Dr George Miller at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Annual Scientific Congress, a systematic review of 50 articles for qualitative analysis and 30 articles for quantitative analysis was undertaken.

An economic model was also done on the increasing number of cosmetic breast augmentations performed each year between 2000 and 2014.

Dr Miller said there were a number of implications as a result of these findings, particularly concerning cosmetic proceduralist activity and cosmetic tourism.

“Treatment of complications from cosmetic breast augmentation is subsidised by government funding in Australia,” Dr Miller said.

“Given this is a likely understatement of the real burden of disease, this study demonstrates the significant economic burden created by the complications of cosmetic breast augmentation.”

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