How Much Do Breast Implants Cost?
Article by York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
Breast augmentation is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed by plastic surgeons. More than any other procedure, patients tend to shop by price when considering breast enlargement. Every plastic surgery receptionist answers the question, "What is the cost of breast augmentation?" on a nearly daily basis.
Patients rarely shop for facial cosmetic surgery in a similar fashion. In fact, a high price for a face lift is often interpreted (sometimes accurately and sometimes falsely) as better quality. The reasons for the difference are largely explained by the age and socioeconomic status of the patients interested in these procedures.
Breast augmentation patients tend to be younger and often less financially secure. Patients whom have had breast implants talk, often a lot, about various aspects of their procedure. Patients tend to know what the going rates are for breast implants and look for "discounts".
Breast augmentation costs
The cost of breast implants varies considerably, ranging from about $4000 to $12,000, with an average of about $7,100. The main factors associated with this difference of price are geographical location, experience of the surgeon, and type of implant used. Of these, geography plays the largest role. Just as the price of a house, or even a burger is significantly more expensive in various parts of the country, this is true for cosmetic surgery as well.
Generally, the cost of breast enhancement follows the cost of living, generally more expensive on the coasts. For example, the cost of breast augmentation in the Salt Lake City, Utah area is around $4000 - $5000 for saline implants and approximately $1000 more for silicone implants. In California, Miami, and New York, these costs are generally nearly doubled. Healthy competition also brings prices down in certain areas of the country. For example, in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, the number of plastic surgeons per capita is very high and the cost of breast enhancement is accordingly low.
Components of breast enlargement price
- Surgeon's fees - $2,000 to $6,000. This is the fee that varies the most geographically. Plastic surgeons with the most experience and training often charge a higher price.
- Facility fee - $0 to $2500. To reduce, or eliminate this fee, many plastic surgeons operate out of an office operating room.
- Implants - $1000 to $1300 for saline implant, $2000 - $2400 for silicone. Generally, this price does not vary across different regions of the country. Physicians whom use more implants will often get a better price.
- Anesthesia - $100 to $1000. Most all plastic surgeons use anesthesiologists or CRNA's for anesthesia. Anesthesiologists charge a higher rate than CRNA's, generally. To cut costs, a very small number of plastic surgeons use RN's to administer a lighter level of sedation.
Safety and satisfaction are more important than cost.
Although many patients often start their search for a plastic surgeon for breast augmentation based on price, this should not be the primary consideration. Although breast enlargement is a very common surgery, it is still a very serious surgery. The burden of a poorly executed breast enlargement can haunt a patient for a lifetime.
Many patients try to find the best "deal" only to pay much more for their revision. The best safeguard for the patient is to make sure a plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This does not guarantee a good outcome but does guarantee that the surgeon is adequately trained and follows a strict code of professional, safety and ethical standards.
The plastic surgeon should have a lot of experience with breast surgery, should not take any shortcuts on patient safety, and the patient should feel very comfortable with them. These factors are much more important than the price.