How Much Do Breast Implants Cost?
Doctor Answers 222
Pricing for Breast Augmentation - Experience Safety Measures and Results Contribute to Price
The most expensive surgeon may or may not be the ideal surgeon for you. "Lowball" or discount pricing may often be an attempt to fill an empty O.R. schedule, which should be a concern. Or a very low price may not be the inclusive cost of surgery.
Most any surgeon can surgically implant a breast implant. But, not every plastic surgeon can consistently perform breast augmentation surgery in a manner that leaves a woman with a very natural and beautiful result.
I have seen very low prices advertised for breast augmentation. When I think of the hard costs involved in having a state-of-the-art fully equipped surgical suite, a capable and complete staff, a board-certified anesthesiologist, and all of the additional safety measures we employ, I think that some of these low prices must mean a physician is cutting costs in a way that might compromise safety and outcomes.
In my practice, the price for breast augmentation is all inclusive but it depends on the type of implant used. This price includes all pre and post-operative visits, pain management, pain pumps, a body garment, board certified anesthesiologist, operating room charges., etc.
When considering breast augmentation surgery, I believe that the
most important question for a prospective patient to ask themselves is this: Am I seeking a natural-appearing result? If the answer is yes, then seek out a surgeon who has the same aesthetic sensibility that you have (and appropriate training and experience). And insist on seeing `before and after' photos. A lot of them.
The following are a few things that can distinguish some surgeons from others
1) Graduating from a top tier medical school at the top of their class.
2) Membership in Alpha Omega Alpha. This is the medical honors society. Alpha Omega Alpha is to medicine what Phi Beta Kappa is to undergraduate universities
3) Formal surgical training from prestigious medical universities. The minimum number of years of surgical training for plastic surgeons to be bord certified in five years. Some physicians have as many as ten years of formal surgical training. There simply is no substitute for stelar academic and practical surgical training.
4) Very experienced surgeons with meticulous surgical technique and natural looking outcomes will have photgraphic evidence of their work. Patients should be able to view many photos of the surgery of interest, photgraphed from three different perspectives all with similar lighting, distance from the camera and cropping
The elite experience extends beyond the surgeon to the facility, and the surgical team. You should be able to see the surgical theater and know who else will be in the OR with you during surgery. The Joint Commission (JCAHO) is an organization that provides certification to hospital OR's. The Joint Commission and AAAASF are two of the organizations that can provide certification to surgical suites. Some plastic surgeons elect to have their surgery centers dually certified.
The anesthesia experience is critical to a safe and comfortable surgical experience. A board certified anesthesiologist can administer general or MAC anesthesia. My preference is to have a board-certified anesthesiologist at the bedside of my patients for the duration of surgery.
Be sure your plastic surgeon has admitting privileges at many hospitals for the surgery you are having performed.
Plastic surgeons who cater to high profile individuals who place a high value on privacy will have a private first floor entrance and exit so patients never need to be in a public lobby or elevator for pre-operative or post operative visits.
I want for my patient's appearance to make others think "Wow - what a great figure", not "I wonder who her plastic surgeon is".
It is important to discuss the following with your plastic surgeon, and research yourself this information before selecting a plastic surgeon
1. Cohesive silicone gel vs. saline breast implants, or shaped, form stable breast implants
2. How many cc's?
3. Incision locations
4. Subpectoral vs prepectoral implant position
5. Attention to detail in breast augmentation
6. Breast augmentation after pregnancy
7. Special considerations: asymmetry, tuberous/constricted breasts, etc
8. Recovery and downtime
9. What measures does your plastic surgeon use to prevent capsular contracture
10.Revisional breast augmentation surgery
11) Will fat grafting be used to add volume or provide correction
12) Pain Control Devices - Inlcuded in the price? - This can make a tremendous difference in post operative comfort and recovery
Please do not make your decision on the plastic surgeon based on who has the lowest price without looking at the whole picture and taking your time researching to find the right plastic surgeon for you. Always, ask to see many, many photographs, speak to patients and ask your own physician about any plastic surgeon you are considering.
Some physicians promote low priced breast augmentation, only for a patient to discover that the price is for only one type of implant, with one type of incision. This may not be appropriate for all patients. Then, the "bait and switch" ensues. A different implant will cost more, pain control will cost more. An anesthesiologist will cost more, if an MD anesthesiologist is even an option. Then, just like buying a used car, the price will shift from the total price to monthly payments with a financing plan that could be very regrettable. This is a huge red flag. If these kinds of tactics are used, you, as a consumer should be very concerned.
Of course, be sure your plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and has dozens of before and after images to share of breast augmentation procedures he has performed.
I perform many breast augmentation revision surgeries. The overwhelming majority of patients I see for revisions feel regret for not taking more time checking the background, training, results and safety record of the physician who performed their original surgery. I have created a checklist of what to look for in a surgeon. Look on my website, or cut and paste this: michaellawmd.com/how-to-choose-a-surgeon.html
Remember, you are making a permanent change to your body and trusting someone with your health and well being. Take your time selecting the idea plastic surgeon for you.
Breast implants prices vary widely
There are wide variations in the prices for breast augmentation surgery. The differences are geographic and also based on the cost of operating a facility in a given region as well as on the experience and demand for the particular doctor.
This is a free market situation and there are no regulations or restrictions on the pricing. There are also wide variations in the quality of results and the level of service provided from one doctor to another. Remember that no 2 doctors are the same and your result will differ from one doctor to the next.
It is much more expensive to try to fix a bad result than to get it done properly the first time. So make breast augmentation prices a part of your decision process, but definitely not the top priority. In the Seattle area, the cost ranges from about $5000 to $7500.
How Much Do Breast Implants Cost?
My 2010 fee for a Breast Augmentation (not including the implants) is 2,650 dollars. I purposefully set my charge to be both affordable in the Memphis market and competitive when compared to the significantly higher national charges for the same operation. According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the 2009 average American Plastic surgeon’s fee for a Breast Augmentation (not including the implants) was 3,331 dollars.
You should also be aware that different Plastic surgeons’ professional fees may cover different things. My fee covers your initial Consultation, up to 3 pre-operative visits, the cosmetic surgery professional fee and follow-up for 1 year after your surgery. Make sure you understand what your surgeon’s fee will pay for.
There is a large multi-factorial variation in Plastic Surgery prices. For your safety, stay away from both very low and high price extreme.
TWO IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER:
An overinflated price does NOT guarantee quality
and an unreasonably bargain basement low price is never a bargain but frequently is a gamble on your safety and well-being.
Price extremes in Cosmetic Surgery are intentionally set to attract very 2 very different groups of people.
Extravagant Plastic Surgery prices are INTENDED to suck in 2 groups of people: the “label snobs”(those who either enjoy proving their worth by over-spending on everything) and those yearning to reach Hollywood’s supposed elite through Cosmetic Surgery (“I want a Facelift by Dr. X because he operated on startlet 1, starlet 2 and we think starlet 3…”). Ridiculous high prices (“If you need to ask – you can’t afford me” Plastic Surgery) are also meant to bring in those who do not want to do their research; The “If he charges so much, he MUST be good” school of thinking individuals. Many surgeons intentionally charge huge fees to over-inflate their attractiveness to these spend-happy individuals who assume that excellence must be expensive.
Extreme Plastic Surgery bargains are INTENDED to draw in 2 different groups of people: First, are individuals who cannot afford cosmetic surgery but are insistent on getting it anyway by focusing on bargain basement prices rather surgeon training and experience. The other group is the shoppers – We all know them. People who, regardless of their income, never met a bargain they could walk away from (The garage sale, Priceline.com centered, the coupon wallet carrying, “Is this your best price?” shopper).
When SHOPPING FOR A “DEAL” WHAT RED FLAGS SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR?
The TOTAL cost of Cosmetic Surgery is made up of 3 components; the surgeon’s fee, anesthesia charges and facility charges. There is no free lunch. Most of the time, you are getting what you pay for. An amazingly low fee usually means that one or more of these components has been compromised and that you are taking a risk.
Cheap Plastic Surgery should raise safety concerns and each of these 3 components deserves your careful consideration.
- SURGEON’S FEE – The surgeon’s fee is based on geographic factors (with higher fees being common in major cities such as New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles etc) and on the experience of the surgeon doing the surgery (less experienced surgeons may charge a lot less). Finally, with the current state of the economy many surgeons lowered their fees.
Plastic Surgery is an expensive occupation. Quality Plastic Surgery graduate training is very competitive and hard to get into requiring an excellent academic record and years of hard work in medical school and preceding residencies. Plastic Surgery training is also the longest training in American Graduate Medical Education. Real Plastic surgeons accumulate a lot of debt during their long years of training. Moreover, the cost of running a Plastic Surgery office is higher than many other specialties. This financial burden is then added to a high pre-existing educational debt which must be paid off.
As a result, real board-certified and experienced Plastic surgeons (ASPS members) will usually charge more than wannabe doctors who are NOT certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). (These other “Plastic surgeons” are a large group made up of doctors who never formally trained in a Plastic surgery residency and who literally practice Plastic Surgery. (They have either certified in other specialties (such as gynecology, Family practice, ER Medicine, Internal Medicine etc) and may be certified by commercial non-American Board of Medical Specialties Boards-ABMS), or are practicing medicine illegally (either foreign unlicensed doctors or not doctors at all)).
To FULLY understand the real meaning of Board Certification and who your doctor may really be, please follow the link below.
It is EASY to separate real Plastic surgeons from the others. Find out
1. Is he/she certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)?
2. Does he/she have unlimited Plastic Surgery privileges at one or more local hospital? Not having hospital privileges in Plastic Surgery (i.e. being allowed to practice Plastic Surgery) in a local hospital is very worrisome and should raise many red flags. It may mean that for several reasons (such as deficient or improper training, past legal history or ethical issues) the hospital refused to expose itself to lawsuits by having your surgeon operate on its staff. You should seriously reconsider having your surgery with this physician.
- ANESTHESIA FEE – An inordinately cheap anesthesia fee should be another red flag. It means your anesthesia will be poor and/ or provided by an under- or poorly trained individual.
Your comfort and safety are important. For patient comfort and surgical accuracy, the vast majority of Plastic surgeons prefer to perform Breast Augmentation under general anesthesia.
Generally speaking, anesthesia for Breast Augmentation anesthesia can be given by:
1. Your surgeon (cheapest, least effective - NOT a good idea). The vast majority of Plastic surgeons prefer doing Breast Augmentation surgery under general anesthesia because of its safety, accuracy and comfort of the patient. When a doctor performs his Breast augmentations under local anesthesia in his office surgery room it may mean that local anesthesia may be the ONLY choice of anesthesia he can offer because of his training, board certification and issues in his past, he is not allowed to operate in a local hospital or surgery center.
By having surgery under such conditions, you will be subjecting yourself to a surgeon which the local hospital is not willing to risk exposing its patients to. Is this really a great deal? Think long and hard.
2. A nurse anesthetist (CRNA) – which must be supervised by a doctor. Or
3. Doctor (anesthesiologist).
Either of the last two anesthesia choices is acceptable. The last one is definitely the best. Some people prefer the increased safety (and cost) of having a MD (anesthesiologist) providing their anesthesia.
- FACILITY (OPERATING ROOM) CHARGES – A really cheap facility should be another red flag. It may signify the room your procedure is done in is not equipped properly and may not adhere to national standards of safety and sterility. For your safety make sure YOUR operating room facility is either MEDICARE or AAAASF certified. These organizations perform inspections and demand high standards of safety and performance. However, maintaining and complying with such Federal and State regulations is expensive
While having surgery in a Medicare or AAAASF certified operating room is much safer than having your surgery done in a non-certified facility, this safety comes with a higher price tag. This increased safety comes at a price. Is YOUR safety and well being worth taking a risk for? Saving on?
Having Plastic Surgery is VERY much like flying a plane. Your safety depends on having an experienced, well trained pilot (i.e. a real Plastic surgeon), an experienced navigator (anesthesia provider) and flying (or having your surgery) in a well-maintained, inspected and cared for airplane (certified operating room facility).
In summary, do you REALLY know your pilot? Do you trust your plane? Choose wisely!
Now you know everything you should know when evaluating Plastic Surgery fees and charges.
Good Luck in your journey for self-improvement.
Dr. Peter Aldea
You might also like...
Cost of Breast Implants in Alabama
Our basic breast implant costs are $3000 for saline and $3800 for silicone. This price may vary based on individual needs of a patient. Prices do vary depending on the location you have the surgery performed. A free consultation would be needed to obtain a more exact price quote.
Cost of Breast Implants Special pricing
We have a special on Breast Augmentation thru March 2012. Silicone Augmentation $4,600.00 or Saline Augmentation $3,700.00. This includes all of your follow up visits as well. Prescriptions and lab work if needed are your only additional charges.
The facility has a state license and is AAAASC certified. You should never have any procedure in an uncertified facility. You life depends on it.
Our anesthesia is provided my MD's. Although nurse anesthetists can legally give anesthesia alone, we prefer to used trained physicians who specialize in outpatient anesthesia.
I am a board certified plastic surgeon (and general surgeons as well). You should make certain your implants are placed by a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery no matter what the cost. Your life depends on it.
Breast augmentation cost depends on where you live
Do yourself a favor though and don't price shop. You're not buying a car; i.e. a Toyota Camry is the same whether you buy it from Car Dealer A or Car Dealer B. The difference in your "service" when receiving medical care can vary greatly from office to office, so other criteria are much more important.
You would do well to keep in mind this quote from John Ruskin:
There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey.
Breast augmentation cost
Breast augmentation has become more affordable in recent years. Without additional treatment, total costs (OR, anesthesia, implants, etc.) for my patients is $3,750 for saline and $4,750 for silicone augmentation. This price will typically vary from region-to-region.
Implant pricing depends on a number of factors. One of the first issues is whether you are looking into saline or silicone implants. Saline implants are often less than half the cost of silicone implants. With the recent release of the new shaped silicone implants there is another factor to consider. Shaped silicone implants are several hundred dollars more than the traditional round silicone implants. Where your surgeon practices and how much breast surgery they do will also influence the price. My advice is to find the most qualified surgeon that you like and trust. Price is important, but you want the best result, not the best deal. Good luck with your surgery.
Breast Augmentation Pricing
The price for breast augmentation will vary depending on the location and availability of the surgeon. Younger surgeons are usually more available and will charge lower prices. Although with the economy being slower some more experienced surgeons may be charging less as well. I typically charge $6,250 for saline and $8,000 for silicone. My recommendation would be to look at before and after photos and see if you like the work and see if the doctor has several examples of breast augmentation if that is the procedure you are interested in.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.