Quality Breast Augmentation in the US for Under $4,000?

I'm hoping to get a breast augmentation before the end of May 2010 for summer swimsuit modeling. I am looking for a surgeon in the US who does (saline) breast augmentations for under $4,000. But I'm not looking for the answer "you get what you pay for" because that's not necessarily true. I'm just looking for an affordable, quality surgeon. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 26

Yes, under $4,000 is possible for breast augmentation

There are high quality plastic surgeons all over the country. I have met them and listened to them at reputable plastic surgery meetings (ASPS, ASAPS). Each part of the country will have different costs to perform the surgery.

I think I live in the the part of the country with the lowest cost. I have charged $3,436 for saline breast augmentation for the last 4 years. This includes Allergan brand implants with general anesthesia in an accredited surgery center.

I would not recommend traveling long distances for surgery just to get a slightly lower cost because it is safer to have your surgeon close to you.

Beware of low priced surgeons that are not board certified plastic surgeons.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Peterson

Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Yes, it is possible to obtain a quality breast augmentation at a reasonable fee

Prices vary by geographical region, and I suppose I would take exception to some of the previous answers. We currently charge slightly less than $4000 for saline breast augmentation. (This includes everything). I am board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (as are my partners), trained at a respected university program (Vanderbilt), operate in a fully accredited office operating facility, have privileges in the hospitals in my community, and have performed well over 1000 breast augmentations with a high level of patient satisfaction and very few complications. We are very proud of our nurses and office staff, who are well trained, compassionate, and detail oriented. Thus, I believe it is possible to obtain a quality result at a reasonable fee.

Michael D. Yates, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Quality breast augmentations under $4000 are very rare

When you consider the cost to the doctor of buying the implants, paying for the surgical equipment, paying the staff salaries and benefits, paying the rent, paying the malpractice and other insurances, paying the taxes, and the cost of anesthesia, there is no room to do a "quality" breast augmentation for under $4000.

You would likely only find a non-plastic surgeon who would be willing to do this to "get into the market." I just encountered an ENT in my area doing this. They have no training in breast surgery and a poor result cannot be fixed and will cost double the price you started with anyway.

While you don't want a lecture, it is true that in most things in life, you do get what you pay for. Since it would only take about $2500 more to find a great doctor, I would advise you budget for this, save your money and then get it done properly. Just trying to protect you from a bad outcome...

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

The secret for an inexpensive breast augmentation

I don't know about your area...but at least in LA, $4K is getting pretty low in private practice. Remember, the implant is $1K, an anesthesiologist is about $600, a proper operating room is $2000 or so....meaning that the numbers just don't add up unless you don't have an anesthesiologist, a good OR, etc. And the only surgeons that I have been aware of operating at that price - and I'm not saying that I have surveyed them all - but of what I have been aware, many have either not been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or were those who - in my opinion- didn't quite dazzle me with their judgment.

Again, I'm not making a blanket statement condemning all lower-priced surgery. I'm just saying that you have to be careful. (Though for that matter, I am aware of some exceedingly expensive plastic surgery that has also been awful.) So I guess no matter what you do, you have to be very careful.

So, here's my suggestion: all the major plastic surgery residencies have resident clinics. These are surgeons in their last months of training. But they don't operate on you alone - they have an "attending" surgeon, usually a respected member of the local community who donates their time for teaching.

I do this at UCLA with a handful of outstanding faculty, and the patients are amazingly well taken care of, certainly better than a lot of what I see going on in the private community at substnatially higher fees.

The University of Michigan has one of the best plastic surgery training programs in the world. Anyone at the end of their residency at U of M would be very knowledgeable and accomplished. And their attendings would be awesome. I don't know the details of their resident clinic, but that would be the place you should start. Go to their website and call the plastic surgery department. Go for a consultation...I bet you will be impressed.

Steven Teitelbaum, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Low cost Breast augmentation with implants in the United States

You are absolutely right. You don't always "get what you pay for". However, there are certain costs to procedures and a physician's time is certainly worth something. This includes their training and experience in addition to their overhead expenses. Doctors have to pay off educational loans (becoming a physician in the United Staes is expensive and probably easily costs $500,000) in addition to paying their office expenses and then providing for their families. They often don't finish training until at least 31 years of age at the youngest well after their colleagues have been out of college holding a job for 10 years have been earning decent salaries, bonuses and benefits.

Not that we are asking for your pity, but there are many factors that determine a surgeon's fees.

On top of that, if you are searching for a surgeon who is willing to operate at a low cost, it is more likely that they will profit on a volume basis. High volume is good for experience but it may interfere with the doctor patient relationship. You can't expect to pay someone bottom dollar and then expect extra one-on-one time answering alot of questions. So you may be able to find a fee of $4000, but this will be a high volume operation where most of your care will be administrered by Physician extenders. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that you will find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon at this reimbursement level.

You should also take into consideration the costs of revisionay surgery and if that surgeon will be around 10 years from now to manage your questions or concerns. High volume facilities tend to have a high surgeon turnover.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Look for ASPS and ASAPS Members as your Surgeon

Thank you for your question. Costs vary across the country, but $4,000 is certainly below the average. Look for surgeons who are board-certified plastic surgeons to ensure quality care. Search for ASPS active members, who must be board-certified plastic surgeons, and ideally ASAPS active members, who must have performed 75 cases within 18 months to be admitted (only approximately 30% of board-certified plastic surgeons are able to become members of ASAPS). 

Be wary of:

  1. Going internationally for surgery
  2. Going to providers whose prices are "too low". They are most likely not board-certified plastic surgeons. (A good question to ask during your in-office consultation with the surgeon is: "Are you a board-certified Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?". Any other "certification" given, even seemingly similarly worded, is not a board-certified plastic surgeon.)

Disclaimer: I am an active member of ASAPS.

Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Breast augmentation costs

Thank you for your question. I would visit with a number of plastic surgeons in your area. I would narrow down to a few surgeons that you feel very comfortable with and discuss price/payment options. There are several costs that go into breast augmentation including the facility fees, anesthesia fees, surgeon's fee and the cost of the implants. Saline is the cheapest of the implants so it will save you some money compared to silicone implants. You may also want to consider a residency training program as they will discount fees for their senior residents to perform the surgery under the guidance of their more experienced faculty.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Each surgeon is different.

Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedures. Prices vary widely and depend on several variables. It’s important to make sure the fee quote includes the surgeon’s fee, facility fee, anesthesia charges, implant costs and pre- and post-operative care.Each of these components may vary widely depending upon the surgeon’s practice.
Although the majority of plastic surgeons charge more than $4,000 for saline breast augmentation, fees tend to vary widely.This is often due to regional differences and local levels of competition. For these reasons, it might be possible to find someone who would perform the procedure for under $4,000.
It’s important to remember that although price is an important component of your decision, it’s not the only consideration.Make sure that your surgeon is a board certified plastic surgeon with appropriate qualifications and experience.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Best Way to Find a Surgeon for Breast Augmentation

The best way to find the right surgeon for you is to do your research and be as thorough as possible. Set up consultations with highly experienced board certified plastic surgeons in your area. RealSelf can be a great resource in terms of reading patient reviews in order to get an idea if a doctor's surgical philosophy and patient care is in line with what you're hoping to achieve. Discuss all aspects of the procedure with them, including the price. If you find a surgeon who makes you feel completely comfortable, safe, and confident, who has a track record of delivering excellent, safe results with regular accreditation, that's a quality surgeon. If you are unable to find a doctor who meets these criteria at the price point you are interested in, you may need to reconsider your budget.

Frank Lista, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Breast Augmentation Cost

The cost of breast augmentation can vary depending on whether you have saline or silicone implants. There are some important questions to ask as you should not base your decision about where to have surgery only on price.

It is important to ask the right questions during your consultation:

  • 1.Is your surgeon a board certified plastic surgeon?
    • a.Be sure he or she is a plastic surgeon, there are a lot surgeons that are cosmetic surgeons or board certified in other fields other than plastic surgery. They do not do the same training as a plastic surgeon.
    • b.You can check the American Board of Plastic Surgery website for a list of plastic surgeons in your area.
  • 2.Does your surgeon commonly perform this procedure?
    • a.Ask to see before and after pictures or look online for reviews on the procedure.
  • 3.Where is the surgery performed
    • a.Is the procedure performed in an accredited surgery center or hospital?
  • 4.Who performs the anesthesia for the procedure?
    • a.Is an anesthesiologist performing the anesthesia?

I hope this helps. 

Johnny Franco, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

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.