University based breast augmentation?

Hello, i've been reading how excellent the residents are in the universities here in SoCal. Was wondering what the price ranges when residents perform? I think it's another great option for a lesser price since it will not only assist financially for super savers like me but will also be an additional help for the residents to add into their cases before going out on their own. Thanks doctors

Doctor Answers 10

Cost for a BA?

Cost factors vary significantly for a number of good reasons: Prices vary greatly because the surgery itself encompasses a wide range of techniques that can be performed to different extents. My recommendation is to first find the most qualified surgeons where you want the surgery performed that are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery you trust, then compare prices between them. See the below link on suggestions on how to find the most qualified plastic surgeon for your procedure. General Factors that influence the price of plastic surgery include:

1. Location - Will it be performed in a hospital with an overnight stay, an independent out- patient facility or a doctor’s office? Geographical location also has a significant influence. RealSelf has average charges for most areas of the USA. 2. Type of Anesthesia - local, IV sedation or General Anesthesia? Will a board certified anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist, or an RN be used?            3. Experience and training of your surgeon. The best and longest trained is most often a plastic surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery           4. Length and Complexity of Surgery - how difficult will your surgery be and how long it will take, etc. Will other complementary procedures also be also performed during the same surgery?

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

When costs are your primary concern with breast augmentation

you should find better deals with training programs but you must make sure you get the experienced surgeon near the end of his/her training and also know what the revision policy is in case you get a result you did not want.  We were all residents at one time in our careers but what you learn after you get out is simply amazing over what skills and judgement most residents have early in their careers.  Call around and you can probably find costs to your liking from experienced surgeons who offer decent revision policies.  Or you can go to your favorite resident and hope for the best.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast augmentation in University setting?

Provided that your resident clinic is properly supervised, you should not have issues with the quality of the surgery.  I have a few additional suggestions, however:

1) Many universities require surgery to be performed at their affiliated surgery center, as opposed to an office-based facility. In this instance, while surgeon's fees are lower, the facility fees may be much higher.

2) Private practice groups are often times better geared to provide a superior overall patient experience. This can range simple things like where you park your car, to very significant items like the amount of time you spend on the day of surgery in the facility, and whom you can call if you have concerns postoperatively.

Provided these trade-offs are acceptable to you, I am confident that you will have a successful surgery and appreciate your willingness to participate in the education of a young surgeon.

Jon Ver Halen, MD
Southlake Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

University Breast Augmentation

The price will be lower but residents are still in the learning phase and an experience surgeon may not be supervising his work. If there are problems it may cost you more for corrections.

Arthur Shektman, MD
Wellesley Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

University based breast augmentation?

The benefit to Resident surgery for you is lower cost. If the resident procedure is fully supervised by an experienced surgeon including choice of implants, markings on the chest and the entire operative procedure, then their really is no downside. However, in most resident clinics there is little to no supervision in the multitude of decisions that are required to result in the proper surgical result. In that case the downside to you can be dramatic and very expensive if revisions are required. Do your research carefully.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

University based breast augmentation

There is no question that there will be some cost benefits, the questions to be asked are how much differential, and more importantly, the supervision of the resident during the procedure. If the resident is minimally supervised than you have someone with minimal experience during the procedure. 

You are discussing your body, not doing a small project on your house. You want it done correctly the first time, and experience is worth a lot. If the difference in money is small, I am not sure it is worth it. 

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Resident surgeon.

Thanks for your question. More likely than not, having surgery by a resident in training will lead to lower costs for your surgery. Be sure the residents are being supervised by a faculty board certified plastic surgeon. You should always carefully weigh the pros and cons of less expensive or "rebate" surgery versus the long-tern results and long-term follow up. Best, Dr. ALDO

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

University based breast augmentation?

It is very likely that a procedure performed by a plastic surgery resident would cost less;  what I would be concerned about is the quality of the outcome of the procedure performed.

There is no doubt that a board-certified plastic surgeon will have a greater experience level than the plastic surgeon in training.  I would suggest starting with the American Society of Plastic Surgery and/or the Aesthetic Society of Plastic Surgery to obtain a list of well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.


Then, I would suggest you visit a few surgeons whose practices concentrate on aesthetic surgery. Ask to SEE lots of examples of their work AND preferably speak/see patients who have had similar procedures done.

Be very careful with your decision-making. You will find, while doing your due diligence, that there are many different “specialties” who will offer their services to you; again, I strongly recommend you concentrate on surgeons certified by the relevant Board of Plastic Surgery.

I would also suggest that you do not base your selection of plastic surgeon primarily on costs of surgery; keep in mind that revisionary surgery may be more costly in many ways.  In other words, I would suggest that you save up and have the procedure performed by a board certified plastic surgeon who you feel confident can deliver an outcome that you will be pleased with long-term.  I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

University pricing for breast augmentations

You would need to contact the universities directly to see what their pricing is. They will often require a consultation prior to discussing that with you. Some universities have cosmetic resident clinics and their pricing is often less expensive than local private practice physicians. But it is important for you to be comfortable with your surgeon's knowledge base and surgical skills prior to any operation (regardless of if they are residents or practicing physicians). 


Surjit S. Rai, MD 

Dallas Plastic Surgeon 

Surjit S. Rai, MD
Dallas Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews


You will need to contact the Department of Plastic Surgery there and ask for a consultation and their fees.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 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.