The average cost of silicone breast implants is about $6,600 all inclusive and the average cost for saline breast implants is about $5,600. Also, it is important to know that breast implants typically have to be replaced every 10-20 years or so, so keep these future costs in mind as well. In rare cases, however, they can last 30+ years or even an entire lifetime.
Breast Implants Cost Explained by Dr. Michael Workman
There are actually several things that have to be taken into consideration with looking at the overall costs of breast implants and there are many factors that can affect the total cost. If you are considering breast implants it is good to have all the information possible so you can ask your doctor the right questions and make sure that you are getting the best price.
Breast Augmentation Surgery
Breast augmentation surgery is the process of changing the size of shape of the breasts. This surgery can be connected to breast size reduction, breast lifts, and the most common, breast implants. Breast augmentation is the second most performed plastic surgery in the United States, with nearly half a million procedures being performed every year.
Most women who want to get breast implants are not satisfied with the way their breasts looks, particularly the shape and size. You will need to determine which type of breast implants you want, how you want the surgery preformed, and at what location; your choices will have a direct impact on the cost of the surgery.
Types of Breast Implants
Breast implants come in two types, saline and silicone.
Both implant types come in a silicone shell or casting, but what is inside of them determines which category they fall into. A saline implant is filled with salt water, or saline. A silicone implant is filled with a plastic gel, called silicone.
For many years silicone implants weren’t available due to allegations of serious health risks, but these claims were unfounded and the FDA allowed for them to be back on the market as of 2006. People tend to prefer the silicone implants, because the plastic gel tends to feel more like real breast tissue, but some people still feel there are more health risks present, even with the modern medical improvements on the silicone gel.
Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants Explained by Dr. Mark Epstein
The cost of breast augmentation surgery is also dependent on how the procedure is performed. There are a few different ways to surgically place breast implants and each procedure has its pluses and minuses. No matter which procedure you choose, most likely, you will be required to be under general anesthesia, which also adds a cost to the procedure.
Some of the surgical options for inserting the breast implants include making the incisions:
- Making an incision under the breast
- Making an incision under the arm
- Making an incision around the nipple
- Inserting the implant through the belly button (saline only)
Typically your preference, as well as your body type, the type of implant, and how large your breasts are growing, will determine which procedure will be used.
After the incision is made the implant is placed into a pocket that is either above or below the chest muscle, depending on where the incision was made and your doctor’s preference. The whole surgery typically takes two hours.
The Doctor Performing the Surgery
You might not realize it, but the skill, training, and experience of your surgeon is going to play a role in the final cost of the surgery and this is one important cost that you don’t want to skimp on. Surgeons who are highly qualified and in high demand are going to cost more money, as you are paying more for that experience and skill.
The location of the doctor’s office will also play a role. Typically doctors who practice out of very affluent areas where plastic surgery is very popular, such as Beverly Hills or Orange County, CA, will charge more. This is due to several reasons:
- Expertise – Doctors in these areas are typically more prestigious, experienced and skillful
- Marketing – These doctors typically have to pay a high cost for marketing, as there is a lot of competition in these areas
- Cost of Living – Part of the high cost is simply due to the fact that everything is more expensive due to the high standard of living in these areas, and the wealthy inhabitants can afford to pay higher prices for plastic surgery.
As with any surgery it is important to find a plastic surgeon that is board certified and has many years of experience. Your doctor should be willing, and able, to show you before and after pictures from some of their previous procedures. They should also be able to give you references that you can talk to.
It is important to note that there are over 150 self designated plastic surgery boards. If your doctor belongs to one of these it doesn’t mean that they have been through any sort of extra training. That’s why it is best to work with a physician that belongs to a board that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Costs Associated with Breast Implants
Breast implants are rarely covered under medical insurance, but there are times when insurance will cover the costs. It is advised to talk with your doctor’s staff to see if they can work with your insurance. Plus, many plastic surgeons are willing to accept payments and financing options.
Typically, these surgeries range anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 depending on:
- Your doctor
- The skill of your surgeon
- Your type of implant
- Your choice in incision
- Whether the surgery happens in a hospital or medical office
- Where you are located.
Your surgeon should be able to give you a clear breakdown of their costs and where exactly your money is going. Keep in that the all-inclusive national average for silicone implants is $6,600, and $5,600 for saline.
Here is a breakdown of some of the most common fees and where they get applied for breast augmentation procedures:
- Implant Cost: The actual implant that will be inserted into your body has a cost. Most often this is included in the surgeons fees, but it is good to know what you are paying for. The average cost of a saline implants is $1,000 to $1,600, per pair and the average cost of silicone implants is $1,800 to $2,500 per pair. The costs will vary depending on size, style, type, and the manufacturer of the implants. Each size, style, and type will be different and it will be up to you and your doctor to determine which implant is right for your body.
- Anesthesia: The price range for anesthesia will be anywhere from $200 to $1,000 because this is another cost that can vary. Most breast augmentation procedures require a general anesthetic, which means paying for an anesthesiologist as well. Often this cost is included in the office or hospital costs, but it can get expensive. Some people are able to have the procedure under a local anesthetic, but this is rare.
- Doctor Fees: There will be a cost associated for the doctor and his support staff during the procedure. This is one of the fees that will vary the most widely and will depend on your surgeons experience, background, and location. If you live in an expensive area, the cost of your breast augmentation procedure will also be more expensive. The average surgeon’s rate is $3,500, but it can vary anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 with all of the above factors taken into consideration.
- Office/Hospital Costs: Surprisingly, the most expensive part of breast augmentation surgery is the facility where it will take place. This could either be an outpatient medical facility or a traditional hospital; it all depends on what facilities your doctor is associated with. Location can also be affected by your medical history and overall health. If there are any complications during your procedure this could also increase the costs of your procedure. The average cost of medical facilities is $1,500, but they can range anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000.
- Blood Work and Testing: Before your procedure, it is routine to have a full blood screening and a panel of basic medical tests run. This is for your protection, to make sure there isn’t anything that your surgeon needs to be medically aware of before starting the process. Medical insurance may or may not cover this expense and medical testing can run anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on your location. On top of blood work your doctor might also suggest an EKG test. This will most likely depend on your age and medical history. Again, this is another test that might be covered by insurance, but if not, the cost is anywhere from $150 to $300.
- Mammogram: Most doctors will want you to have a mammogram before your surgery date. This is done as part of the testing process to confirm that there isn’t anything going on. If you have a family history of breast cancer you will be required to have a mammogram even if you are under 30, but often a mammogram is required even without family history of breast cancer being a factor. A mammogram can cost up to $300 depending on where you live and if your medical insurance will cover the costs or not.
- Medication: There will be several medications that you will need for both, before and after the surgery. Depending on the type of surgery, your doctor might have you take medication before the procedure. This is typically done to keep you calm and relaxed. After the procedure you will often be prescribed antibiotics and pain killers, occasionally also an anti-nausea medication as well. In some instances these will be covered by insurance, but more often, they are not because they are being prescribed for a plastic surgery procedure. Any and all of these medications can run from $5 to $200 depending on the amount you need, the brand, and the type.
Another expense that most people do not take into consideration is the replacement of your breast implants. Breast implants are not meant to be in your body forever. They will start to wear down. Typically every ten to twenty years they need to be replaced, although on rare occasions they can last more than 30 years or even an entire lifetime. Additionally, if there are complications, such as an infection, or if one of the implants ruptures, this could also cause a repair or replacement procedure to be necessary.