Thousands of women want larger breasts or want to restore breast volume that was lost due to breastfeeding or weight loss. In fact, breast augmentation was the number one cosmetic surgery for women in 2010. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (A.S.P.S.), nearly 300,000 surgeries were performed at a total cost (surgeon fee) of $992,432,214.
The average nationwide cost for the surgery (including the cost of the breast implants) was approximately $3,400. Of course, there are regional differences. Studies show that, in North America, the price of breast implants are less expensive in California, Oklahoma and British Columbia and more expensive in Texas and Michigan. To find cheap breast implants, you may want to consider travelling.
You should never sacrifice your health to save money; however, there are some things you can do to find cheap breast implants if this fee is out of your price range.
#1 – Opt for saline breast implants over silicone gel implants
You have two basic options for breast implants: saline implants (filled with sterile saltwater) and silicone gel implants (filled with a medical grade plastic gel). In the U.S., there are two FDA-approved manufacturers – Mentor and Allergan (Natrelle™). Their products are of equal durability, safety and quality, and their prices are similar as well.
First, consider getting saline breast implants. The cost of breast implants ranges from $800 to $1,000 per pair for saline implants and $1,800 to $2,000 per pair for silicone gel implants. If you are looking for cheap breast implants, saline implants are clearly the way to go to save about $1,000. Some women believe that silicone gel implants feel more like real breasts, but leaking can pose a greater risk. Women who decided on saline implants report being satisfied with their choice.
Second, the breast implant size should not be a factor in the price, but you will pay more for anatomic (a.k.a. tear drop shaped or contoured) implants rather than round implants. Round implants are the most popular implants for women seeking cheap breast augmentation. Anatomic implants do pose an additional risk – they can rotate and negatively impact the shape of the breast. Also, avoid custom implants and special textures if possible. They are always more expensive than standard implants.
#2 – Have the procedure done at a teaching hospital
It is possible to have cheap breast implants done at your regional teaching hospital. Begin your search with plastic surgery departments of universities near you. Teaching hospitals provide training for residents (licensed medical doctors who are training to become board-certified in a particular specialty). Plastic surgery residents will perform the breast augmentation surgery under the supervision of board-certified doctors but the breast implant costs will be less expensive.
#3 – Negotiate for a cash discount
If you can swing it, consider paying for your surgery in cash instead of financing it. Many plastic surgeons offer discounts if the procedure is paid for with cash up front.
#4 – Travel to an overseas clinic
You will find cheap breast implants in other parts of the world if you are willing to travel. Many physicians in other countries are equally well-trained, but their costs are lower because their cost of living, office and equipment expenses are significantly lower than in the U.S. You may find cheap breast implants in countries such as Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Hungary, India, Mexico, Philippines or Thailand to be 25% to 30% lower, even with the added cost of travel and lodging. In fact, some foreign clinics offer “all inclusive” breast augmentation packages that include luxury accommodations. Search the internet for “foreign plastic surgery” or “overseas breast enlargement” for more information. Be sure to inquire about the source of the implants themselves because there are breast implant manufacturers in other parts of the world, such as Brazil, China, France and the United Kingdom, and may not be endorsed by the U.S. FDA.
#5 – Consider the “free breast implants” website
This is a very controversial method of finding cheap breast implants. Essentially, a woman signs up on the site, posts photos and a description of the type of implants she wants, and asks for financial assistance from male members of the website to fund the cost of her breast augmentation surgery. A male sponsor or benefactor can donate toward the cost of the surgery. Carefully consider the long-term consequences of providing personal photos and information to strangers via the internet or what other strings may be attached to this type of arrangement.
Cheap breast implants should not be your only criteria when considering breast augmentation. Choose a plastic surgeon with experience, training and, preferably, board certification. Obviously high prices do not guarantee good results, but there is usually some truth to the old adage “you get what you pay for”. Consider your options carefully. Your health should be foremost in your mind.