If there were one straight answer to the topic of this article, we probably wouldn’t have bothered to do an article about it. The truth of the matter is that there isn’t a straightforward answer to the question posed time and again, and that is, “how much does a breast augmentation cost?” This is even though augmentation mammoplasty or breast augmentation surgery is perhaps the most popular surgery performed in America today.
If you’re new and want to learn more about breast enhancement surgery, there’s no better place to do that in this article:
What is Breast Augmentation?
Breast augmentation, otherwise known as breast augmentation surgery or boob job, is a surgical procedure that involves the use of breast implants to improve the size, volume, and shape of a woman’s breasts. This is done by inserting either saline or silicone implants to boost the fullness of the breasts.
Women opt for this surgery for several reasons, such as improving their breasts that are small, misshapen, unbalanced, or defective, such as when women have had mastectomies to restore their breasts. But no matter the reason and how beneficial it may seem, it’s vastly important that women do their research and calculate precisely how much they can afford for this operation. And there are plenty of other costs to consider other than the implants and the surgery that will ultimately have those implants inserted in the chest area.
Average Cost of Breast Augmentation Surgery
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the national average cost of breast augmentation is $3,824. Of course, this cost is only a fraction of the entire price, which doesn’t include anesthesia, operating room services, as well as other kinds of expenses. That’s why it is pivotal to discuss the final fee with your plastic surgeon.
There’s also the fee of the surgeon, as well as the kind of procedure that they’ll use and also the geographic location.
Why Aren’t All Breast Augmentation Surgeries the Same Price?
Every plastic surgery center has its own way to place the surgery options. These can differ based on local regulations as well. That’s why it should come as no surprise that breast augmentation costs in Calgary, for example, differ drastically from those in a place like Houston.
Saline or Silicone Implants
Breast implants can vary in size, texture, shape, and filling type. And the two most common fillings applied for implants usually include either silicone or saline. Silicone implants have silicone gel-filled in them, whereas saline implants have sterile salt water-filled into them. Besides these two, there is another type of silicone implant known as the “gummy bear” implant.
Fortunately, both silicone and saline implants are FDA-approved, but silicone implants require extra visits to the surgeon to ensure they’re of proper working condition.
When comparing the costs of these two implants, the silicone ones are the more expensive option as they’re filled with a cohesive gel that is uniformly held together as it retains the natural feel that closely resembles that of the real thing. The implants are prepared and tested in advance by manufacturers to ensure they are of uniform fill volumes. Since there are different types of silicone breast implants, the cost for each implant is varied. There are some ‘shaped’ or ‘gummy’ bear implants that cost more than the regular ones.
Saline implants, on the other hand, are more affordable since they’re filled with saltwater, which is identical to the natural fluid that is mostly found in human bodies but is firmer upon touch. The surgeons filled the implants during breast augmentation surgery.
Breast Implant Maintenance Costs
The primary augmentation surgery isn’t the only cost that you need to account for. The patients also need to account for the implant’s maintenance costs in the long-run as well. Silicone implants, for instance, are known for having “silent ruptures” where the device can rupture without the patient’s notice. That’s why the FDA suggests silicone implant women get an MRI scan approximately three years after getting their implants and then two years for the rest of their life to ensure there aren’t any signs of silent ruptures. If in case the silicone implants do get ruptured, the shells, as well as any leaked gel, need to be removed via surgery.
The shells need to be removed immediately upon rupturing before the gel starts leaking outside the capsule and leads to painful symptoms. The symptoms, as described by the FDA are; change in the shape of implants, reduction in breast size, burning, numbness, swelling, pain, tingling, or changes in nipple sensation. However, due to the out-of-pocket costs of the MRIs, most women tend to skip these scans. Business Insider reveals that an MRI’s average cost is between $444-$1468.
So if women with silicone implants continue to get MRI scans over the years, they’ll be paying an average of $3,108-10,276 over the course of the next 20 years, for instance. And if we were to factor the entire cost of the silicone implants, we would get something between $10,000 to $20,000 over that time period, and more should the patients even consider revision surgery.
While breast augmentation helps improve the shape and increase the size of their breasts, mastopexy, better known as breast lift, gets rid of any excess skin and reshapes the breast tissue to acquire a more lifted, and firmer look of the breasts. But whether you decide to opt for a lift or an entire breast enhancement surgery is all on what you’re looking for and what your surgeon suggests.
And there is a difference in the cost of breast lift and augmentation. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a breast lift is $4,816, which isn’t taking into account the associated costs of the surgery. However, as soon as you consider the costs of what the surgeon charges, as well as medical facilities and such, breast lifting, can cost almost as much as breast augmentation.
We hope this article help you make the best decision for you when it comes to both breast augmentation and plastic surgery as a whole.