Based on 2021 reports, plastic surgery increased by 54%, while non-surgical cosmetic procedures increased by 44%. Compared to 2020, the average number of operations performed by plastic surgeons was up by 100!

Unfortunately, costs also spiked during this period, with surgical procedures increasing six percent from 2020 to 2021. If you have considered breast surgery, you may be curious about the breast augmentation cost and what’s included. 

Since it is the second most popular plastic surgery, it helps to have a bit more insight into how much out-of-pocket expenses you’ll have to pay. Luckily, we have compiled a complete guide that will go over all the details of breast augmentation expenses and how it compares to other breast surgeries, so keep reading on for more information!

Breast Augmentation Surgery 101

One of the most popular breast surgeries is breast enhancement or augmentation. Patients who undergo breast augmentation are often for cosmetic purposes, such as:

  • Increasing the size of breasts
  • Restore lost breast volume 
  • Achieve a more rounded shape
  • Improve breast symmetry

Breast augmentation can improve the appearance of your breasts and self-confidence. If you have severe drooping, breast augmentation may need to be combined with a breast lift for the best outcome. 

Since breast augmentation is an in-depth surgical procedure, you will need to schedule an appointment or consultation beforehand. These consultations focus on breast size, shape, feel, and contour. 

Medical advancements have plenty of options to enhance your breasts, and it is essential that you are transparent with your surgeon about what you want out of your breast procedure during this time.

In recent studies, researchers examined 60 patients six weeks post-operative. They found that breast satisfaction, psychosocial well-being, and sexual well-being improved. 

Researchers suggested that initial good psychiatric scores play an important role in outcomes. In addition to a mental health screening, your surgeon might also review:

  • Past medical history
  • Current medication use
  • Previous breast surgeries

Blood thinners or other prescription medications might be altered prior to surgery if they are something you are currently taking.

How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost?

Breast augmentation costs are typically in the range of $7,500 to $10,000, but this number fluctuates based on various factors (more on that below). On average, silicone implants cost $1,000 more than saline, not including annual or regular MRI screening.

If you need a breast implant replacement, you can expect it to cost a bit more than a primary breast augmentation, around $7,500 and up, assuming a breast lift is not needed. 

What Goes Behind Breast Augmentation Costs?

There are several factors that can affect the final price tag for breast augmentation, including:

  • Type of implant
  • Surgeon’s fees
  • Location
  • Hospital or clinic fees
  • Anesthesiologist fees
  • Any tests or measures 
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Post-surgical garments and aftercare products

For example, surgeries performed in a hospital will likely cost significantly more than those in an outpatient or ambulatory facility. Average savings could tally nearly 59%, with some procedures saving patients approximately $684 by choosing an outpatient facility

Surgeon’s fees can also fluctuate based on experience, average market prices, and level of difficulty. Most surgeons will perform a free or affordable consultation, giving you a better idea of some of the exact costs for your procedure.

Another area that affects breast surgery costs is undergoing other procedures at the same time, such as nipple repositioning or liposuction. Future breast implant exchange or removal procedures will be additional expenses and something to consider as well. 

Breast Augmentation and Insurance Coverage

Unfortunately, insurance only covers medical procedures deemed “medically necessary.” If you want a breast augmentation for cosmetic reasons, such as an increase in breast size or fullness, insurance will not cover it. 

Many plastic surgery clinics offer payment options or financing plans, so ask about their interest fees and monthly installments before booking your procedure. However, you are responsible for the entire cost, so plan ahead for these cosmetic surgeries. 

There are certain situations where insurance could cover some of the breast augmentation costs, such as breast reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer.

The other criteria are breast cancer treatments. Insurances like Medicare cover mastectomies and breast reconstruction. If you have Medicare, Part A will cover hospital expenses while Part B includes most outpatient procedures. 

Other private health insurance plans like Cigna, Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and United Healthcare also offer some coverage for breast surgeries involving a breast cancer diagnosis. These different parts have fluctuating deductibles and coinsurance, so it is still crucial that you contact an insurance agent for more specific costs. 

Breast Lift vs. Breast Augmentation Costs

Breast lifts are surgical techniques that elevate the breast tissue, nipple, and areola. Many women start experiencing breast tissue sagging with age, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. Sudden weight loss can also cause breast tissue to become more lax.

This is a different procedure than breast augmentation, which is designed to enlarge or enhance breast tissue. In some instances, women may combine a breast lift with nipple reposition and breast augmentation. 

Average costs for breast lifts are between $7,500 and $10,000. 

Breast Implant Revision Costs

If you have had a breast implant that needs a revision, you want a qualified and board certified plastic surgeon. Revisions can occur from surgical error and inexperience. 

It is also important to remember that breast implants don’t last forever. A reputable plastic surgery clinic will advise you on the best breast implants for your body, but you may need a revision, removal or replacement down the road. 

Breast implant removal can cost about the same as a breast augmentation, assuming you do not have capsular contracture or wish to have a mastopexy (or breast lift) at the same time. Although it is a choice to have a mastopexy with removal of breast implants, most patients want the lift for aesthetic reasons.  

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Saline vs. Silicone Implants

The two most popular options for breast augmentation are silicone and saline implants. Now that you know more about what each one costs, how can you decide between the two?

Silicone has an up and down history since traditional silicone implants had silent leaks that spilled silicone into the body. Innovative advancements have eliminated these risks. 

Silicone implants are now offered in varying degrees of cohesiveness, preventing silicone from leaking outside in the event of a rupture. It is still essential that you follow the manufacturer guidelines on regular MRIs to check the structural stability and integrity of silicone implants. 

The benefits of choosing silicone implants are:

  • Retains shape 
  • More natural feel

Most women feel that silicone is higher-quality, especially newer products called “gummy bear” gel silicones. These implants are moderately and highly cohesive, offering a natural feel with fewer chances for wrinkles or dimples.

On the other hand, saline implants may not feel as similar to natural breast tissue. They also have an increased risk for rippling, but they are less expensive and completely safe if a rupture were to occur. 

Usually, you won’t need regular screening with saline implants. If you notice a rupture, it is fairly obvious, and the solution is safely absorbed into the body.

The bottom line is if you want the most cost-friendly and least risky implant, choose saline. For a natural appearance and feel, ask about “gummy bear” silicone implants. 

Breast Fat Transfer

A third and less popular option is a fat transfer. However, it shouldn’t be neglected since there are plenty of benefits of a breast fat transfer, including:

  • Liposuction
  • Eliminates allergic reaction risks

It works well for minor breast adjustments but isn’t ideal for significant size increases. Breast fat transfer techniques are also used to fill traumatic defects. The benefit is it pulls fat from other parts of your body, giving you targeted liposuction. 

This is an excellent alternative if you have known allergies to some of the substances in a saline or silicone implant. Depending on several different variables, fat transfer to the breasts can end up costing a little bit more than a silicone breast augmentation. 

Unfortunately, your body absorbs some of the fat over time, increasing your chances for multiple procedures. For minor cosmetic changes, a fat transfer might be ideal and sometimes used as a complementary procedure for other breast reconstruction techniques. 

Breast Surgery Recovery

You should plan ahead for surgery recovery costs and time off work. Immediately after surgery, you will spend one to three hours monitoring immediate reactions at the location of your procedure and ensure you are safe to go home.

A trusted friend, family member, or loved one will have to take you home. Additionally, taking off work during the first week may be wise.

The first week after surgery is typically the most challenging part as most patients experience soreness or stiffness. After five to seven days, you will generally have a follow-up appointment and receive clearance for light activities.

It takes around six weeks for the body to fully heal after breast augmentation surgery, and you can resume all your daily activities. Another post-operative appointment is usually indicated at this time and you will want to receive clearance from your surgeon prior to jumping back into your normal routine.

If your job involves lifting, you may be put on lifting restrictions until your surgeon gives you clearance. During the first six weeks, you may need to regularly change bandages, watch for infections, and take antibiotics or pain medication. 

Your surgeon could also recommend or supply you with ointments or creams used for incisions to minimize scarring. All these aftercare supplies can add up but are critical to long-term success and positive outcomes. 

Risks and Complications

Surgery healing is different for everyone and dependent on:

  • Surgical technique
  • Other surgeries involved
  • Age
  • Comorbidities
  • Surgeon’s experience

With any plastic surgery, some risks and complications can result in added expenses down the road. For starters, infection, contractures, and rupture are some of the most common risks

However, the word “common” should not be misinterpreted as a frequent occurrence, and most women have excellent outcomes. If you experience a complication and need your implant removed, you will likely be responsible for payment of the anesthesia and surgical fees. 

Without replacing it with another implant, the costs should remain in the low thousands. If you develop an infection, which is unlikely with surgeons who have vast experience, you will need prescription antibiotics and more frequent visits. 

Surgeons with experience in a “no scar” technique use small incisions through the armpit that heal without noticeable scarring. These specialized techniques can minimize the risks of surgical site infections. 

How To Find a Breast Augmentation Surgical Clinic

For breast augmentation, you will want to pick quality over cost. If you want to save a few extra dollars, ask about a fat transfer or saline implant. The risks of choosing a clinic with low prices are:

  • Inexperience
  • Infections
  • Capsular contractures
  • Other complications

Approximately 20% of patients remove their breast implants after 8 to 10 years, though some never remove them. The FDAs recommendation is every 10 years, they need to be exchanged, but very few actually want them out. Some reasons you might remove your implants is if you gain weight and you no longer need the augmentation. 

If your surgery is performed through a reliable and reputable clinic, your implants could last over 20 years or longer. A surgical error also increases the chances of ruptures or tears.

While you might save on costs short-term, a reputable surgeon and plastic surgeon clinic have fewer adverse outcomes and long-lasting results. Instead, when looking for a breast augmentation surgical clinic, ask about their experience with breast augmentation and inquire about before and after pictures. 

Start Your Breast Augmentation Procedure

A breast augmentation cost can vary amongst clinics, but Blackhawk Plastic Surgery and Spa ensures that you receive transparent cost estimates at your consultation. After meeting with Dr. Ronan, our skilled patient coordinators can walk you through the entire procedure and what to expect. 

We specialize in various breast surgeries, from fat transfers to implants and everything in between. We ensure that you aren’t paying more than is necessary and mitigate aftercare costs through our no scar procedure and excellent results. 

Are you ready to get started with your breast augmentation procedure? Schedule a complimentary consultation today!