Ever heard the phrase “boob job?”My guess is you have cause it’s a pretty famous phrase.
Even if you don’t want to get one done, I bet the thought of how much it costs must have crossed your mind. Well, that's the procedure we’re going to discuss today. Popularly referred to as a boob job, breast augmentation or mammaplasty remains a common cosmetic surgery.
It is a reconstructive surgery involving the fat transfer or breast implants to increase the size of the breasts. Most women carry out this procedure and other cosmetic surgery to boost their confidence.
Cost of Breast Augmentation Surgery
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation costs between $6,000 and $12,000.
Dr. Markarian of the Plastic Surgery of Boston revealed this information in the piece "Boston Breast Augmentation Cost: How Can I Afford It?" This price covers the surgeon's and the hospital's or facility's expenses along with anesthesia, medical exams, and prescription drugs.
Factors that Can Influence the Cost of Breast Augmentation
Certain factors could affect the average breast augmentation cost. Some elements that play a role in the final cost of the surgery include:
- The kind of implants used
- The surgeon's expertise
- The operating room facilities
Choice of Implants
The cost of producing and distributing medical-grade silicone breast implants is higher than saline implants.
Silicone implants cost more than saline breast implants because the latter is made up of sterile salt water. So, endeavor to keep in mind the breast implant cost.
Location of Surgical Facility
The surgery center you decide to have your procedure at can significantly impact the cost.
The cost of living is generally higher in major cities and metropolitan areas. Thus, cosmetic plastic surgery costs more in urban areas than in smaller cities and regions. The prices for practically everything needed for the procedure increase as a result of both the rising expense of living and the increased demand for these surgeries.
Surgical Facility Fees
For their procedure, patients of some plastic surgeons must travel to a hospital or another surgical facility because these surgeons do not own one. The facility chosen charges fees to cover certain expenses, including staff and utilities.
As of 2020, the average surgeon's fee for breast augmentation is $4,866. The overall cost of breast augmentation varies from $6,000 to $12,000.
Generally, the cost of a surgeon will often be higher for those with more training, experience, and credentials than for those with less.
However, this trend doesn't imply that higher-priced plastic surgeons are the best. Always look for a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience and good patient reviews. You can learn more about the cost of boob jobs in the Ultiblog article "How Much Is a Boob Job?"
The price of anesthesia will depend on the length of the surgery, the health professional's qualifications, and regional peculiarities. Standard breast augmentation might cost between $450 and $900.
Many women opt for a stomach tuck, a breast lift, or liposuction on their back, flanks, or abdomen to enhance their looks. It goes without saying that the cost of these treatments will be added to the cost of breast augmentation.
Breast Implant Procedure
Before the procedure, your doctor would do a comprehensive medical evaluation to ensure you're fit for the surgery.
During the surgical procedure, anesthesia will be administered to prevent you from feeling pain. The options include general anesthesia and intravenous sedation. Yet, the ideal option for you'll be suggested by your doctor.
The plastic surgeon will then make an incision around your breast. To prevent noticeable scarring, this incision is usually made in an area that will not be noticeable such as under the breast, close to the armpit, or on the areola.
Before the surgery, you'll be informed of the kind of incision.
Next, your surgeon will insert a breast implant into your breast. This implant could be placed directly under your chest muscle or above it(between the breast tissue and chest muscle).
Lastly, the surgeon sutures the incision, and voila! The procedure is over. Sounds pretty straightforward, yeah? Well, as simple as it may seem, it's a surgery, and like every other surgery, augmentation mammaplasty has several complications.
Cost of Breast Implants
The price of breast implants depends on the implant type. But, the average cost of breast implants ranges between $5000 and $10,000.
Types of Breast Implants
Your cosmetic surgeon may suggest a particular type of breast implant for you based on the shape or size of your breast or body type. But the choice is yours to make.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline and silicone-gel implants are the two most common types of breast implants. This type of implant is about $1000 cheaper than the silicone counterpart.
It's vital to note the outer shells of both implants are made of silicone material. The difference is the filler used. As the name suggests, the saline implant is filled with saline water (or sterile salt water). Some implants are inserted empty and then filled once the shells are in place, while others are inserted.
They give the breast a consistent shape, firmness, and feel. A tear in this type of implant will collapse, and the saline water will be absorbed and eliminated by the body. Saline breast implants are FDA-approved for women 18 years of age and older, by Mayo Clinic.
These implants are filled with silicone gel which feels like the natural tissues of the breast. They are about $1000 to $1288, more expensive than saline implants.
If there is a tear on the implant, the woman may not know because the breast will not collapse as the silicone seeps into the fibrous tissue around the implant. You can learn more about other complications by reading the FDA's Summary Breast Implants Safety Information.
Accordingly, if you choose a silicone-gel implant, you should visit your cosmetic surgeon regularly to ensure it is in order. These implants are approved for women aged 22 or older.
Gummy Bear Breast Implants
These implants are shaped like “teardrops” and are preferred by women who want a breast shape different from the extreme shapes of other implants.
Like silicone-gel implants, these implants also contain a silicone outer shell, and the filler used is silicone gel. The critical difference is that the gel used in gummy bear implants is thicker, giving the breasts a more natural feel.
Due to the thicker consistency of the gel, gummy bear implants retain the shape of the breast better than silicone and saline implants.
Gummy bear implants are more expensive than other breast augmentation procedures. On average, they cost between $6000 and $12,000. You can confirm this estimate in Oren Z. Lerman's article "GUMMY BEAR IMPLANTS OFFER A STABLE SHAPE AND ADDED SAFETY."
Not all boob jobs require the use of implants. Your cosmetic surgeon could transfer fat from areas with excess fat in your body to your breast. Common areas include the abdomen, arms, thighs, flank, calves, and love handles.
If you prefer this option, you’ll have two procedures: liposuction and breast augmentation. The average cost of doing both procedures simultaneously is cheaper than the total cost of doing the two procedures separately. Generally, the fat transfer costs less than implants, with an average cost between $2500 and $7000.
Benefits of Augmentation Mammaplasty With Fat Transfer
The benefits include the following, as explained by the National Liabbry Of Medicine's study "Fat Grafting Breast Augmentation Mammaplasty":
- Fat transfer reduces the chances of rejection as the fat is gotten from your body.
- While implants may need replacement over the years, fat transfer is guaranteed for a lifetime.
- You have an overall enhanced body appearance.
After surgery, there are specific rules you should abide by to aid the healing process.
- Refrain from strenuous activities or exercises, especially those that raise your blood pressure.
- Avoid heavy lifting objects, usually more than five pounds.
- Shower with your back towards the shower and make use of lukewarm water. But you must not avoid getting your breasts wet in the first weeks of surgery.
- Always put on your surgical bra as it helps to support and properly position the breast implants. If you did other procedures such as liposuction or “tummy tuck,” you’ll also need compression garments.
- No smoking
- Endeavor to rest well. Do not lie on your stomach or your side. Instead, lie on your back, in a fetal position, or in a recliner.
- Avoid self-prescribing drugs. If you’re in pain or have a fever, call your doctor.
- Regular consultation with your doctor.
These complications may result in the removal or replacement of the breast implant, as cited by the FDA's article on the Risks of Breast Implants. They include:
- Obvious scarring
- Rupture of breast implant
- Silicone granulomas as a result of a tear in silicone implants
- Reduced/heightened nipple sensation
- Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) associated with the breast implant
- Excess or too little fat in the breasts
The article "Surgeon weighs in on textured breast implants" expresses what the Washington University School of Medicine has to say about the potential adverse effect of textured breast implants.
Keep in Mind
Before you start your breast augmentation journey, you need to keep the following facts in mind:
- Your breasts will continue to age after breast augmentation.
- Weight gain/ loss could affect the appearance of your breast
- Breast implants have a lifespan of about ten years.
- Have realistic expectations. Many patients believe breast augmentations are perfect procedures. Unfortunately, they are not. They may not give you the look you expect.
- For some women, breastfeeding is challenging after the procedure. For others, it’s not.
- Health Insurance doesn't cover breast augmentation, except for medical reasons. For example, after a mastectomy.
- If you don’t like the shape/ appearance of your breast, you’ll require another surgery to make changes.
- Pre-operative, surgical, and post-operative care are essential for a successful procedure.
- You may require to follow-up visits to the hospital.
In case the above breast augmentation procedures are too expensive for you, there are cheaper alternatives you may consider. One such cost-effective option is the use of water bras.
Use of Water Bras
A water bra is an underwear filled with oil and water-worn by women who want to enhance the shape and size of their breasts. Although it's a temporary solution, it is more affordable and does not require surgery. A water bra costs about $29 to $40, so it is an excellent option if you can't afford the aforementioned procedures.
In addition to the use of water bras, other cheaper ways of enhancing the size of your breast include the use of silicon pads and push-up bras.
The cost of undergoing augmentation mammaplasty using implants is relatively high. The overall price depends on the facility's location, the expertise of the cosmetic surgeon and team, the number of procedures done, and other factors.
How long do breast implants last?
Breast implants usually last for more than a decade. Yet, regular follow-up visits to confirm the state of the implants are very much advised.
How long does it take to recover after breast augmentation?
Recovery time varies with different patients. After about 2 weeks, you can resume your work and other non-strenuous activities. But it would take several months before you can resume all other activities like stretching and lifting heavy items.