Why Choose Breast Implants?
Women choose breast implants for a number of reasons. Some women find that increasing their bust size also increases their self-esteem. While many small-breasted women (and their partners) and perfectly happy with their bust size, other women turn to breast implants and are happy with the results. Women may also use breast augmentation following pregnancy or weight-reduction surgery – in this instance the purpose of the breast implants is not so much to increase size as to improve the overall appearance of the breasts. Finally, breast implants can be used as part of breast reconstruction surgery following trauma to the breast, or following a single or double mastectomy. Whatever the reason for choosing breast implants, it is important to choose a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who will take time to go through the different options and discuss the immediate and future costs of the procedure.
Factors Affecting Cost
Because breast augmentation for cosmetic purposes is classified as elective surgery, it is not covered by medical insurance plans, and complications or follow-up surgery may also be excluded. By law, medical insurance plans have to cover breast reconstruction surgery if they also cover mastectomy, but this law does not apply to cosmetic breast augmentation surgery.
Without insurance coverage, the cost of breast implants has to be paid out of pocket, and there are several different fees to consider. First is the cost of the implants. Silicone implants have recently been reapproved by the FDA; the other option is saline-filled implants. There are pros and cons to both saline and silicone, but saline implants cost considerably less than silicone. As well as the cost of the implants, there are the surgeon’s and anesthesiologist’s fees, and the facility fee to consider – all will be billed separately. As a rough guide, plastic surgeons charge on average a little under $4000 for breast augmentation surgery. The exact fee will vary by location, and with the experience of the surgeon, but be wary of any surgeon who charges significantly less than this figure. Some facilities and surgeons that provide breast augmentation surgery offer repayment plans or financing for patients – ask about the options available before scheduling surgery.
Breast implants do not last forever, and there will likely be future costs related to checking the implants, and eventually removing or replacing them. Both silicone and saline implants can leak, and both will degrade over time and need to be either removed or replaced. It may be necessary to have one or more MRIs to check whether or not silicone implants have ruptured. Some silicone brands come with a 10-year warranty that includes a medical cost allowance, but to determine the true cost of breast implants it is wise to factor in the cost of the additional medical treatment that will likely be necessary over the life of the implants.
An accurate estimate of the cost of breast augmentation surgery can only be made by consulting a local facility for an estimate – the final cost of breast augmentation surgery will vary based on location, type of implant, and the skill of the plastic surgeon. As a rough guide, estimates for the total cost of breast augmentation surgery range from $5000 to $15,000.
Choosing a Reputable Surgeon
Any doctor can elect to practice plastic surgery with no specialized training. There is board certification available for plastic surgeons, but it is not required. To get the best results from breast augmentation surgery it is important to feel comfortable with the doctor who will be performing the surgery. The price of breast augmentation surgery depends on several factors, but a reputable and experienced surgeon will not offer a cut-price rate. Choose a surgeon carefully and treat any surgeon offering very cheap breast implants with caution.
The true cost of breast implants goes beyond the cost of the initial surgery. Breast implants will not last forever and will need to be removed or replaced after about ten years (if not before). There may also be complications from the initial surgery, or from the implants, that can lead to additional costs. It is a good idea to factor future expenses into the overall cost of breast implants in order to avoid unexpected expenses.
It will probably be necessary to take some time off from work in order to recover from breast augmentation surgery. Recovery time will depend on individual circumstances, but expect to use vacation time or paid time off during the recovery period.