Breast augmentation ranked first in the most commonly performed cosmetic plastic surgery last year, with about 307, 000 procedures conducted in the US, or an increase of 4 percent since 2010.
The price for breast augmentation varies, sometimes significantly because it is affected by the surgeon’s fee, location of the surgical center or hospital, and type of implant used during the surgery. Meanwhile, patients should always bear in mind that the cost should not be the sole factor when choosing a doctor.
Nevertheless, the most expensive breast augmentation plastic surgeon does not necessarily mean that he is the best one to conduct the surgery.
If the surgery uses saline breast implants, the average cost is around $7,000—this already includes all the pre- and post-operative visits, anesthesiologist, surgical facilities, and body garments. But if the procedure uses silicone implant, the price would be $800 to $1,000 higher.
Silicone is more expensive than saline implant because making it involves a higher manufacturing cost. Another consideration to make is the plastic surgeon’s fee is usually higher if this implant type is used.
Patients should always bear in mind that the cost of cosmetic plastic surgery is higher in large cities than in most areas because the demand for such procedure is quite high.
People should always be cautious with extremely cheap or discounted plastic surgery because this is often a red flag; the surgery is most likely to be conducted by a non-specialist, or it may be an attempt to fill an empty O.R schedule—which should be a concern. And in some cases, a very low price is just an advertising hype and may not be the inclusive cost of surgery.
Because breast augmentation and most cosmetic surgeries are quite expensive here, some patients are tempted to go abroad (in Thailand, the cost of breast implant surgery is said to be 50 to 70 percent less). While there is nothing wrong with “medical tourism,” they should be extra careful since not all countries are as strict as the US.
Patients should always bear in mind that in case their surgery abroad leads to botched results, it may be difficult—or sometimes even impossible—to go after the doctor. By contrast, the US is very strict when it comes to medical malpractice law; in fact, the records of doctors who have been sued or charged with a disciplinary action can be easily accessed via Internet, although some states require a letter of request before they disclose such information.