Advancements in breast implant technology, approvals from the FDA for both saline and silicone implants, and improvements in surgical techniques have made breast augmentation a sought after plastic surgery procedure. The costs of breast augmentation can vary widely because the procedure is highly customizable according to the needs of an individual patient. Dr. Suzanne Quardt (Dr. Q) is a board certified plastic surgeon providing this surgery to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and surrounding communities.
Cost Factors in Breast Augmentation
The cost of breast augmentation cosmetic surgery may vary from one practice to another and even from one patient to another at the same practice. The following key factors may influence the cost of the procedure:
The cost of living index usually varies from one geographical region to another, which can influence the average costs of most types of goods and services, including surgical services. The cost of breast augmentation in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and nearby locations is likely to differ from the cost of the same procedure in, say, Austin, TX.
Fee Charged by the Surgeon
The fee charged a cosmetic surgeon may depend on their academic qualifications, experience and recognition in the field of breast surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recommends that patients should choose the right surgeon for their needs, and keep the surgeon’s fee only as a secondary consideration in such decision.
Anesthesia and Operating Room Expenses
Breast augmentation plastic surgery may be performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The fee charged by the anesthesiologist may vary based on their skills and experience. Costs of the operating room may also vary depending on the kind of technologies, staff and services available at a particular surgical facility.
Patients should also pay attention to seemingly minor associated costs in breast augmentation. These may include the costs of medical tests, mammograms, prescription medications, and post-op visits to the office of the plastic surgeon.
Cost of Implants
The choice of breast implants can have a significant impact on the final outcome of the breast augmentation surgery. Patients can choose between silicone and saline implants in various sizes, round or teardrop shapes, and textures. Silicone implants will usually cost slightly more than saline implants. Some of the latest FDA approved qualities in highly cohesive silicone implants can cost up to $2,000 more than traditional saline implants.
Average Cost of Procedure
As per the ASPS data for 2012, the average cost of breast augmentation cosmetic surgery in the U.S. was $3,543. However, this was only a basic cost, without accounting for the costs of anesthesia and operating room expenses, apart from other costs. The ASPS clarified that the cost of the procedure will vary from one cosmetic surgeon to another depending on various factors. The complexity of a particular case may also impact the overall cost of surgery.
The cost of breast augmentation is not covered under health insurance if it is performed as an aesthetic procedure. However, if the surgery is performed as a part of breast reconstruction or following a mastectomy, full or partial cost may be covered under the patient’s health plan.