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Average cost of breast augmentation in australia

According to Google Trends, breast augmentation is the most searched-for plastic surgery in Australia. That’s a lot of people! If you’re one of the 3,000 people who are searching for “breast augmentation in australia” on Google every month, let us help you. We’re here to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about your procedure. Let’s get started!

What is breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that can enhance your breasts by either increasing their size or changing their shape. The most common type of breast augmentation is breast enlargement, where saline or silicone implants are inserted into an incision beneath the breast tissue, resulting in larger breasts. Breast reduction surgeries are also done to reduce the size of breasts that are abnormally large. The size and shape of your breasts can be altered with this type of procedure as well.

What does it cost?

The average cost for a breast augmentation in Australia can range anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 for each breast. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, there are some options available to you. While there’s no such thing as “free” surgery (the word “free

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Average cost of breast augmentation in australia

Fast Facts

  • If you have tried to determine the cost of breast augmentation in Australia, you already know that an exact figure is impossible to find.
  • Surgeons do not usually provide standard costs or a range of costs for breast augmentation and other cosmetic surgical procedures because the law does not allow them to.
  • The surgeon’s fee usually includes the cost of the entire breast augmentation surgery, pre-operative care and after care.

But what does it actually cost to have a breast augmentation in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane? How about Darwin? It seems impossible to find a reliable figure online. And each time a cost is given, it comes with a qualifier that additional costs may be involved. So, what are the real costs? Why can’t you seem to find them? This article should help you get some answers.

Here is a high-level summary – we’ll go into the details of each in more depth (all figures include GST):

  • Surgeon’s fees – Approximately $6500 AUD
  • Anaesthetist’s fees – Approximately $1000 AUD
  • Hospital costs – Approximately $1500 AUD
  • Cost of implants – Approximately $950 AUD
  • Ongoing check-up costs – Approximately $250 AUD per visit

Grand Total – Around $10,000 – $15,000 AUD

If you have tried to determine the cost of breast augmentation in Australia, you already know that an exact figure is impossible to find. The answers you come across—including the estimates on this site—are only rough guides, and often incomplete. In the end, you have to go to general forums and get answers from total strangers.

Certainly the web sites of surgeons you visit do not give any idea of the costs involved. Why? Is the only way to find out the cost to consult a surgeon performing breast procedure?

This article should answer all your questions on the costs of breast augmentation in Australia, and why they are hard to find.

Why don’t surgeons provide costs on their websites or in advertisements?

Good question. It has to do with the many laws and regulations surgeons and other providers of medical services have to follow. For those readers not interested in the legal language of the regulations, the bottom line is simple: To be legal, statements about pricing have to be so specific that no practitioner or hospital would or could list them on a website. There are too many variables.

To give you an idea of the issues involved, let’s see what the Medical Board of Australia’s Guidelines for advertising of regulated health services allow and do not allow by way of pricing of services.

According to these Guidelines, appropriate advertising may contain “a statement about fees charged, bulk-billing arrangements, or other insurance plan arrangements and instalment fee plans regularly accepted”. That sounds fair enough. However, it considers unacceptable for advertisements—including information provided on websites—to “contain price information that is inexact, or fails to specify any conditions or variables to an advertised price… or offers time-limited discounts or inducements”.

The Medical Board of Australia acknowledges that this puts surgeons and doctors in a difficult position, and the Guidelines themselves make this statement:

“It is generally difficult to provide an accurate price of a health service in an advertisement due to the personal nature of such services and the number of variables involved in the treatment of each person. Any person advertising regulated health services should be very careful when including price information in health service advertising due to the significant potential for such information to mislead or encourage the unnecessary use of health services.

“If fees and price information are to be advertised, then price information should be exact, with all fees for services clearly identifiable, and any conditions or other variables to an advertised price or fee disclosed.”

You can imagine how tough that would be. State legal requirements and others also come into play in disclosing such information.

Surgeons do not usually provide standard costs or a range of costs for breast augmentation and other cosmetic surgical procedures because the law does not allow them to say simply, “Your breast augmentation could cost anywhere in the range of X and Y dollars” and “price may vary according to your choice of implants”.

Additional regulations like the Therapeutic Goods legislation come in to play when prices of breast implants used in the augmentation need to be disclosed in an advertisement or in a website or article. Again, surgeons have to specify brands and their costs if they want to be specific, and they are not supposed to endorse specific brands. Catch 22?

If you want specific information, you need to have an initial consultation, which, of course, costs money.

What makes up the total cost of a breast augmentation?

As we saw earlier, the total cost is made up of a number of components:

  • Surgeon’s fees – Approximately $6500 AUD
  • Anaesthetist’s fees – Approximately $1000 AUD
  • Hospital costs – Approximately $1500 AUD
  • Cost of implants – Approximately $950 AUD
  • Ongoing check-up costs – Approximately $250 AUD per visit

Grand Total – Around $10,000 – $15,000 AUD

The wide variations you may have seen in the costs of breast augmentation quoted by different surgeons are mostly due to combined variations in the first four items above.

Let’s look at each of these components in detail.

Surgeon’s fees

The surgeon’s fee usually includes the cost of the entire breast augmentation surgery, pre-operative care and after care. That means you do not need to pay extra for the postoperative follow-up visits.

The surgeon’s fees for breast augmentation depend on the surgeon you choose. The very wide range in fees reflects differences in surgeons’ expertise in breast surgery, including professional qualifications, experience, professional recognition and popularity.

On another level, surgeon’s fees are also likely to differ based on geography and where their offices are located.

Your surgeon should provide you with a detailed breakdown of costs at the initial consultation.

Typically, surgeon’s fees are multiple thousands with very wide variations among different practitioners.

Initial consultation fees

You will have to pay an initial consultation fee when you first see a surgeon regarding breast augmentation. Again, how much this cost will vary, depending on the surgeon.

Consultation fees fall in the range of $50 to $500 (AUD). If you see more than one surgeon—before deciding on the one to proceed with—you will pay for each consultation.

Anaesthetist’s fee

Again, the fee depends on the qualifications of the anaesthetist who will attend to you, whether it’s a GP or a qualified anaesthetist who is performing this duty. Anaesthetists, like most other medical specialists, do not have a standard scale of fees. However, according to the Australian Society of Anaesthetists, the fee charged by an anaesthetist is determined by the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) number or the Relative Value Guide (RVG) number.

On average, you can expect this fee to be around $1,000 AUD, but there may be variations.

Why should you want a qualified anaesthetist? The anaesthetist attending to you at your breast enhancement procedure is literally in charge of your life and vital functions during the time you are asleep. You want a qualified person who knows the ins and outs of anaesthesia, trouble shooting and potential risks keeping watch over you when you undergo general anaesthesia. Besides safety, your anaesthetist will also be a factor in making sure of your comfort both during and after the surgery.

Cost of breast implants

There is a wide variety of breast implants. Usually your surgeon will discuss these details with you.

There are multiple implant brands sold in Australia, all of which have the approval of the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Different implant manufacturers and their marketers charge different prices, and there can be a significant price difference between brands.

First you need to select the type of implant that you want. Although the choice is between saline and silicone breast implants, most surgeons in Australia recommend silicone breast implants.

Next you must decide on the brand, texture and shape of the implants. Prices can vary with these factors as well. Your surgeon will help you determine the best texture and shape and will recommend a brand that he or she approves of and has used before.

Then you have to choose the size. Size basically means the bra cup size you’d want to have after the breast enhancement operation. Naturally, the larger the size, the higher your breast implant costs are going to be.

Hospital fees

Hospital fees vary significantly from facility to facility. It is important to choose an accredited facility with well-trained staff and high standards. Your health and safety, during and after the procedure, is at stake.

Hospital fees can start at $1,500 (AUD) and vary widely, running thousands of dollars over this figure.

The cost given as hospital fees for a breast augmentation procedure does not typically include an overnight stay. It is only the cost of a day procedure: about two hours or so in the operating theatre and the time it takes to recover from anaesthesia.

If an overnight stay is necessary, you will pay even more.

Other costs

There may be other costs involved, over and above the key components mentioned above. What might they be?

  • Cost of medical tests, if any – Depending upon your health and any medical conditions you might have, certain medical tests may be necessary before surgery. You will have to pay for them separately.
  • Supportive garments – You will need special garments to support your breasts until you have fully recovered. These, too, cost money, but it will be a relatively small amount.
  • Revision surgery costs – If you or your surgeon feels there is a need for revision surgery, additional costs will obviously be involved, including another round of the above cost elements mentioned above. Check with your surgeon before your surgery about the cost of a revision, how it works and what might make revision procedures necessary.

Is the cost of breast augmentation covered by insurance?

Medicare does not cover the costs of breast augmentation as it’s considered a purely cosmetic procedure. If there is a medical reason for the surgery such as breast reconstruction following mastectomy, Medicare will cover some of the costs.

Whether your private insurance fund covers breast augmentation depends on the type of policy you have. Some hospital fees and other costs may be reimbursed, depending on your policy. Whatever elements are not covered by private insurance will be out-of-pocket expenses for you.

Who is a candidate for breast implants?

Candidates for breast enlargement include women who desire larger breasts, and often women with a mild to moderate degree of breast sagging and smaller breasts. Breast implants do not actually ‘lift’ breasts; however, by filling up the current breast envelope, we can often alter the shape to disguise the amount of sagginess affecting the breast. If the amount of sag is excessive, a mastopexy (breast lift) may be required. Breast augmentation can also assist women who have one breast that is noticeably smaller than the other (asymmetry). If you are looking to restore your pre-pregnancy body, this procedure coupled with a tummy tuck or liposuction can help you feel better about the overall shape of your body and breasts – this is often called a ‘Mummy Makeover‘.

What does the breast augmentation process involve?

Getting a great result is not just about putting big implants in the breasts. It is a complex interplay of making smart decisions about what will get the best result in every individual patient and educating the patient as to what those decisions need to be and what result is possible. In the world of information overload we live in, it is sometimes hard to sort the facts from the fiction. That is why the initial consultation is often the most important part of the process. Every patient has a different body, different breasts, and different wishes and desires. Just as a dress that looks great on your friend may not suit you, so it is with breast augmentation. We have multiple consultations as required to educate you and make decisions with you about your breast augmentation. These consultations are aided by diagrams, PowerPoint presentations, and of course our VECTRA® 3D imaging systems, which are now available at our Gold Coast location, and soon at our Ballina location. Dr Layt travels the world educating colleagues at major meetings and has designed the education program for you at The Layt Clinic to mirror that experience.

Every patient is an individual and therefore final surgical results will vary from patient to patient.

What size do you want to be?

The final size after breast augmentation is a result of your breast tissue plus the implant. This means that placing the same implant size in two different people will give two different results. Implants can be the same size but one may be narrower and push out more or vice versa. Dr Layt likes to use the analogy of building a house. He will measure the width and height of your desired breast and decide on the best width and height of an implant to achieve that result. This will form the basement of your house. The volume of the breast then depends on projection (moderate, high, etc). So, the size of your house is determined by the basement and number of floors. Sometimes, because of the shape of your current breast and chest, it is better to have an implant that is wider that it is high or vice versa, in which case a shaped or teardrop implant may be more appropriate. Together we will be able to work out the best implant for you. Our VECTRA® 3D imaging system helps a lot with that process.

Where do you want the breast implants placed?

Breast implants can be placed in front of or behind the chest wall muscle. Placing the breast implant behind the muscle tends to give a smoother line and less chance of feeling the edge of the implant, particularly at the top of the breast. There is also evidence that it reduces the incidence of hardening of the implant. It is particularly useful in women who have very little breast tissue. The most common positioning of the implant is where the top half of the implant is covered by the pectoralis major muscle and the lower half is in contact with the breast. This is called “dual plane.” Positioning the breast implant in front of the muscle may be advantageous in women who do a lot of chest exercises.

Where do you want the breast implant incisions placed?

Nowadays, most augmentation is performed using the IMF (inframammary fold) approach. Evidence has shown this gives the most predictable result with the lowest risk of complications. With modern planning techniques, the scar can usually be accurately placed in the new fold created during the augmentation and remains in that position in most cases, making it hard to see.

The periareolar (around the nipple) approach results in a semicircular scar around the areola; however, this technique has been shown to have a higher risk of infection and capsular contracture, so it is used less commonly nowadays.

Placing the implant through an axillary (armpit) incision results in a scar which is hidden in the armpit creases. This approach is only suitable in certain cases and, as it has a higher risk of infection, capsular contracture, and reoperation, it is rarely used these days.

What type of breast implants do you want?

There are numerous different types and brands of breast implants for augmentation. In the simple case, many of these implants will be suitable and give an excellent result. In other, more difficult cases, only one or two implant types will work. This is why it is important to choose a surgeon who has experience with different implant types and techniques to advise which implant and technique will be best. All silicone implants are filled with a “cohesive medical grade” silicone gel of varying thickness. The breast implant can be filled with either saline or silicone. Saline implants are rarely used in Australia as they do not feel as natural and tend to deflate. The implant shell can be either smooth or textured. Each has its own pros and cons. Textured has a documented lower capsular contracture rate and tends to result in a breast which stays more stable as the years go by.

The selection of the implant is a joint decision between the patient and Dr Layt. Dr Layt will discuss the pros and cons of the various implants, including the appropriateness of size, shape, placement, implant filling, and implant shell in relation to the individual patient.

What is the Internal Bra technique?

For many patients, Dr. Layt is able to perform what’s known as the internal bra technique. He has been utilising this technique for many years, and can implement it as part of his patients’ surgical plans, if needed. This innovative approach can be helpful in numerous types of breast surgery procedures, including breast augmentation, breast lift, revision breast augmentation, and breast reduction. While the name “internal bra” may cause one to think that it serves as a kind of long-term replacement for the use of a regular bra, it is actually not designed to accomplish that goal. Rather, this advanced technique is focused on giving the breasts improved internal support, which can enhance the results of breast enhancement.

In breast augmentation procedures, the internal bra technique essentially creates an internal “underwire” to further improve the stability and shape of the breasts. Using a special suturing approach, Dr. Layt will add sutures in precise areas inside the breast pockets and beneath the breasts that can reinforce the outer borders and add structural support. The internal bra technique essentially works to help the breast implants maintain an ideal position and produce natural-looking curves. Additionally, by enhancing the strength of the breast pockets, an internal bra can help reduce the risk of breast implants eventually developing a “bottomed-out” appearance.

What can you expect after the breast augmentation operation?

Rapid recovery from the surgery is possible with modern techniques involving careful planning, gentle surgical technique, post-operative exercises, and medications. It is important to stretch the chest muscles a little to stop spasms that may cause pain after surgery. This involves gentle chest exercises, which are demonstrated in the video toward the end of this page. Drains are almost never required. Your pain will be controlled by oral medications. You will have an appointment to see us 24-48 hours after the operation for review of dressings, medications, and exercises, and to check that your bra is the correct fit and to provide you with a second bra. If distance is a problem, we can often address this over Skype, FaceTime, or phone. You will also be seen approximately seven days post-surgery to change dressings and review your surgical progress. Light activities can be resumed as tolerated. Aerobic activities can be started in about three weeks. We are always available to help should concerns arise. We will arrange an appointment to see you for 3-month and 12-month reviews with Dr Layt.

How noticeable are breast augmentation scars?

The noticeability and extent of scarring after breast augmentation surgery will ultimately depend on the specific surgical technique utilised during the procedure. As noted in the section above regarding the placement of breast implant incisions, there are a few different techniques that can be performed; however, in most cases, the standard inframammary fold (IMF) approach is the one used here at The Layt Clinic. With this technique, there will be scar formation in the underside of the breast where the breast meets the chest. Fortunately, this places the scar in a rather inconspicuous area that is difficult for others to see. Additionally, it is important to note that Dr. Layt takes great care to minimise the appearance of residual scarring, and scars typically fade to a certain extent over time. We will also provide instructions for your recovery that include information on how to optimise scar healing after surgery.

How long do breast implants last? 

Breast implants typically last approximately 10 years, and some patients have their implants for much longer periods. Many of today’s breast implants are designed with materials that are extraordinarily durable. With that in mind, breast implants are not impervious to “wear” over time, and if certain complications arise (such as an implant rupture), the implants will likely require removal or replacement. Every patient is different and their experiences are unique. While some implant ruptures or other complications may be immediately noticeable in some cases, they may not be visible in others. This is why it is vital for breast augmentation patients to attend regular breast screenings as recommended by their doctor and perform routine self-exams each month to look for any possible irregularities that have developed. When it’s time to have the implants removed or replaced with upgraded implant models, a revision breast augmentation procedure can accomplish those goals. 

Can I breastfeed with breast implants? 

In general, if a patient is naturally able to breastfeed prior to undergoing a breast augmentation procedure, she should retain that ability afterward as long as proper precautions are taken during surgery. This is why it is important to let our plastic surgeon know during the initial consultation of any plans you have for future breastfeeding so he can design the treatment plan accordingly. Please note that a rather significant percentage of women are not naturally able to breastfeed; however, if you do have the natural ability to nurse, Dr. Layt can craft the treatment plan with surgical techniques designed to avoid interference with areas responsible for milk production.   

What are the potential risks of breast augmentation?

Modern breast enlargement surgery is safe. There is, however, no such thing as risk-free surgery. The important thing is to understand any potential risks and take steps to minimise their occurrence.

Any surgical procedure carries some risk of infection, severe bruising, or reaction to anaesthesia. In the case of breast augmentation, there is also the possibility of complications related to the breast implant, such as rupture, rippling, or capsular contracture. All of these potential risks will be discussed with you during your pre-surgical consultations and you will be given a comprehensive list of pre- and post-operative instructions. The ASPS information which you receive has a full list of complications from the more common through to the extremely rare. Following these instructions carefully will reduce the chances of complication, speed healing, and improve your chances of a successful surgery.

There have been recent news articles regarding textured breast implants being linked to the cancer known as Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma (ALCL). For more information regarding this risk, please view our page discussing Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma (ALCL), or contact us with any questions you may have.  

How much does breast augmentation cost? 

The cost of breast augmentation can differ, based on each patient’s unique needs. The surgeon’s fee and costs associated with use of the operating theatre and anaesthesia will be included in the total estimate, as well. It is very important to note that the price of breast augmentation is often significantly variable among patients due to the customised nature of this procedure. Factors such as the type of breast implants placed, whether additional treatments (such as a breast lift) are also part of the treatment plan, the fees associated with the surgeon, anaesthesia, and use of the surgical facility, and other associated expenses will all be taken into account. Once your customised treatment plan is developed during the initial breast augmentation consultation, we can put together a total cost estimate and present it to you for review so you will have a detailed quote from the outset. We will be happy to answer your questions about the convenient payment options available here at The Layt Clinic.

Specific Pre-Operative Instructions

WASHING: Wash the evening prior to surgery and the day of surgery, paying particular attention to the breast region. This decreases the bacterial count and should decrease the risks of infection. Do not shave or wax under your arms in the three days prior to your surgery. This is best done prior to this.

PRODUCTS: Do not apply moisturisers, make-up, perfume/deodorant, nail polish, or hair products after washing. Remove all jewelry.

CLOTHING: Wear loose, comfortable clothing and footwear. A shirt with a button or zipper opening is ideal for removal.

SMOKING: Smoking increases the risks of complications significantly and should be ceased 6 – 8 weeks prior to surgery.

FASTING: You should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before your operation. If you are required to take medication during this time, please speak with us to check if this can be taken before the 6-hour fasting period or after your procedure.

MEDICATION: If you are having the operation as a day case, you will be given a script for antibiotics and pain relief tablets that you will need to purchase from the chemist and bring with you on the day of your procedure. Do not take these prior to surgery. The nursing staff will advise you and your carer after your procedure on how to administer them.

Certain over-the-counter products and prescription medicines can cause complications before and after surgery. They can reduce the ability of your blood to clot and could increase your tendency to bleed during and after surgery. Do not take any medication containing or related to aspirin 2 weeks prior to your procedure. This includes NSAIDS, anti-inflammatory medications, and blood thinning medications. Also avoid Vitamin E supplements and red wine. Stop all herbal medications before surgery. The most common herbs used are Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkogo, Kava, St John’s Wort, and Valerian. They may adversely affect anaesthetic drugs, prolong bleeding, and impair healing after surgery. If you are unsure, please check with your doctor regarding the medication and when to cease. *This is not an all inclusive list*.

ADMINISTRATION: Unfortunately, paperwork is a necessary evil. Each theatre complex has its own procedures. We have attempted to make it all easy by providing a simple series of steps to follow titled “THINGS TO DO FOR YOUR PROCEDURE” specific to the surgery centre you are attending. Please follow these instructions. If you have any queries about this or anything else don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 5597 4100.

Specific Post-Operative Instructions

POSITION: During the first week, attempt to sleep on your back instead of your side. We want your implants to stay in a perfect position during the initial healing process. This is not a “life and death” issue, however. If you cannot sleep on your back, sleep in another comfortable position.

DRESSINGS & DRAINS: Drains are now rarely used for routine breast augmentation. Light ‘splash proof’ dressings are applied at the time of surgery. These should be left intact until your one-week visit. You will be fitted with a support bra, which you should wear day and night for two weeks after surgery. (You may, of course, remove it to shower and launder.) After two weeks, you may sleep without the bra. You should not go braless during the day for 4–6 weeks after surgery. Once the swelling has decreased you can buy new bras to fit your new size. This usually takes three months. It is recommended you not wear an underwire or push up bra for three months.

SHOWERING: You may shower, remembering that your dressings are splash proof rather than waterproof. If water gets underneath the dressing it is best to change it. If you prefer to bathe, do not allow the incision lines to soak for more than a few minutes in the bath water. It is fine to take off your bra while you bathe or shower.

SUTURES: All sutures are under your skin and self-dissolving. There is usually a tail from the suture that will be snipped at your post-op appointment.

SUNLIGHT: Scars take at least one year to fade completely. During this time, you must protect them from the sun. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 at all times when in the sunshine. Be extremely careful if areas of your breast skin have reduced sensitivity.

ACTIVITIES: You may take a gentle walk the day after your surgery. It is advised to try to get up and move about as soon as you feel you can. Do not return to aerobic exercise for 3 weeks. You may drive when driving does not cause you pain, if your vision, reflexes, and thought processes are not impaired, and you are confident in your driving ability. This usually occurs in 4–7 days if you have a car with power steering.

TAPE: At your one-week review we will check your wounds and retake with Fixomull, which you can leave on for 10 days to 2 weeks. You can shower over this and allow it to dry, or dry with a cool blow-dryer (avoid any hot air too close to the skin). Once you take this off you can use the Siltape® we have supplied in your post pack. We would advise using this for 3 months or more after your operation for optimal scar healing. Further supplies of Siltape® can be purchased from the practice or a chemist if required.

TED STOCKINGS: You may be required to wear TED stockings for compression to prevent DVT (blood clotting) post-operatively. If required, these will be fitted at the hospital on your admission day. The nursing staff will advise you on how long you will need to wear these.

MEDICATION: Take your pain relief and antibiotic medication as directed. Most routine medication can be restarted after your surgery unless it causes thinning of the blood. If you have any questions, please ask. Some medications or pain relief may also cause constipation, please keep hydrated and eat well to minimise this effect. Sometimes drinking pear or prune juice may also help with constipation.

Post-Operative Exercises

It is important to stop your muscles from going into spasm. You would not have a gym workout without stretching at the end of your session. To aid in healing and your comfort we recommend you stretch your chest muscles. To do this, place your hands on the back of your head and push your elbows back. It is also good to retract or roll your shoulders back. You should try to do this hourly whilst awake. This will make your recovery much more rapid. Please refer to the video below.

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