Cosmetic Surgery Tips

average cost of breast lift with implants

Breast lifts with implants are a common procedure that women undergo for a variety of reasons. While some women opt for breast lifts because they feel unhappy with their body after pregnancy and breastfeeding, others simply want to change the look of their breasts. However, one thing is certain: it’s a popular surgery. In fact, in 2017 alone, 307,000 women in the United States had breast lift procedures at an average cost of $4,822. So what can you expect from this surgery? How much does it cost? And what should you know before getting it done? Let’s dive into all of these questions below!

What is a breast lift with implants?

Simply put, a breast lift with implants is exactly what it sounds like: a cosmetic surgery where someone lifts their breasts and adds implants to them. For many women, having both procedures done at once allows them to get the body they want with less hassle and expense than if they were to choose two different surgeries.

However, there are many different types of breast implants that you can choose from depending on the look you want. You may want to add volume to your breasts while keeping them moderately sized or opt for larger

average cost of breast lift with implants

How Much Does a Breast Lift with Implants Cost?

Published December 4, 2020 | Updated April 12, 2022

The average cost of a breast lift with implants is $9,000, according to 9,892 RealSelf community member reviews. However, your price could range from $4,400 to $13,475, depending on the specifics of your surgery.

This surgery combines a mastopexy with an augmentation, lifting sagging breast tissue and using implants made of either saline or silicone gel to enhance your breast size and shape. This combination of procedures often give patients restored balance and youthfulness to their chest.

Here, we break down exactly what affects your procedure cost, if it’s covered by insurance, and whether or not real patients think this breast lift surgery is actually worth the hefty price tag.

What does the cost include?

During your consultation with a surgeon, ask what’s included in the cost they quote you. It could be just the surgeon’s fee, or it might include additional costs like:

  • The implants
  • Anesthesia
  • Facility fees for the hospital or surgery center
  • Medical tests
  • Pain medications and supplies you’ll need post-op (prescriptions, loose clothing, a surgical bra)
  • Follow-up appointments

If those costs aren’t included in your doctor’s estimate, you’ll still need to factor them into your total budget.

For other important questions to ask at a consultation, see our guide to Choosing the Right Doctor for You.

Is a breast lift with implants worth the cost?

Breast lift surgery with implants has an impressive 93% Worth It Rating on RealSelf, so the majority of people who underwent this procedure were happy with their decision.

RealSelf members who rated the procedure as “Worth It” reported more breast fullness and less sagging, with one reviewer even saying the procedure restored her confidence.

Other RealSelf members who had disappointing experiences claimed they were left with scarring and botched results from their cosmetic surgery.

While this augmentation procedure has a very high Worth It Rating on RealSelf, it’s important to mention that it’s not always the best option for everyone. Other alternatives — like a lift with a breast reduction, a breast augmentation with fat transfer, and breast reconstruction without implants — could be more ideal for your aesthetic goals.

Ultimately, only you and an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon can determine which procedure you’re better suited for in terms of budget and aesthetic concerns, so be sure to chat with multiple providers before committing to this cosmetic procedure.

What affects the cost of a breast lift with implants?

The most important factors that can affect the average cost for breast lift surgery include:

1. Your provider’s credentials and level of experience. 

Make sure you’re choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation. Find a surgeon with glowing reviews from their breast augmentation patients, and make sure they have an extensive photo gallery, including people with similar pre-op body types and results you love. 

Then have at least two consultations with different plastic surgeons, so you can weigh their treatment recommendations and cost estimates. 

As you’d imagine, a board-certified plastic surgeon with decades of experience will cost more than one who only has a few years in practice, but this isn’t an area to cut costs. Investing in a  quality surgeon will help reduce the risk of complications and improve your chances of achieving the result you want.

2. Where your surgery is performed.

No surprise here, but medical practices found in areas with higher costs of living, like New York City or Los Angeles, typically charge more for plastic surgeries like this one. 

For example:

  • According to Fort Worth, Texas plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Camp, a breast lift with breast implants will cost around $13,000.
  • In Houston, Texas, plastic surgeon Dr. Patrick W. Hsu cites his breast lift prices with implants range between $12,000 to $13,000.
  • In a larger city, like San Francisco, California, Dr. Usha Rajagopal charges more, with her average cost for a breast lift with breast augmentation often being around $15,500.

The type of surgical facility can also play a role in your price. Your surgeon’s own surgical facility may cost less than an operating room in a hospital. 

During your consultation, ask if the facility is accredited and find out if your doctor has hospital admitting privileges, in case of an emergency.

3. The type of anesthesia you have and who administers it.

A breast lift with implants is typically done under general anesthesia, so you’re completely unconscious. (Local anesthesia is less expensive, but not usually recommended for this procedure.) 

The total cost of your anesthesia typically includes the anesthesia provider fee and the facility anesthesia fee, which covers the cost of supplies, medications, and additional staff.

A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is qualified to give you anesthesia and may come at a lower cost than an anesthesiologist (a medical doctor who administers anesthesia). However, a board-certified anesthesiologist could increase your safety, especially if you have an underlying health condition.

4. The complexity of your procedure.

“There are a few variables, like incision and implant choice, that can affect cost to some degree,” explains Dr. Daniel Butz, a plastic surgeon in Mequon, Wisconsin. For example, if you choose silicone implants, your breast lift and augmentation cost could be more than if you choose saline implants (anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 more per implant). 

If you have a lollipop or inverted-T incision, your cost may be higher than if you have an anchor, crescent, or donut incision.

Will insurance pay for a breast lift with implants?

Insurance coverage varies by plan, but it’s safe to assume that a breast lift with implants procedure won’t be covered because it’s considered cosmetic surgery. 

The only exception to this general rule: if you’re having the procedure for breast reconstruction after a lumpectomy to treat cancer, a significant portion of your procedure should be covered by insurance.

Can you finance a breast lift with implants procedure?

Yes, plastic surgery financing options like CareCredit can make it easier to budget for your procedure. Some providers offer their own plans, but RealSelf can also connect you with vetted lenders.

You can trust RealSelf content to be unbiased and medically accurate. Learn more about our content standards.Most Worth It Honoree:
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What is a breast lift with implants?

Often referred to by doctors as “mastopexy with augmentation,” a breast lift with implants boosts and shapes breasts that have been affected by aging, pregnancy, or dramatic weight loss.

The combination procedure enhances the overall shape and size of the breasts, restoring balance and youthfulness.

Interested in a breast lift with implants?Find Doctors Near You

What are the pros and cons of a breast lift with implants?

Pros

  • Having both procedures simultaneously saves time, in both surgery and recovery.
  • You’ll also save money by paying just once for anesthesia (and any other potential expenses) and combining your downtime, which means fewer days away from work.
  • You’ll avoid the anesthesia risks of two separate surgeries.

Cons

  • As with any plastic surgery procedure, expectations aren’t always met, which can lead to reoperations (revision surgery). While many RealSelf members rate the procedure as “Worth It,” some had disappointing experiences. 
  • You’ll pay more up front than you would for just one procedure (even though your combined cost will be less). 
  • You will be under anesthesia longer than if you had just one procedure. 
  • Every breast lift with implants procedure will result in scars, which will soften and fade over time.
  • Results aren’t always permanent. Sagging can recur, due to aging or other lifestyle changes. 

How much does a breast lift with implants cost?

  • Average Cost:
  • $9,000
  • Range:
  • $4,400 – $13,475

“Costs vary by surgeon, geographic region, implant type, and the complexity of the procedure,” says Dr. Ziyad Hammoudeh, a plastic surgeon in Miami. “These statistics include the cost of the surgeon’s fee, the facility fee, the anesthesia fee, and the implants, which vary by type. Silicone implants cost more than saline implants. Among silicone implants, teardrop-shaped anatomic implants cost more than round implants.” Your surgeon should be able to provide you with a detailed estimate. 

Since this is a cosmetic surgery, insurance won’t cover it.

Interested in a breast lift with implants?Find Doctors Near You

Finance your procedure

RealSelf can connect you with vetted lenders for financing options that fit your budget and timeline.See financing options

Who is a good candidate for a breast lift with implants?

Good candidates for this procedure don’t smoke, have maintained a consistent weight (excluding pregnancy) over time, and have one of the following breast conditions.

  • Nipples pointing down or falling below the breast crease (inframammary fold)
  • Breasts that have become flatter or longer over time, due to volume loss or sagging (ptosis)
  • Skin that has stretched due to aging or weight loss 

Not everyone needs both a breast lift and implants, but if you have sagging breasts and volume loss, the combination can remedy both issues.

You may also be happier with your results. According to a 2018 study on quality of life after breast enlargement, patients who got breast implants with their lift were significantly more satisfied than patients who had a standard breast lift.

If you just want more lifted, smaller breasts, you might get a better result from a breast lift with a breast reduction instead.

RealSelf Tip: Doctors use many terms when talking about breast lifts and augmentation and reduction surgeries. To make them easier to understand, we created a breast lift glossary.

What happens at your consultation?

Your first step is a consultation with at least one qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon, to make sure a lift with implants is the best way to get the results you want. 

Bring photos of how you’d like to look. “The use of ‘goal’ pictures is very helpful. I have found that terms such as ‘natural’ or ‘full DD cup’ mean different things to different people and prove unhelpful,” says Dr. Tom Pousti, a San Diego plastic surgeon. 

You’ll need to disclose your medical history—including any medications or supplements you’re taking, your past surgeries or medical conditions, and your overall health. 

Your surgeon will examine, measure, and photograph your breasts. Then they’ll discuss your surgical options. The plan will be tailored to your body shape and your personal preference about scars (usually on the breast, around the nipple, or under the arm). 

Your plastic surgeon will also help you determine which implants you want and what size you’d like to be. The two types of implants are saline (saltwater) and silicone gel, and each offers different pros and cons.

Related: Silicone or Saline? 5 Things to Know About Picking the Right Breast Implants

What happens during a breast lift with implants?

The procedure itself usually takes two to four hours. You’ll most likely be under general anesthesia (fully numb and unconscious). 

They’ll use one of four incision techniques:

  • Lollipop or vertical lift: One incision is made around the areola, and another runs vertically from the bottom of the areola to where the breast and chest meet (aka the inframammary fold), creating the shape of a lollipop.
  • Anchor or inverted-T lift: Incisions are made around the areola and down the middle to the base of the breast, in the shape of an upside-down T. This method is ideal for heavy sagging or after significant weight loss. 
  • Periareolar, “donut,” or “Benelli” lift: A full-circle incision is made around the outer edge of the areola (a procedure often used for sagging or areola resizing). This will lift the breast just two centimeters. To achieve a greater degree of lift, your surgeon will need to use one of the above techniques.
  • Crescent: One incision is placed around part of the areola, in a crescent moon shape. This technique is best for correcting minor sagging or for nipple positioning. This scar is more noticeable on the top of the areola.

Your surgeon will reshape your breasts, removing excess skin and tissue that’s causing the sagging, then reposition and possibly resize the nipples and areolas. 

At this point, they’ll insert the breast implants either above or under the muscle, depending on the decision you made with your surgeon during consultation.

The final step is inserting interior stitches that support your breast tissue. The incisions will be closed with sutures, glue, or surgical tape. 

You might also have surgical drains, to collect excess blood or fluid. You’ll have instructions on how to empty the drains and monitor the fluid levels.

Once you’ve recovered from the anesthesia, you’ll go home, with your breasts wrapped in dressings, possibly wearing a surgical bra.

You’ll be groggy from the anesthesia, so make sure you have a friend or family member there to take you home.

What can you expect during recovery?

Full recovery from breast lift with implants surgery takes about six weeks, starting with a week of downtime. 

During that first week, you’ll need help. You won’t be able to reach for things or lift anything over five pounds, and you may need to keep your arms at your sides.

Your chest will feel tight, and you’ll have swelling, bruising, and soreness. Sleeping upright can help reduce swelling. You’ll also have prescription pain medication, to make you more comfortable. 

You may also experience numbness in your nipples or throughout the entire breast, which can last from four to six weeks. You’ll be given prescription pain medication, to alleviate any discomfort. 

If you have surgical drains, your surgeon will remove them at your first post-op appointment, within the first week of your recovery. They’ll probably change or remove your bandages as well. 

Pain can often be managed with over-the-counter painkillers after the first week, and your doctor may give you the green light to return to work (especially a desk job) at the one-week point. 

“Most patients are not ready to go back to strenuous activity, like going to the gym, for at least four to six weeks,” advises Dr. Paul Fortes, a Houston plastic surgeon. “But returning to light activities, such as going back to work under conditions that do not require a whole lot of physical exertion, is feasible after one week of recovery time.”

After your incision sites heal, you’ll notice scarring, which is normal with any surgery. Scars should be relatively thin but can be raised, red, or lighter than your skin tone.

Over time, the scars will fade and the texture will smooth out naturally. However, you can apply a silicone scar treatment, like Biocorneum, to reduce discoloration and flatten raised scars (this can take a few months). 

RealSelf Tip: One week before surgery, prepare for your recovery by picking up prescriptions and any recommended supplies—such as antiseptic soap, like Hibiclens, and arnica, a homeopathic remedy sometimes used to reduce bruising. Also buy a backrest or travel neck pillow for sleeping upright at night, which helps reduce swelling, protects your breasts while they heal, and makes getting out of bed easier.

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