Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Best plastic surgeon for breast augmentation

The breast augmentation procedure is a popular choice for women who wish to enhance their breast size and shape. It can also be used to correct small irregularities in the breast, such as drooping or asymmetry. This procedure involves inserting silicone implants beneath the pectoral muscle of your chest. The implants are placed around the nipple and areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple).

The procedure takes approximately two hours and is performed under general anesthesia so that you will have no awareness during the operation. After the surgery, you will need to wear a compression bra for several weeks following surgery to avoid developing any complications or bruising. You may also notice some pain in your chest muscles for up to two months following surgery; however, this should subside with time.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on Best plastic surgeon for breast augmentation, breast augmentation cost. Read on to learn more. We at cosmeticsurgerytips have all the information that you need about silicone vs saline breast implants. Read on to learn more.

Best plastic surgeon for breast augmentation

Breast Augmentation is a surgery you want done RIGHT the first time. It is imperative to research your surgeon to make sure they are very qualified specifically for breast augmentation surgery. Our mission at Alamo Plastic Surgery (specializing in breast and body) is to provide exceptional value through patient education, empowerment, and incredible results!

1. Look at Plastic Surgeons Online

– 5 Star Online Reviews  

Check Google, RealSelf, and Healthgrades reviews on the plastic surgeon. On RealSelf you can look for Verified doctors which indicates they have good reviews and are skilled in plastic surgery. You really want someone with a 5 Star rating. Multiple poor reviews indicate the surgeon is not good.

– Review Before and After Photos

This is just as critical as the reviews. The surgeons should have awesome before and afters on their website for Breast Augmentation. Bonus points if they have descriptions of the patient and surgeries performed. Check out this blog article on what to look for in Before and After Photos. Key points are to ensure implants are level, nipples are symmetrical, and breast size is equal. I started looking 6 months ago when I started helping with the practice and was totally overwhelmed.

– Absolutely Ensure Plastic Surgeon is Board Certified

This is an absolute MUST. You may be surprised that a surgeon is not certified, but it is a huge red flag. There are surgeons in San Antonio who advertise as plastic surgeons who are not Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Be very wary.

2. Book Consultations!

Choose two to three plastic surgeons in your area and schedule consultations based on your research above. Check consultation fees. Make sure to ask if the consultation is complimentary. Alamo Plastic Surgery has free consultations mainly because we want there to be no barrier for Dr. Albright to educate you on the procedure. We encourage people to go to at least two consultations so they can make sure the plan the plastic surgeon suggests is sound and meets their cosmetic goals. Some may have a small fee to hold your appointment and to cover the doctor’s time. Although the fees can add up, it is worth the peace of mind to know you’ve picked the surgeon best suited to meet your goals.

3. Bring a Friend to the Consultation

The consultation may feel a little overwhelming so often a friend is great for moral support!

We also recommend similar to go to the hair stylist for a new cut or color you should also bring pictures to your plastic surgeon.  It doesn’t even have to show the full breast but let your surgeon know how much cleavage you want and the general shape of the breast.  Typically they will speak about it as lower pole (bottom of the breast) and upper pole (top of breast) volume.  Your plastic surgeon can guide you to the right pocket and implant to meet your goals.  

4. Questions to Ask at the Consultation

  • Has the plastic surgeon experienced complications with the surgery? What are they?
  • Do they recommend subglandular, partial subglandular, or total submuscular implant placement?
  • What implant type do they recommend?
  • What size implant do they recommend?
  • If there are complications, how are they handled and what costs could be incurred?
  • Where is the operation performed? Although it can be done safely, you may want to think twice about surgeons performing major procedures in their office. Unfortunately, complications are sometimes ignored or dismissed at an office without proper treatment capabilities, versus at a surgical center or hospital, where complications are monitored and may need to be reported to the state. Surgery at a hospital or surgical center may also ensure additional competent medical support if it becomes necessary.

5. Quote

Many surgeons will tell you to put a down payment on the procedure at the consultation for 10% discount. Don’t fall for this pressure sales tactic!!!!

  • Unfortunately there are many bad sales tactics that plastic surgeons use. Do not fall for pressure sales. It is a major RED FLAG.
  • Quotes should break out surgeons fees, implant cost (silicone more expensive than saline), anesthesia, and surgery center fees.
  • Ask about financing options. At Alamo Plastic Surgery we Care Credit and Patient Fi. With Patient Fi you can finance the whole procedure for up to three years so monthly payments are as low as $137 / month which patients love (replace cable with YouTube TV and you are almost there!).
  • You should review the quotes from the other consultations and go with who you think is best for the price!

Breast augmentation cost

Close-up of a woman in a pink sports bra, she is using a yellow tape measure to measure her chest.
John Sommer/E+ via Getty Images

Breast augmentation — sometimes called a “boob job” or “augmentation mammaplasty” — remains one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery. More than 250,000 Americans had it done in 2020. Augmentation changes the size and appearance of one or both breasts by transferring body fat to them or adding artificial implants. As with other types of cosmetic surgery, health insurance plans won’t cover the cost of this procedure.

Breast augmentation isn’t the same as breast reconstruction. If a breast cancer patient has had a mastectomy and wants reconstructive surgery afterward, federal law requires most private insurance plans to cover that.

But for cosmetic breast-augmentation surgery, you’ll almost certainly be paying out of pocket. Read on for an overview of how much it’s likely to cost and which factors can affect the price.

How much does breast augmentation surgery cost?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported in 2019 that the total cost of breast augmentation was between $6,000 and $12,000. One reason for the broad price range is the plastic surgeon’s fee. The average fee for a typical breast augmentation in 2020 was $4,866, according to the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery National Databank

The surgeon’s fee can vary based on:

  • Their level of experience
  • The market prices in your local area
  • The specifics of the procedure

Other surgical considerations, discussed below, will affect the cost as well.

What can influence the average cost of breast augmentation? 

Beyond the plastic surgeon’s fee, the overall cost of breast augmentation will include such expenses as:

  • Hospital or surgical-facility operating room fee
  • Cost of anesthesia
  • Medical tests
  • Post-surgery garments, such as a compression bra to control post-op swelling
  • Prescription drugs, such as pain medication

The facility where the surgery takes place makes a big difference in your total cost. For insured people, surgery can cost more than twice as much if performed at a hospital rather than an ambulatory care center. This may not be the case for people paying out of pocket, though.

You can find out facility-fee details ahead of your breast augmentation surgery. The No Surprises Act allows you to request binding good-faith cost estimates for the procedure from your area’s hospitals or ambulatory care centers. Once you have facility-fee information from those estimates, you can ask your doctor to do the surgery at a facility you can afford.

The FAIR Health website helps you zero in on the costs for people who are paying out of pocket. In Columbus, Ohio, for example: 

  • The average uninsured cost of inserting a single breast implant is $2,752.
  • You’d also have to pay $2,151 for anesthesia.

The biggest expense can often be the facility fee, which varies widely. 

  • In Columbus, this fee is estimated to be $20,162 for an ambulatory surgical center (ASC) or $9,502 for an outpatient hospital.
  • In Chicago, by contrast, the price difference is smaller. The ASC fee would cost $17,285, while the hospital outpatient fee would be $15,556.

What else can affect the price of breast augmentation?

The technique and materials that your plastic surgeon uses will help determine your overall costs. Discussing these aspects with your doctor is also the best way to get the result you want. You and your doctor should talk about your desired breast shape, size, surface texture, incision site, and type and placement of the implant or fat transfer.

Additional procedures may add to the cost. One example is moving the nipples. A surgeon’s average fee for nipple cosmetic surgery in 2020 was $1,739.

It’s also important to tell your surgeon about any history of breast surgery, such as whether and how your breasts have been augmented, reduced, or otherwise altered in the past. Be sure to tell the doctor how your body reacted at the time. These details will influence their surgical decisions.

Breast augmentation size

When it comes to cost, implant size doesn’t matter. Larger implants cost the same as smaller ones. This is true whether you’re getting silicone or saline implants.

Here, again, you’ll want to have a detailed conversation with your surgeon. Discuss your desired breast size and how much it would differ from the existing breast. This will help the doctor decide on the best surgical approach.

Breast augmentation techniques 

To make the breasts larger, the surgeon inserts either artificial breast implants or fat transferred from another part of the body.

Breast implants are the more common choice. Manufacturers offer many options to choose from. Beyond the basic materials — saline-filled or silicone-filled — implants may also have different shapes, structures, and textures.

Silicone vs. saline breast implants

If you’ve decided on artificial breast implants, the choice of silicone versus saline can greatly affect the cost. Generally, silicone implants are more expensive. In one 2019 study, researchers found that saline implants cost about $1,300 less than silicone implants and lasted about 5 years longer.

Fat-transfer augmentation

This type of breast augmentation — also called fat grafting, lipofilling, or living-fat transfer — is becoming more popular, in part because there’s no insertion of silicon or saline and no need for anesthesia.

Instead, the doctor moves fat tissue from one spot on your body to another. Using liposuction, they take your own fat from one part of the body, such as the belly, sides of the abdomen, back, or thighs. The surgical team purifies the fat through washing, filtering, or other methods. The surgeon then injects it into the breast to get the desired shape.

Fat transfer yields a relatively subtle increase in breast size. People get more volume at the top of their breasts or increased definition of their cleavage.

Surgeons’ average fee for breast fat grafting was $3,318 in 2020, according to the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery National Databank.

Nipple augmentation

This secondary procedure changes the appearance of the nipple and areolas. It may involve repositioning or raising the nipple, improving symmetry, increasing or decreasing the nipple’s size, or changing how far it projects.

Post-surgery costs

You should expect certain follow-up care expenses. As mentioned above, these could include:

  • Post-operative garments, such as a compression bra
  • Follow-up appointments
  • Medical tests
  • Prescriptions for pain medication

If you need to have additional surgery because of implant problems or because you want to further revise your breasts’ appearance, a new set of costs will apply. However, if the implant warranty from the original surgery is still in effect, it may cover some of those costs.

Can I finance breast augmentation surgery? 

Many plastic surgeons offer financing options or payment plans. You can also pay for your surgery with a healthcare credit card such as CareCredit. Be sure to keep a close eye on the payment terms and interest rate, though. This is especially important if you decide to take advantage of a no-interest offer. If you still have a balance at the end of the set introductory period (often 6 to 24 months), you’ll have to pay interest at an annual percentage rate (APR) as high as 26.99%.

You can also look for online lenders that offer healthcare loans, such as Prosper Healthcare Lending. It offers 60-month loans with rates between 7.95% to 36.00% APR. Depending on your credit history, you may well get a better rate from your regular credit card or a personal loan.

Does my health insurance cover breast augmentation? 

Probably not. Most health insurance plans don’t cover cosmetic surgery for breast enlargement or any other surgery intended solely to change the appearance of your breasts. They also don’t cover any complications that may result from this type of surgery.

Also, bear in mind that some insurance plans won’t cover treatment for breast diseases that could occur after you’ve had breast implants.

In short, undergoing breast augmentation surgery can expose you to financial and health risks. Before scheduling the surgery, it’s wise to review your health plan’s specific coverage rules for breast augmentation and other related conditions.

The bottom line

Health insurance plans will not cover surgery to enlarge your breasts or otherwise enhance their appearance for cosmetic reasons. You’ll pay all costs out of pocket, so be sure to understand what they are: the surgeon’s fee, the price of any implants, and the fees for anesthesia and the medical facility. Insurers will cover post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, though, as required by law.

Silicone vs saline breast implants

Why breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation involves placing an implantable medical device (a breast implant) behind the breast (known as “subglandular” placement) and/or chest muscle (known as “submuscular” or “subpectoral” placement. Breast augmentation can increase the volume of the breast in naturally small breasted women, can replace volume that was lost after breastfeeding or major weight loss, change the breast shape (such as in tubular breasts), and create better symmetry to the breasts if they are naturally different sizes or shapes.

Silicone vs saline implants

All breast implants have a shell made out of an inert polymer called silicone. The shell surface can be either smooth or textured. Smooth walled implants roll around subtly in their breast pocket, mimicking the movement of a natural breast, while textured implants encourage soft tissue ingrowth into their small surface interstices, keeping the implant more stiffly in place.

Breast implants have a variety of base widths, projection amounts and fill volumes. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to breast augmentation. The best implant for each breast will be carefully selected and matched to the space to achieve the specific goals for that particular patient.

Difference between silicone and saline implants

Silicone gel

Silicone gel is an inert polymer with no known human allergies, sensitivities or reactions. Like a gummy bear candy, the molecules are stuck to one another in a cohesive matrix. Silicone is more viscous than saline. In contrast to saline, it flows differently within its shell and can often create a more natural look and feel to the breast, like breast tissue. Women must be 22 years of age or older to be offered silicone gel implants for breast augmentation, as per the FDA’s regulations.

Saline (sterile salt water)

Saline-filled implants are available to all women for breast augmentation over the age of 18. A silicone shell is inserted into the body and then filled to its desired volume by a board-certified plastic surgeon with saline fluid. Saline has the consistency of water. Underneath very thin skin, folds of a saline implant might be seen or felt more often – this is known as implant “rippling” or “wrinkling.”

Some saline implants have the advantage of being postoperatively adjustable via a remote injection port – this is commonly used in some types of breast reconstruction procedures to fine-tune the final implant volume over months before the implant port is removed.

How have breast implants improved or changed over the years?

Silicone gel implants were first created in the late 1960s and have undergone several different generations with ongoing technological improvements. Saline filled implants were created as an alternative to silicone fill and became popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. Over the last 20 years, significant advances have been made to silicone gel implants. In fact, we are now implanting the 7th and 8th generation of silicone breast implants. The newest silicone implants have a slightly higher fill (96% fill versus the previous generation’s 85% fill) and more cross- linking of the silicone molecules, increasing the stiffness or “cohesiveness” of breast implants.

What variants of saline and silicone implants are available?

“Baffled” saline implants

“Baffling” refers to an internal channel structure within the implant, like layers on a shelf. Theoretically, these channels allow the saline inside to flow in different directions within the outer implant to simulate the feel of a silicone implant, with purported decreased incidence of rippling and sloshy liquid movement.

Variable cohesiveness of silicone implants

Different degrees of stiffness or “cohesiveness” (cross-linking of the silicone molecules) are now available in silicone gel breast implants. The most “liquid” ones are softest and flow most easily, and are most commonly used for routine breast augmentation. The most highly cohesive silicone implants are stiffest and tend to hold their shape most firmly, with potential advantages for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. An intermediate stiffness implant is also available, which can be beneficial for breast augmentation patients who wishes to have silicone but have experienced rippling with the less cohesive devices.

How do we know breast implants are safe?

Did You Know: Silicone gel breast implants are the most widely studied medical device in the history of medical devices? Historically, silicone gel implants received negative media attention and were sensationalized in the 1980s and 1990s, with apparent claims of adverse associated health problems, prompting removal and replacement of older silicone implants with saline filled devices. Since that time, extensive FDA-directed prospective clinical research with long-term follow-up has confirmed no association between silicone gel implants and any chronic autoimmune disease. Read information from the ASPS about the safety of breast implants and the potential association of textured implants with an extremely rare and treatable condition called BIA-ALCL.

For more information about breast augmentation, breast implant science and safety, visit a board-certified plastic surgeon who is an ASPS member. Be sure to #DoYourHomework before having any cosmetic plastic surgery procedure!

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