How Much Does a Breast Augmentation Cost?

A woman wearing a bra (model)

Breast augmentation can transform your appearance and enhance your confidence. But most people considering the surgery want to know one question before they explore their options further: How much does a breast augmentation cost? The answer can be complex and depends on many factors.

Understanding the variables involved in breast augmentation pricing is an important part of the decision-making process. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything from implant types to financing options, giving you the information you need to make an informed choice in consultation with your surgeon.

Implant Types & Their Impact on Cost

The two primary types of implants are saline and silicone, each with distinct characteristics and price points. Understanding the differences can guide you to a decision that suits both your aesthetic goals and budget. There are trade-offs to each type of implant and your decision on the best type for you should be made after a discussion with your surgeon.

Saline Implants

Filled with sterile saltwater, saline implants are known for their safety and are generally less expensive than silicone implants.

Dr. Mustoe favors saline implants and often recommends them over silicone implants to his patients. Although saline implants may feel slightly firmer than silicone, they offer several key advantages.

Perhaps the strongest benefit of saline implants is the significantly reduced rate of capsular contracture. Studies by Mentor and Allergan—top manufacturers of silicone implants—have demonstrated a 12% to 15% rate of severe capsular contracture with silicone implants. In contrast, Dr. Mustoe has witnessed a less than 1% rate of severe long-term capsular contracture with saline implants. Notably, having performed thousands of breast augmentation procedures with saline implants, his patient satisfaction rates are on par with those who have received silicone implants.

Another advantage is easier management. Saline implants usually require smaller incisions, and their volume is easily adjusted during surgery. Leaks are rapidly apparent, and the body harmlessly absorbs the saline solution—simplifying the procedure to remove or replace the implant.

Both factors translate to lower costs, both in the short term and long term.

Saline Implants
Filled with sterile saltwater solution
The body harmlessly absorbs saline in the rare event of a leak or rupture
Approved by the FDA for patients age 18 and older
Require very small incisions because they are filled after insertion
Firmer feel, and softens over time
Appropriate for patients who have more existing breast tissue
Least expensive implant option

Silicone Implants

Silicone implants contain a gel that feels more like natural breast tissue and are popular for their natural feel. They are generally more expensive than saline implants.

Dr. Sinno often prefers silicone implants. While they offer a pleasing aesthetic, it’s worth noting that any complications with leakage might be more complex to address and thus cost more during implant removal or revision. They also require routine checkups beginning 5 to 6 years after placement, potentially adding to your overall costs.

Silicone Implants
Filled with cohesive silicone gel
Silicone stays within the capsule in the rare event of a leak or rupture
Approved by the FDA for patients age 22 and older
Require slightly longer incisions because they come pre-filled
Soft, natural feel for larger implants on thin patients
Appropriate for patients with varying degrees of breast tissue
Higher priced implant option

Breast Augmentation With Fat Transfer

Dr. Mustoe and Dr. Sinno can use a patient’s own fat to enhance her breast augmentation results. Fat transfer breast augmentation can reduce imperfections in breast shape, sculpt and define cleavage, and smooth the transition between the upper portion of the implants and the chest.

Fat transfer requires liposuction to harvest your fat, which is processed and injected into the breast. This extra procedure will increase your cost. The Aesthetic Society reported that the average surgeon fee for breast fat grafting was $2,959 in 2021.

An Aside About Implant Safety

Regardless of the implant type chosen, patients can rest assured that both saline and silicone implants are safe, undergo rigorous testing, and are regulated by the FDA. At TLKM Plastic Surgery, we adhere to the highest safety standards, and your health and satisfaction are our paramount concerns.

Surgical Considerations

When considering breast augmentation, the choices extend well beyond the implant type. Factors such as implant placement and incision type not only influence the aesthetic outcome but may contribute to the complexity of the surgery—the more complex the surgery, the higher the cost.

  • Implant Placement: The 2 main options for implant placement are subglandular (over the muscle) and submuscular (under the muscle). Implant placement doesn’t usually significantly affect the cost of your procedure unless the choice of placement makes the surgery more complicated.
  • Incision Type: The 3 most common types of incisions are the inframammary, periareolar, or transaxillary incision. The inframammary incision is a bit more straightforward and simpler than a transaxillary approach.
  • Other Surgeries: Many women combine breast augmentation with other surgeries, such as a breast lift to address breast sagging. When additional procedures are included in the breast augmentation surgery, the surgery time and cost will increase. Still, combining surgeries is usually more cost-effective than staging the surgeries separately.
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How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost in Chicago?

The cost for breast augmentation at our Chicago practice typically ranges from $8,000 to $10,000. At your consultation, Dr. Mustoe or Dr. Sinno will discuss your options, and their staff will provide a detailed quote based on your choices.

In addition to the cost of the procedure:

  • Anesthesia is an essential part of the surgery but comes with its own price tag. Depending on the specifics, anesthesia fees can range from $600 to $1,200.
  • The surgical center itself plays a role in the overall cost and can add anywhere from $800 to $2,000.

Although we understand that cost is an important factor in your decision, it should not be the sole determination. Your safety and health are important, and finding a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon to perform your augmentation is vital.

Implant Replacement: Planning for the Future

Breast implants are not intended to be lifetime devices. At some point, they’ll likely need to be replaced. Here’s what you need to know:

Lifespan of Breast Implants

Breast implants can last up to 15 years or longer, depending on the type of implant, the surgical technique used during placement, and the patient’s unique physiology and lifestyle.

Capsule Considerations

A key factor influencing the cost and complexity of implant replacement is the capsule that forms around the implant. This fibrous tissue might require removal or modification during the replacement process.

Whether the capsule needs to be removed or simply modified can significantly affect the complexity of the procedure and, consequently, the total cost. A skilled surgeon will carefully consider and customize the procedure to address each patient’s unique situation to ensure the optimal outcome.

Financing Options

We’ve partnered with reputable financing providers that offer personalized solutions tailored to various budgets and needs.

These are the 3 main financial partners we work with:

  • Alphaeon® Credit: Offering personalized payment plans to fit various budgets.
  • CareCredit®: An established leader in medical financing, CareCredit facilitates manageable payments.
  • PatientFi®: With a focus on flexibility and customer convenience, PatientFi simplifies the financing process.

Request a Consultation

If you’re interested in discussing your options with a board-certified plastic surgeon at TKLM Plastic Surgery, call our Chicago office at (312) 788-2560 or request a consultation.

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