Posted January 21, 2020 in Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation is the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the United States. It has more than a 95 percent extremely satisfied rate that justifies its efficacy. It just takes an internet search for the cost of breast augmentation to end up very confused about the variety of fees and recommendations, not to mention the sheer number and variety of “surgeons” offering this procedure, (many of whom are unqualified, non-board certified, plastic surgeons).
There are many aspects that impact the overall cost of the procedure, so there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. When you have decided to move forward to having a consultation, be sure that you visit a board-certified plastic surgeon who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, an arm of the American Board of Medical Specialities, which is the only recognized legitimate plastic surgery board in the country (more on that later).
What About the Cost of Breast Implants!?
The cost of breast implants is a critical factor toward the cost of your procedure. Breast implants come in many shapes and sizes, but they are essentially two main types: saline and silicone. All breast implants consist of an outer “shell” made of silicone and are filled with either saline (salt water, hence the term “saline”) or with silicone gel (hence “silicone” breast implants). The newest, “state-of-the-art” cohesive “gummy bear” silicone implants are filled with cohesive, or sticky, silicone gel that sticks to itself and consists of different firmness qualities depending on the manufacturer. (Be sure to check this out during your consultation). The newest generation of cohesive implants as well as the IDEAL IMPLANT® are “state-of-the-art” breast implants, and the cost for these is significantly higher. Be very careful that you are getting a choice between the best as well as the safest devices offered on the market, as some practices will not reveal the true type of implant they are planning on using. In addition, a really good thing to keep in mind is that Sientra® only sells to ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) board-certified plastic surgeons!
In general, implant prices are as follows:
- Traditional, simple, “old style” saline implants cost somewhere around $800 to $900 per pair.
- “Old style” silicone implants typically cost between $1,500 and $1,600 per pair.
- The newest generation of cohesive (called “gummy” by some companies) or the IDEAL IMPLANT® are around $1,800 to $1,900 per pair.
What’s up With the Keller Funnel®?
Dr. Stephens was one of the first plastic surgeons in the Northwest to use the Keller Funnel®, which is a plastic surgeon’s best friend because it allows the insertion of the breast implant to be done very quickly through a smaller incision than usual, literally placing the implant in the “breast pocket” like the icing of a large cake decorator. The Keller Funnel® is used by all conscientious plastic surgeons to prevent the breast implant from ever touching the patient’s skin, which may carry minute amounts of normal skin bacteria that we think is the cause of capsular contracture. Clinical and experimental studies as well as Dr. Stephens’ own clinical experience show that the use of the Keller Funnel® reduces the risk of capsular contracture from two to ten percent to just one percent or less. By using the Keller Funnel®, Dr. Stephens has shown that there is no increase in capsular contracture rate regardless of where he places the breast implant incision. The Keller Funnel® costs between $200 to $250 in most practices.
The Surgeon’s Fee
The surgeon’s fee can range from $2,500 to $5,000 or more depending on the location and experience of your plastic surgeon. This pays for the time your surgeon takes to perform the procedure but also, and this is very important, their reputation for consistently high-quality results. Dr. Stephens has specialized in and has made significant advances in the field of breast augmentation procedures, including his TEAM® breast augmentation procedure! Make sure to find an ACGME board-certified plastic surgeon!, with whom you feel comfortable and listens to you carefully, who has the latest breast implant technologies and techniques, and who has the critical experience and proper training in all areas of breast surgery and a reputation for excellence.
The Anesthesia Fee
Dr. Stephens highly recommends and only performs breast augmentation procedures with the patient under general anesthesia, which is safely and effectively used by over 95 percent of plastic surgeons in the U.S. A little-known secret is that general anesthesia is the safest type of all anesthesia techniques. Advances in modern general anesthesia techniques provide for a fast recovery and very little risk of nausea or vomiting. Very importantly, it also ensures an uninterrupted, stable flow of oxygen to the patient as well as no memory of the breast procedure. The anesthesia fee covers the cost of the anesthetic and equipment as well as the presence of our experienced and wonderful anesthesiologist, a specialized doctor who is trained in anesthesia and critical care, who will monitor you throughout your procedure and recovery.
The “Facility” Fees
This cost covers the use of the medical facility where your operation is performed. Your surgeon may choose for you to have your surgery in an “in-office” surgical facility, a clinic, a multi-speciality ambulatory facility, or a hospital. This fee covers the cost of the facility and its equipment, the supplies, the nursing staff, and the administrative costs to maintain licensing and accreditation standards. Our state-of-the-art surgical center is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF) and is also licensed by the State of Washington to provide all types and levels of anesthesia, including general anesthesia, intravenous sedation, and oral sedation. These certifications ensure that our Ambulatory Surgery Facility (ASF) has the highest standards in surgical facilities throughout the United States!
The Other Fees
There are some other expenses that will also affect the cost of your overall procedure. Lab tests are required before your surgery with a minimum of a CBC (complete blood count) for all patients undergoing general anesthesia or a more extensive procedure. A medical clearance from your primary care physician is necessary if you are over 50 years old. You will also receive several prescriptions including pain medication, antibiotics, muscle relaxants, medicines for sleep, anti-nausea medications, and even a special cleansing solution to use prior to your procedure. Garments are also used following your surgery. If you are traveling from out of town for your procedure, you will need to account for accommodations and other travel costs. Dr. Stephens’ office is located in a convenient part of Bellevue that is easily accessible from Interstate 405 and Interstate 90. Bellevue, home of the “Gold Coast of the Northwest,” offers a wide variety of upscale accommodations including world-class hotels and dining options for our patients. There are also convenient and accessible hotels that are “low key,” even one that is right across the street from our office! We work with “Vital RNs”, a post-operative nursing service, to provide specialized post-operative care for you in your home or hotel room should you decide you need it. Patients who have breast augmentation usually don’t need this but it available in the event you don’t have a caretaker.
Insurance and Financing
Breast augmentation is considered an elective cosmetic procedure, so insurance companies will not cover the cost of the procedure unless it is done for a congenital or some other deformity of the breast. However, we have some great financing options available to make it easier to pay for your surgery instead of cash and without the potential high expenses of a traditional credit card. At Stephens Plastic Surgery, we offer great financing packages and options through:
- CareCredit®: Offers financing options that can be interest-free for up to 12 months depending on your credit status.
- ALPHAEON® CREDIT: A credit card offered by board-certified physicians that can be used to pay for procedures such as breast augmentation and other cosmetic surgeries.
Please contact our office and speak to Lori, our patient care coordinator, or the women at our front desk to find out more about these programs.
The Overall Cost
A typical breast augmentation procedure costs between $7,250 and $8,800 depending on placement approach and implant type (saline vs silicone). While shopping for the right doctor to perform your breast augmentation, check to be sure that they are ACGME board-certified plastic surgeons. Go with your gut and make sure you are comfortable with them and their office staff. Consider having several consultations if need be, and (please!) do not choose a surgeon simply because they offer the lowest price; go to a surgeon because of his or her valid and vetted credentials and reputation in the community for quality. Dr. Stephens performs many revision procedures done by poorly trained and unqualified “surgeons.” You don’t save money for a poorly done procedure. In fact, the FDA in their most recent policy statement has recommended that only board certified plastic surgeons perform breast implant procedures.
Remember to Schedule Your Consultation With an Experienced and Reputable Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon!
With his reputation for attention to detail and artistic sensibility, technical knowledge and skill, Dr. Stephens strives to provide his patients with the outstanding aesthetic results they will enjoy for years to come. He is considered one of the best plastic surgeons in the Puget So top cosmetic breast surgeons in the Northwest and the U.S.und area as well as the, receiving “Top Cosmetic Surgeon from 425 Magazine” from 2016 through 2019 and is a perennial winner from the “Best of Western Washington”. Dr. Stephens has been practicing in his beautiful, “state-of-the-art” office in beautiful Bellevue, Washington, for over 20 years. His years of experience and expert knowledge as well as his award-winning staff ensure that his patients will enjoy a uniquely personalized, comfortable, transformative, and enjoyable confidential experience.
Your Consultation: Our Fees and Simulated Results
Flowing your consultation, you will review your options for your breast augmentation procedure with Dr. Stephens and his patient care coordinator, Lori, who will determine the cost of your procedure based on your specific and unique goals, the choice of implant and the complexity of the procedure. We take the time to provide you with a highly personal, thoroughly enjoyable while educational and comprehensive consultation with the VECTRA® 3D imaging, our state-of-the-art, three-dimensional imaging system where you can view your potential results from the procedure.
If you are interested in breast augmentation and would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office at (425) 455-0444 today!