COST OF BREAST AUGMENTATION SURGERY IN ORANGE COUNTY
Cosmetic surgery, specifically breast augmentation costs vary widely, depending on several factors such as surgeon experience and training, years in practice, surgeon’s overhead, and location of the surgeon’s practice and location of the surgery center.
In general, a board certified plastic surgeon will charge more for a breast augmentation surgery than a cosmetic surgeon who has had training through the American Society of Cosmetic Surgery. This Society and its Board Certification is NOT recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Does that mean that all cosmetic surgeons are bad and all plastic surgeons are good? Well, no. It is ultimately up to the patient to do his/her homework regarding breast augmentation surgery. However, over-all the quality of training for plastic surgeons is better than cosmetic surgeons, since cosmetic surgery training programs are not reviewed by the Residency Review Commission, and potential weaknesses in training may not be addressed.
The location of a surgeon’s practice will also affect breast augmentation surgery cost. A surgeon practicing in Beverly Hills has to charge more for breast augmentation surgery than someone in an area where the cost of doing business is less. The same is true for the location of the surgery center. These costs are something which the patient has control over without affecting quality. Does the surgeon have Italian marble flooring with marble statues in the hallways? Does the surgeon heavily advertise on television? If yes, then the cost of the procedure will be higher due to the surgeon’s high overhead.
An experienced surgeon with a consistent track record will charge higher fees than a new graduate with less experience. We had one patient who was given an extremely low price quote for breast augmentation by another surgeon. An on-line search showed the surgeon had recently finished his training, and most likely the low price was to attract patients for his specialty board preparation exam. A recently graduated surgeon does not mean he/she is bad. However, the best resident in the world graduating from the best program in the world is not going to have consistently good results compared to an average plastic surgeon with several years of experience. Experience counts!
Can breast augmentation surgery be performed safely under local anesthesia? If yes, the overall cost will be less, since anesthesia/operating room fees are waived. Although some surgeons perform breast augmentation under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation, the surgery lasts at least twice as long and, in my experience it is difficult to achieve a good result, since the patient “squirms” a lot. The likely hood of post-operative nausea/vomiting may also be increased.
According to the 2012 American Society of Plastic Surgeons statistics, the average SURGEON fee for breast augmentation surgery was $3500. If one adds implant cost and surgery center fees, the cost will be $5500-8000, depending on type of implant used. However, in very competitive markets such as Southern California or Florida, the total cost can be significantly less. In my opinion, a range of $3700-4500 is a reasonable range for breast augmentation with saline implants, and $5000-6000 for silicone implants. However, I have seen prices as high as $10,000 for this procedure! Does this mean your result will be twice as good? Of course not! There is so much one can do with a breast!
Please note breast augmentation surgery is considered a cosmetic procedure and is NOT covered by insurance. Breast reconstruction is covered by insurance.
Regardless of the cost, please do your homework! On-line reviews and photos are useful. However, I also recommend visiting the medical board of your state to see if the surgeon has had any disciplinary actions against him/her. Does the surgeon have staff privileges at a hospital? Hospitals have stricter guidelines than outpatient surgery centers for allowing a surgeon to operate. Ultimately, you have to feel comfortable with the surgeon and the surgeon has to feel comfortable with you. Remember, after surgery, you are both “married” to each other for a while.
Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 13 years of experience. His office is located in Orange County, California. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 714-834-0101.