University of Virginia Plastic Surgery
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue 4th Floor
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Phone: (434) 924-1234
Location Hours: Monday–Friday | 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

6 Factors That Affect the Cost of Breast Augmentation

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How much does breast augmentation cost? If you’re thinking about getting breast implants, you’ve likely typed a version of that question into a search engine. Women considering breast augmentation at the Charlottesville or Fishersville locations of UVA Plastic Surgery trust our plastic surgeons to be transparent about what breast augmentation patients are specifically paying for.

In this blog post, I’ll explain 6 of the factors that influence the total price of breast augmentation surgery. Cost is important, of course, but I recommend that the procedure’s price tag not be the primary concern when choosing a plastic surgery practice. What looks like a good deal now may end up costing more if you need revision surgery to correct an unfortunate outcome. UVA Plastic Surgery also offers the option of financing a procedure for qualified patients.

What’s Involved in the Cost of Breast Augmentation?

How does a plastic surgery practice arrive at an “out-the-door” cost for breast enhancement surgery? Here are the primary factors:

Type of implant: Women have more choices than ever when it comes to selecting breast implants. The options used to be saline or silicone. Now, silicone implants are filled with cohesive gel of different consistencies. Saline implants are much less expensive than silicone implants. Still, nearly 90% of breast augmentation procedures performed in 2019 involved cohesive silicone gel implants, which most patients believe look and feel more like natural breasts.

What level of anesthetic is used during surgery: Breast augmentation surgery is typically performed using a general anesthetic, which means an anesthesiologist is among the surgical team in the operating room. That increases the cost of the procedure compared to procedures performed under a local anesthetic plus sedation, but it ensures the patient’s comfort throughout the surgery.

Time in the operating room: Breast augmentation surgery can usually be completed in about an hour or less, which is built into the cost of the surgery. But if the procedure lasts longer than expected, the additional surgical time can increase the cost.

Choosing fat transfer instead of implants: This is also associated with the amount of time needed in the OR. Fat transfer breast augmentation can cost more even though the patient doesn’t have to pay for implants. That’s because the technique is essentially 2 procedures. The surgeon first performs liposuction to harvest the fat needed for the augmentation. Fat transfer may also require multiple procedures to achieve the desired result.

Post-op items: These aren’t big-ticket items (prescription pain medication, garment bras, and scar cream or silicone gel sheets), but they add up. It’s always good to know the “out-the-door” price before surgery.

Timing: The time of year can play a role in the cost of breast augmentation and other body contouring procedures. Many people choose the winter to get implants because they typically have more time off and it’s a good time to wear layers of clothes—which makes it a good time to recover.

The geographical location of a plastic surgery practice will also affect the price. A woman considering breast augmentation who lives in Richmond, VA, will likely pay more if she chooses a Washington, D.C., surgeon than a surgeon located in Charlottesville.

Again, I want to emphasize that it’s important to have the peace of mind knowing that the plastic surgeon you choose has the expertise to produce beautiful results consistently, such as you can see in our gallery of before-and-after photos. The surgeon’s training and experience are other factors that will influence the cost of surgery.

If you want to discuss getting breast implants with one of our plastic surgeons in Charlottesville or Fishersville, contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call us at (434) 924-1234 to schedule an appointment.


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