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How Does Your Implant Choice Factor Into Your Augmentation Cost?

In the Phoenix metropolitan area (and in most other sizable communities, for that matter), there is considerable variability in the total cost of the price of breast augmentation. For example, though the current average price of generic breast enlargement in Scottsdale is $5,925, you can easily find estimates thousands of dollars more expensive as well as thousands of dollars cheaper.

Why is there such a wide range of pricing for a breast augmentation in any particular community?

The reason for this extensive cost variability is because there are several different components that will impact the ultimate price. These include the surgeon’s fee (board-certified plastic surgeon vs. non-plastic surgeon vs. non-surgeon), anesthesia (anesthesiologist vs. anesthetist vs. nobody special), surgical facility (outpatient center or hospital vs. certified office facility or non-certified office space) and implant type (silicone vs. saline).

Within each of these components, there is quite a wide range of pricing. For example, some plastic surgeons charge much higher rates than other plastic surgeons, while others charge significantly lower than the average rate. Such pricing, though, doesn’t necessarily directly reflect the skill of the surgeon or the results that you might obtain. However, you will usually find that the non-plastic surgeon pricing is substantially lower—and for obvious reasons.

The most important factor when you are seeking to undergo breast augmentation should be selecting the best doctor (board-certified plastic surgeon, of course) for you—one that you feel comfortable with and in whom you can place your trust but can also afford. Once you have selected your surgeon, all the other costs are usually pre-determined except for the breast implants. That is, a particular plastic surgeon will typically use a specific facility and anesthesia option that have fixed pricing.

Breast augmentation before and after

Implant Price Factors and Results

In general, once you have selected your surgeon the only other variable that can have more than a marginal impact on the total cost of your breast augmentation is the selection of your breast implants and, more specifically, the decision between silicone vs. saline. Saline implants are substantially less expensive than the standard silicone ones, the difference being anywhere from $600 to $1,000 or more. In fact, when you see advertisements for breast augmentation with “too good to be true” pricing that is far below most others in that market, you can count on them involving saline implants.

In the case of breast implants, the expression “you get what you pay for” is absolutely true.

Let’s see why.

Saline implants are like an entry-level Jeep compared to the eminently natural silicone breast implants which are more akin to a high-end Lexus sedan or sports car. Both can get you where you want to go (provided that the Jeep doesn’t break down prematurely)—but the Lexus does it with class, style, reliability, and durability.

Silicone breast implants are truly the gold standard by which other breast implants should be judged, allowing for superior outcomes. They can yield results that look more natural and feel more natural—like real breasts, last longer and yield breasts that age much better over time as compared to their saline counterparts. They also allow for the option of being precisely tailored to an individuals’ specific anatomy and particular characteristics based on different levels of silicone cohesiveness and “firmness.” Saline implants can’t replicate this.

With saline implants, especially those with relatively thin skin, you can feel the implant and its envelope through the skin. There often is visible rippling seen through the skin and even fluid waves, particularly noticeable when bending over. Their placement above the muscle can create disastrous results that, if not corrected early on, can lead to irreversible changes including extreme thinning of the skin.

This is not natural and not what most women want.

So, if you want better results with greater durability, you will have to pay more and go with the silicone implants. Ironically, because you may require more procedures if you have saline implants due to their shorter average lifespan, your ultimate total costs may substantially exceed those that would have resulted from initially selecting silicone implants.

I feel so strongly about this that it is extremely rare for me to use saline implants and this has been true for years. Given the options and understanding the pros and cons, my patients clearly agree with me even when it means for some to spend more than they ideally would have liked to.

No one has ever regretted this decision. The results speak for themselves.

For more information about breast augmentation or the variations in cost, contact Dr. Turkeltaub at the Arizona Center for Breast Surgery by calling (480) 451-3000 or by filling out our online contact form.