Average Cost of Breast Augmentation

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Dr. Phillip Chang

Dr. Phillip Chang

Board Certified By The American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
Voted Top Plastic Surgeon in Loudoun, Virginia
Offices in Leesburg, Virginia.

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Breast augmentation is the most popular and commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedure in the world.  Understanding the price of cosmetic surgery may often be difficult.   The average cost of breast augmentation will depend on the surgeon’s fee, your location, the type of surgery center, the type of anesthetist, and the type of breast implant. The following blog will help you understand your breast augmentation options by breaking down some of these elements.

How much does it cost for a breast augmentation?

The price of a breast augmentation procedure will depend on several factors including your location, the skill and reputation of your plastic surgeon, the type of the breast implant, the type of operating facility, and any a few other items such as surgical bras or pain pumps.  

According to bankrate, the average cost of a just the surgeon’s fee in 2014 across the United States was $3,708 dollars according to statistics provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  This cost did not include anesthesia or operating facility fees.  

Interestingly, the average cost of just the surgeon’s fee in 2017 across the United states jumped just 10 dollars to $3,718 dollars.   This number was taken directly from statistics provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

What elements will determine the price of a breast augmentation?

Most surgical procedures in cosmetic plastic surgery are determined by at least three broad categories.  These include what is referred to as the surgeon’s fee, the operating facility fees, and the material costs.  In the case of a breast augmentation, the surgeon’s fee will vary depending on their location, skill, and reputation.  The operating room fees will also vary on its reputation, skill of the personnel, and location.  And the material cost will largely be whether you are choosing a saline or silicone filled breast implant.

Three things that affect cost:

  • Surgeon’s Fee
  • Surgical Facility or Center Fee
  • The type of breast implant (Saline vs Silicone)

What is the cost for a breast augmentation in Virginia? - The Surgeon's Fee

When it comes to choosing your plastic surgeon, it is important to remember the old adage, “you get what you pay for.”  When it comes to your health and desired outcome, it is important to remember that not all plastic surgeons are equivalent in skill, training, or artistic creativity. 

The price that your surgeon chooses to charge will often be adjusted based on the demand  for his or her services.  You intuitively know this to be true.  Consider your approach to buying a car or smartphone: you are essentially purchasing the item based on its reliability, features, and appearance.  Seeking a plastic surgeon should be no different.  

A second consideration that determines the price of the surgeon’s fee is the surgeon’s location.  Rent and real estate are far higher in Northern Virginia vs Southern Virginia or Beverly Hills vs Los Angeles, for example.

The Facility Fee

The facility fee describes the price of the facility where you will have your procedure.  The elements that determine the facility fee include the type of facility (hospital, free standing surgery center, or office surgery room), the type of anesthetist (anesthesiologists vs nurse anesthetists), and location.  

According to rules established by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, all Board Certified Plastic Surgeons  are required to operate in accredited facilities if they are using anesthesia.  Hospitals have the highest level of accreditation, have fully accredited staffing, and safety features.  They will on average have the highest fees but are also the safest.  Free standing surgical facilities generally have a lesser accreditation.  Some surgical centers will only use nurse anesthetists for cost-saving.  You should ask.  Office surgery facilities will have the lowest level of accreditation.  There is nothing wrong with that as long as they are not dispensing anesthesia.  I wouldn’t want to be that patient… safety first.  

The facility fee will also be influenced by the location of the facility.  Urban areas or areas of high net worth will have to pay higher rents which will in turn be reflected in their facility fees.

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What is the cost of a breast implant?

The price of the actual breast implant will depend on whether you are interested in getting a saline or silicone breast implants.

What is the cost of a silicone breast implant?

Silicone implants, which have also been nicknamed Gummy Bear Implants, are made of a semi-cohesive silicone gel.  They will in general look and feel more natural particularly in thin women who start out with a small A or B cup size.  The implants are referred to as gummy bears because the cohesive gel holds the implant together while retaining a gel-like consistency that resembles that of a gummy bear. The technology is designed to prevent leakage of silicone in the event of an implant rupture.

What is the cost of a saline breast implant?

Saline implants, on the other hand, are filled with salt water.  Thin women starting with an A or B cup will feel the implant as firmer to the touch than silicone implants.  There is not as much technology involved in the creation of a saline implant.  For this reason, saline implants are on average half the price of a silicone filled breast implant.


Geography and implant price?

Like any commodity or service, prices will vary depending on geographic location.  Metropolitan urban areas will generally have higher prices.  The best plastic surgeons will usually establish their practices in these upscale areas with dense populations.  Plastic surgery practices in areas like the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, Beverly Hills, Manhattan, Miami, or Los Angeles will have higher rent and overhead costs than other areas.

Anesthesia Fees and breast augmentation price?

The type of anesthesia will also alter the price of breast augmentation.  Our first rule of cosmetic surgery is don’t skimp on safety.  Seek out a facility that uses a board certified anesthesiologist as opposed to using only a nurse anesthetist (CRNA).  Anesthesiologists are medical doctors; Nurse anesthetist CRNAs are midlevel practitioners.  Many facilities will use CRNAs overseen by the Plastic Surgeon who acts as the medical doctor.  Facilities will keep their costs down by using nurse anesthetists only.  Most hospitals and free standing surgical facilities will use board certified, MD anesthesiologists.  

Can you finance a breast augmentation?

You can absolutely finance your breast augmentation procedure.  Most plastic surgeons will offer financing through CareCredit.

CareCredit is a healthcare credit card designed to help cover medical expenses not covered by medical insurance. They also offer financing options different from other credit cards.

We will, however, often suggest that you apply for a credit card on your own that has no interest payments for a year.  There are many options for this.  We list a few of them here.

  •  Wells Fargo Platinum Visa 
  •  Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
  •  Chase Freedom Unlimited
  •  Discover it Cash Back
  •  BankAmericard 

Will insurance pay for breast implants?

Insurance may cover the cost of breast implants if the reason for a breast augmentation procedure is deemed reconstructive, versus purely cosmetic. For example, if the procedure addresses an asymmetry due to breast hypertrophy.

A 2018 study measured the breasts of 304 consecutive women evaluated for plastic surgery of the breast, who had not received prior breast surgery. Comparisons were made between the right and left side of each patient regarding the symmetry of the nipple-areola complex (size and position), breast mound, and chest wall.  The study found that the majority of the women studied demonstrated breast asymmetries.

Either way, we recommend that you contact your insurance provider to determine whether or not your procedure is covered. If not, several financing options exist, as previous discussed.

Watch this video about breast augmentation

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Finding the Best Breast  Surgeon in Virginia

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Dr. Phillip Chang is known to be one of the best breast surgeons in Virginia after performing hundreds of breast procedures for almost 20 years. His innovative techniques have been highlighted in national magazines and educational channels prompting patients across the country to send revision breast reduction procedures to his office in Northern Virginia outside of Washington, DC.  

Visit his office in Leesburg, Virginia in Loudoun County or fill out the contact form below for more information on how we can help you with your breast reduction surgery


For those wondering whether breast augmentation might be the best cosmetic solution for you, we invite you to simply come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the cosmetic laser and injection nurses to explore whether you would make a good candidate. To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.

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