If you’re researching “how much do breast implants cost,” chances are you are imagining all the benefits they offer. Breast augmentation is the top cosmetic plastic surgery procedure performed in the United States for a reason. Breast augmentations have a high rate of patient satisfaction according to research. In a study published in the May 2013 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, researchers gathered information from 225 women after their breast augmentations. The study revealed that 91.1% of women felt improved self-esteem, 64.3% had an improved quality of life, and 98.7% would repeat the surgery. But there is another side to breast implants, one you should know about before scheduling your plastic surgery consultation. While the initial costs and satisfaction rates are similar between implant types, the long-term maintenance costs and emotional toll differs in important ways. Silicone gel breast implants carry a high rate of certain complications and an increased anxiety when compared to the newest breast implant on the market, IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants.
Since the mid-1990s, the fifth generation of silicone-gel breast implant is made of a high-strength, highly cohesive silicone gel that mostly eliminates the occurrences of filler leakage (“silicone gel bleed”) and of the migration of the silicone filler from the implant pocket to elsewhere in the woman's body. These implants are commonly referred to as "gummy bear breast implants" for their firm, pliant consistency, which is similar to gummy candies. The studies Experience with Anatomical Soft Cohesive Silicone gel Prosthesis in Cosmetic and Reconstructive Breast Implant Surgery (2004) and Cohesive Silicone gel Breast Implants in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Breast Surgery (2005) reported low incidence-rates of capsular contracture and of device-shell rupture; and greater rates of improved medical-safety and technical-efficacy than that of early generation breast implant devices.[94][95][96]

This includes the cost of the implants, which ranges from $1,000 to $1,300 as well as a facility fee of $800 to $1,200, an anesthesia fee of $600 to $800 and the surgeon's fee that averages $4,005 for silicone-gel filled implants and $3,583 for saline implants. Patients in the western United States can expect to pay the highest average surgeon's fee of about $3,949, while patients in the south central part of the country generally pay lower fees with an average of $2,739.


The presence of radiologically opaque breast implants (either saline or silicone) might interfere with the radiographic sensitivity of the mammograph, that is, the image might not show any tumor(s) present. In this case, an Eklund view mammogram is required to ascertain either the presence or the absence of a cancerous tumor, wherein the breast implant is manually displaced against the chest wall and the breast is pulled forward, so that the mammograph can visualize a greater volume of the internal tissues; nonetheless, approximately one-third of the breast tissue remains inadequately visualized, resulting in an increased incidence of mammograms with false-negative results.[102]


Unfortunately, as time goes on it is often difficult for patients to remember the specifics of the type of breast augmentation surgery and implants that they had.  Your are not alone!  The easiest way to determine what type of implant you had is to request a copy of the operative report from either the hospital, surgery center or your surgeon's office.  The implant specifics are recorded on this document.  Your office record also includes this information.  If it has been over ten years since your procedure, sometimes these records are no longer available.  Ultrasound or MRI can help to answer this question but it is an expensive way to solve the mystery and not an indication for these procedures.  If you registered your implants with the manufacturer at the time of surgery, the company will have a record of this information.  Fortunately, this inforation is not absoltely critical to your health unless you are having a problem with your implants.  Your surgeon can often develop a reasonable treatment plan even without this information.  I would strongly recommend that you register your implants and purchase the affordable insurance program if you have surgery again.  These programs are helpful in storing vital information regarding your implant type, size, filler, model and lot number.  Should there be a recall or long term problem requiring additional surgery, this information is readily available.  There is often also some fiancial support to offset costs.  Investigate the options available by contacting your surgeon or the implant manufacturer's websites.

If you have considerable sagging, pendulous breasts, an anchor lift, which allows a cosmetic surgeon to remove a significant amount of excess skin and sagging tissues, may yield the best results. This technique involves 3 incisions: one around the edge of the areola, one vertically from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease, and one along the inframammary fold, hidden in the breast crease. Your cosmetic surgeon may also use this technique if you are having a breast reduction with lift. While the anchor lift comes with some visible scarring, these typically will fade significantly with proper care, and are easily hidden by a bikini top.
It is certainly possible to lift a breast without changing the volume or removing any tissue, however, the breast will sometimes appear smaller after this procedure due to its position. It is also possible to reduce breast volume without lifting the tissue (usually via liposuction) but all reductions that are performed by making incisions will also include a lift.
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