Your primary augmentation is not the only cost you need to factor in when you are asking how much do breast implants cost. Women with silicone gel breast implants must factor in long term maintenance costs. Silicone gel breast implants can have “silent ruptures,” where an implant ruptures without showing any symptoms. The FDA recommends women with silicone gel implants get an MRI scan three years after getting their implants, then every two years for the life of the implant to detect silent ruptures. If a silicone gel implant ruptures, you will need surgery to remove the implant shell and any leaked silicone gel. It is important to remove implants that have ruptured because the silicone gel may begin to leak outside of the capsule and cause painful symptoms. The FDA lists a few of these symptoms as, “a decrease in breast size, change in breast implant shape, hard lumps over the implant or chest area, an uneven appearance of the breasts, pain or tenderness, tingling, swelling, numbness, burning, or changes in sensation.” However, because of the out-of-pocket cost of MRIs, many women skip their recommended MRI scans. According to Business Insider the average cost of an MRI is $444 to $1468. That means if a woman with silicone gel breast implants keeps up with the recommended MRIs she will pay on average $3,108 to $10,276 just for MRIs if her implants stay intact for 20 years. That puts the total cost of silicone gel breast implants closer to $10,000-$20,000 over 20 years, and even more if a revision surgery is needed.
Another option is to consider getting your breast implants at a teaching hospital from a learning resident. You won’t get the delicate skill of an experienced, board-certified surgeon, but teaching hospital residents are “assisted by established, experienced, private attending surgeons,” says Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robin T.W. Yuan in a RealSelf Q&A.
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