Breast augmentation on a budget: Is it possible?

Breast augmentation on a budget: Is it possible?

Breast augmentation on a budget: Is it possible?

Mai Delacruz

Mai Delacruz
Personal Fitness Trainer & Health Coach

Updated on 3/23/2023

One of the most popular cosmetic surgeries is breast augmentation, sometimes called "boob job" or "augmentation mammaplasty." In 2020, more than 250,000 Americans underwent this procedure. The purpose of breast augmentation is to increase the size or appearance of one or both breasts by adding artificial implants or transferring body fat to them. This procedure is not covered by health insurance plans, as it is with other types of cosmetic surgery.

There is a difference between breast augmentation and breast reconstruction. Federal law requires that most private insurance plans cover reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy for breast cancer patients.

You will almost certainly have to pay out of pocket for cosmetic breast augmentation surgery. Find out what the cost is likely to be and which factors can influence it.


What is the cost of breast augmentation surgery?

Approximately $6,000 to $12,000 was the cost of breast augmentation reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2019. Plastic surgeons' fees contribute to the wide price range. Based on the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery National Databank, a typical breast augmentation cost $4,866 in 2020. 

There are several factors that can affect the surgeon's fee:

  • Experience level
  • You can check the market prices in your area by clicking here
  • Procedure details

As discussed below, other surgical considerations will affect the cost as well.


The average cost of breast augmentation depends on a number of factors. 

A breast augmentation will also include expenses other than the plastic surgeon's fee, such as:

  • Operating room fees at hospitals or surgical facilities
  • Anesthesia costs
  • Tests for medical conditions
  • Garments to reduce swelling post-surgery, such as a compression bra
  • Pain medication, for example, is a prescription drug

In terms of your total cost, the facility where the surgery is performed makes a big difference. The cost of surgery at a hospital versus an ambulatory care center can be more than twice as high for insured patients. Out-of-pocket payers, however, may not experience this.

Before your breast augmentation surgery, you can find out details about facility fees. You can request binding good-faith cost estimates for the procedure from your area's hospitals or ambulatory care centers under the No Surprises Act. From these estimates, you can ask your doctor to perform the surgery at an affordable facility once you have facility-fee information.

You can find out what the costs are for people who are paying out of pocket by using the FAIR Health website. For instance, in Columbus, Ohio: 

  • Breast implants cost on average $2,752 uninsured.
  • Anesthesia would cost $2,151 as well.
  • Facility fees are often the biggest expense, and they can vary greatly. 
  • ASC fees in Columbus are estimated at $20,162 and outpatient hospital fees at $9,502.
  • By contrast, the price difference in Chicago is smaller. There would be a $17,285 ASC fee and a $15,556 hospital outpatient fee.

The price of breast augmentation can also be affected by other factors.

In determining your overall costs, your plastic surgeon will use a variety of techniques and materials. You can also achieve the best results by discussing these aspects with your doctor. The type and placement of the implant or fat transfer, as well as your desired breast shape, size, texture, incision site, and incision site location should all be discussed between you and your doctor.

Costs may increase if additional procedures are performed. Nipples can be moved as an example. In 2020, the average surgeon's fee for nipple cosmetic surgery was $1,739.

Additionally, you should tell your surgeon about any previous breast surgeries, such as augmentations, reductions, or other alterations. Let the doctor know how your body responded. It is these details that will influence their decision to undergo surgery.

The size of the breast augmentation

Implant size does not affect cost. There is no difference in cost between larger and smaller implants. Whether you get silicone implants or saline implants, this is true.

It's important to discuss this with your surgeon in detail. Describe your desired breast size and the difference between it and your existing breast. By doing this, the doctor will be able to determine what surgical approach is most appropriate.

A technique for augmentation of the breast 

The surgeon inserts either artificial breast implants or fat from another part of the body to increase the size of the breasts.

The most common choice is breast implants. A wide variety of options are available from manufacturers. Implants may also be shaped, structured, or textured differently in addition to their basic materials - saline-filled or silicone-filled.

Breast implants made from silicone versus saline

When choosing artificial breast implants, the choice between silicone and saline can have a significant impact on cost. A silicone implant is generally more expensive than a traditional implant. Researchers found that saline implants last about five years longer than silicone implants and cost about $1,300 less.

Enhancement of fat transfer

As a result of the fact that there is no insertion of silicone or saline and no anesthesia needed, fat grafting, lipofilling, or living-fat transfer are becoming more popular.

Rather, your doctor moves fat tissue around your body. With liposuction, they remove fat from one part of your body, such as your belly, abdomen sides, back, or thighs. In addition to washing and filtering, the surgical team uses other methods to purify the fat. In order to achieve the desired shape, the surgeon injects it into the breast.

Breast size is relatively subtlely increased by fat transfer. A person's breasts get bigger or their cleavage gets more defined.

According to the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery National Databank, surgeons charged an average of $3,318 for breast fat grafting in 2020.

Enhancement of the nips

The nipple and areolas are altered by this secondary procedure. The nipple may be relocated or raised, symmetrically improved, its size increased or decreased, or its projection altered.

Costs associated with postoperative care

It is likely that you will incur some follow-up care expenses. There are several possibilities, as mentioned above:

  • Compression bras can be worn post-operatively
  • A follow-up appointment
  • Tests performed by medical professionals
  • Pain medication prescriptions

A new set of costs will apply if you need additional surgery due to implant problems or to further revise your breasts' appearance. The implant warranty may cover some of these costs if it is still in effect from the original surgery.

What are my options for financing breast augmentation? 

Financing or payment plans are available from many plastic surgeons. A healthcare credit card such as CareCredit is another option for paying for your surgery. Pay attention to the interest rate and payment terms, however. If you decide to take advantage of a no-interest offer, this is especially important. An annual percentage rate (APR) as high as 26.99% will apply if you have a balance at the end of the introductory period (often 6 to 24 months).

There are also online lenders that offer healthcare loans, such as Prosper Healthcare Lending. The company offers 60-month loans at a rate between 7.95% and 36.00% APR. Your regular credit card or a personal loan may offer you a better rate based on your credit history.

How much does breast augmentation cost? Does my health insurance cover it? 

Most likely not. Most health insurance plans do not cover cosmetic surgery for breast enlargements or other procedures intended solely to change the appearance of your breasts. Additionally, no coverage is provided for any complications that may occur as a result of this type of surgery.

You should also be aware that some insurance policies will not cover treatment for breast diseases arising after breast augmentation.

You run the risk of financial and health risks if you undergo breast augmentation surgery. You should review the specific coverage rules for breast augmentation and other related procedures before scheduling the surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does breast augmentation surgery cost?

The cost of breast augmentation surgery can vary depending on factors such as the type of implant used, the location of the surgery, and the surgeon's fee. On average, the cost can range from $4,000 to $10,000.

Is breast augmentation surgery covered by insurance?

Breast augmentation surgery is typically considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. However, in some cases where the procedure is being done for medical reasons such as asymmetry or reconstruction, it may be covered.

Are there any additional costs associated with breast augmentation surgery?

Additional costs associated with breast augmentation surgery may include the cost of anesthesia, facility fees, and post-operative care. It's important to discuss these costs with your surgeon before the procedure.

Are financing options available for breast augmentation surgery?

Many surgeons offer financing options such as payment plans or loans to help patients afford the cost of the surgery. It's important to discuss these options with your surgeon before the procedure.

How can I save money on the cost of breast augmentation surgery?

Some ways to save money on the cost of breast augmentation surgery include researching different surgeons, choosing a less expensive implant type, and financing options.

Can I get a quote for the cost of breast augmentation surgery?

Most surgeons will provide a quote for the cost of breast augmentation surgery during a consultation. It's important to schedule consultations with a few different surgeons to compare prices and services.