How Much Does Cosmetic Breast Surgery Cost?

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Cost may be a factor in deciding whether to have breast augmentation surgery, which places breast implants to increase the size or volume of the breasts. Breast augmentation is expensive. It's also a cosmetic procedure—you might want it, but you don't need it for medical reasons. Because it’s not medically necessary, insurance plans rarely cover breast augmentation and you will have to pay for it yourself.

What Factors in to the Actual Cost

Costs for breast augmentation vary from one area of the country to another. They also vary from surgeon to surgeon because surgeons can charge what they want. It may depend on their expertise and years of experience, in what city they practice, and the complexity of surgery you are having. In 2017, breast augmentation surgery cost an average of $3,763 in the United States. This amount covers only the surgery itself. 

Other costs may include:

  • Anesthesiologist’s fee for the hospital or clinic where you have the operation  
  • Hospital or surgery center charges
  • Tests you may need prior to surgery 
  • Medication and special garments to wear after the surgery

If you have problems with implants in the future, a surgeon may need to remove them. The average cost for taking out implants is about $2,300.

Insurance Coverage

Breast augmentation (implants) and breast lift. Medical insurance seldom covers breast surgery for cosmetic reasons. This includes getting implants or having a breast lift, which reshapes the breast without implants.

Breast reduction. Average surgeon fees for breast reduction are about $5,860. Insurance sometimes covers a breast reduction. This can be the case if there's a health reason for the surgery. For instance, large breasts may cause physical problems and pain. Reducing their size treats the condition. However, insurance plans vary widely. Read your policy carefully. 

Some insurers want people to try other approaches first, like losing weight. You might have to get a letter from your doctor explaining why you need the surgery. If your insurance company says it won't pay, you can appeal. You probably will need your surgeon’s input for such an appeal. 

Breast reconstruction. Insurance almost always covers surgery to reconstruct breasts after a mastectomy. In fact, the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 requires plans that cover mastectomy because of breast cancer to also cover breast reconstruction. You still may be responsible for copays and deductibles. Talk with your insurer to find out exactly what coverage you have and how much you would have to pay out of pocket. 

What to Ask Before Surgery

Before you decide on cosmetic breast surgery, set up time with your surgeon to go over the cost details. Get started with these questions:

  • Can you provide written details of all my costs, not just the cost of the surgery? 
  • Do the charges include my follow-up care? 
  • Do you have a payment plan available?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2019 Jul 31
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  1. Breast Augmentation Cost. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-augmentation/cost

  2. Average Cost. American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. http://www.smartbeautyguide.com/planning-toolkit/cost/

  3. Reduction of the Female Breast – Part II: Obtaining Insurance Coverage for Reduction Mammaplasty. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/reduction-of-the-female-breast-obtaining-insurance-coverage-of-reduction-mammaplasty

  4. Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/finding-and-paying-for-treatment/understanding-health-insurance/health-insurance-laws/womens-health-and-cancer-rights-act.html