In the U.S., getting breast augmentation surgery -- breast implants for cosmetic reasons -- cost an average of $5,278 in 2011.
Most women have to pay that out of their own pockets. Insurance usually will not cover breast enlargement surgery. It will, though, cover breast implants for women who have had mastectomies due to breast cancer.
If you need further surgery later on, your health insurance may not cover that, either. Having breast implants may also affect your insurance rates later on.
Before any cosmetic surgery, it’s most important to find a properly trained, experienced plastic surgeon. With the surge of interest in cosmetic procedures, many doctors are advertising themselves as plastic surgeons -- and any doctor who graduated medical school can make that claim.
Start your breast implant research by getting a list of surgeons' names.
Talk to friends who have had breast implant surgery. Talk to your general physician or gynecologist. A referral from a satisfied patient who has a breast implant is the best recommendation. Once you have a list of potential surgeons, schedule a brief, free-of-charge consultation with each doctor.
Questions to Ask About Breast Implant Surgery
Asking the following questions will help you get the best results -- with no surprises.
Take two copies of this list when you meet with each cosmetic surgeon -- one for you and one for the surgeon. Don't be afraid to ask the tough questions. Smart questions let the surgeon know you've done your homework. You'll also learn about the surgeon's qualifications, experience, and demeanor. Getting everything out in the open will increase your comfort level, and you'll go into the surgery relaxed and confident that you have made the best choice.
The Surgeon's Qualifications and Experience
1. Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? If not, why not?/
2. How long have you been performing breast implant surgery?
3. How many breast implant surgeries do you perform a month?
4. How many revisions of your own work, on average, do you perform?
5.Have you been involved in any medical malpractice suits?
6. Do you have hospital privileges at an accredited surgical facility? Which hospitals?
The Surgeon’s Past Work
7. Can I see some before-and-after photos?
8. Can I speak with some of your past breast implant patients?
9. Is there someone on your staff who has been a patient, and can I speak to her?
10. If I don't like the results of my surgery, what can I do?
11. Are silicone breast implants or saline implants better for me -- and why?
12. What breast size do you suggest for my body frame?
13. Will I lose any sensation in my nipples or breasts?
14. Will I be able to breastfeed after having implants?
15. Will the implants make mammograms less accurate in detecting breast cancer?
16. Do you have a video I can watch about breast implant surgery?
17. What is the warranty for this breast implant, and what fees do I have to pay if it ruptures?
Breast Implant Complications and Risk:
18. What are the possible risks of breast implant surgery?