Are you searching for a surgeon to perform your breast augmentation? Are you concerned about cost and the differences in cost from surgeon to surgeon? Women everyday are searching for the right plastic surgeon to perform a breast augmentation for them. There are many factors that go into the final decision as far as which surgeon they choose. A main concern for many women is the cost of the procedure. While a very inexpensive breast augmentation may sound alluring, there are certain potential risks that correlate with the price differences of the procedure.
A board certified plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, may charge more than a non-board certified physician performing the same procedure. So what is the difference between a board certified plastic surgeon and a non-board certified physician? A board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a membership with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons ensures that your surgeon is fully qualified to perform your surgery. It guarantees the patient that their surgeon has completed high standards of training, ethics, practice and research in the field of plastic surgery. As advocates for the patient, the ASPS ensures safe, ethical practice and competence of the surgeon. When choosing a physician that is not board certified nor a member of the ASPS, there is no safeguards as to the competence of the surgeon nor the training or outcome of the surgical procedure.
Ensuring the surgeon is operating out of an accredited ambulatory surgery center is another factor that can affect the price of a breast augmentation. So what does an accreditation mean to you, the patient? An accreditation is a voluntary process through which a surgery center is able to measure the quality of patient care, services, and performance against nationally-recognized standards. This accreditation guarantees that the surgery center is committed to high-quality health care and has proved it through the accreditation process. A board certified plastic surgeon and members of the ASPS are required to only operate out of fully-accredited ambulatory surgery centers.
When receiving a price quote for a breast augmentation surgery, it is often broken down by surgeons fees, operating room expenses, anesthesiologist fees and cost of implants. When choosing the type of anesthesia delivery for an operation, a physician has the option of using an anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist, or in some extreme cases no general anesthesia at all. All of these option affect the price of your breast augmentation surgery. As with a board certified plastic surgeon, an anesthesiologist ensures the patient that the doctor has completed the rigorous training, research, ethics, and procedures required to be fully capable and competent in anesthesia. A nurse anesthetist is required to go through specific training in order to be certified, however, a nurse anesthetist does not have the medical training and background that an anesthesiologist does.
Once you have decided to go forward with surgery, the type of breast implant you choose, silicone or saline, can affect the pricing, as silicone implants are more expensive. Also, it is imperative that you make sure your surgeon is not using expired implants. All implants have a ‘shelf life’ guaranteeing the quality of the medical device and warranty of the product. This information can easily be obtained by contacting the breast implant company being used by the physician, generally either Allergan or Mentor. It should be known by the prospective patient that non-FDA approved implants are not recommended for usage by the ASPS. The company will need a serial number for the breast implant, which all breast implants have and can be obtained through the physician. Once the breast implants have been implanted into the body, it is required for the surgeon to give the patient an ‘implant card’ detailing the information about the breast implants used with the serial number, type, style etc for the patients records. If you do not have this, make sure to ask your implanting physician for this information. If the implant is expired, there is no warranty if the product is defective and there is no guarantee for the quality of the medical device.
Finally, understanding the amount of time your surgeon spends on your breast augmentation as well as the amount of time in the recovery room, can not only affect the final outcome but also the amount you pay for your procedure. When a surgeon claims to do a 30-45 minute breast augmentation, the patient should consider the quality of work being performed and the attention to detail that may be lacking. In general, a breast augmentation takes 1-2 hours to perform, without recovery time. Once the surgery is completed, a patient usually spends at least an hour, if not more, in recovery. During the recovery period, the patient is being constantly monitored by a registered nurse, and must be discharged by both the anesthesiologist and surgeon, ensuring that it is safe for the patient to be released. If the surgeon that you are considering is not living up to these general standards, it may be a red flag to reconsider and/or ask a lot more questions.
Having said all of this, these are only questions and considerations that a knowledgeable prospective patient should ponder and ask their surgeon to ensure a safe, positive operation with the outcome you desire.