The total price for breast implants can vary tremendously. The final bill will include the cost of the silicone or saline implants themselves, the fees for the surgeon and his or her staff, anesthesia, tests, prescriptions, facility fees, and a number of other potential costs. Silicone implants are associated with the hidden cost of regular MRIs (3 years after surgery and then every 2 years after that) to screen for silent ruptures. Although an implant's life expectancy depends on a number of factors, the Food and Drug Administration found that many women may need one or more of their implants replaced, on average, every 10 years (some can last as long as 20 or more years). Another long-term cost, then, would be additional surgeries if (or when) one or both of the implants ruptures. You may also need to buy special clothes (like a surgical bra or other supportive undergarments) to wear after surgery while you heal. And a final hidden cost that few women complain about: purchasing more outfits to accommodate their new look.

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Silicone gel breast implants tend to cost a bit more than saline implants when all expenses have been added up. Per the website of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, average 2010 prices for different procedures were as follows: breast enlargement with silicone gel implants - $3,797; breast enlargement using saline-filled implants - $3,486; breast lift - $4,401; and breast reduction - $5,384. Some women may choose to undergo a breast lift and a breast augmentation simultaneously. Breast reconstruction surgery is likely to fall within these price ranges, but the full amount will depend on whether one or both breasts require reconstruction and whether nipple reconstruction is also desired. Keep in mind that breast reconstruction may be covered by insurance in certain situations. The total cost will depend on the number and type of procedures that you have, the region of the country where you choose to have the procedure (for example, Beverly Hills is likely to be one of the more expensive places), the surgeon's experience, the type of anesthesia that is used, and whether any complications arise that require hospitalization after surgery.

Most health insurance policies will not cover the cost of elective, aesthetic procedures like breast lift or breast enlargement; some might cover all or part of the procedure for women who have had mastectomies, have a congenital development problem, or need reconstructive surgery for other medical reasons. It is best to contact your health insurance company in advance and to ask the surgeon for an itemized estimate of the costs at your initial consultation.

For women who want implants but are unable to pay the full costs out of pocket, a few options may be available. Ask your surgeon if the practice offers any type of financing plan (for example, monthly payments). Third-party financing may also be an option from sources such as CareCredit, Chase Health Advance, and many others. There are a handful of community-financing websites that allow women to request help paying for their implants from others on the internet; however, these are somewhat controversial and not necessarily considered to be a mainstream or reliable option.

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