Breast augmentation is the most common cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. We routinely receive inquires, either by phone or e-mail, about the cost of Breast Augmentation in Orange County.
I, therefore, decided to write about cosmetic surgery and pricing. Please note, since our practice is located in Orange County, California, the prices described here reflect the economy of Southern California and may not apply to other states or even Northern California. However, the principles about pricing shall remain the same regardless of geography.
Being a wine aficionado, I will use wine pricing for comparison, as everyone can relate to wine.
I am going to use the 100 point rating system, popularized by wine critic Robert Parker. A wine rated 90-94 is excellent. A 95-100 point wine is considered a classic wine. Obviously a 100 point wine is considered perfect, and there have been wines which have received this score by Parker and other critics.
In general, due to cost of doing business, it is rare to find a red wine under $10 dollars which rates 90 or above by most critics. The same is true for white wines as well. From $10-20, there are many options, both red and white, for wines rating 90 or above. Obviously, the chance of buying a wine rated 90 or more is higher if the wine costs $100 or more. However, there are many wines in that price range which do not rate that high. The price of a wine is determined by the economy (wages) of that country, the currency exchange rate, and most importantly the demand for that wine. For example, over the past ten years, the price of First Growth Bordeaux wines has increased from $200-300 a bottle to $2000 or more! This is due to new wealth from Russia, China, and India purchasing these wines (mainly as a trophy) thus increasing the demand in relation to supply. In a good to great vintage, many of these wines are extraordinary and will rate 94 or above. Are you as a consumer, willing to pay an extra $1980 per bottle for a 5-10% subjective increase in quality? Only you can answer this question.
The same applies to cosmetic surgical pricing. My recommendation is to find the best quality at the lowest price. Like every thing else, breast augmentation pricing in your local area will follow a bell-shaped curve. The price range for breast augmentation in Orange County and Los Angeles County can be as low as $2700 and as high as $10,000. Many of these lower prices are either by cosmetic surgeons not originally trained as plastic surgeons, or have had disciplinary action by the Medical Board of California (public records are available on their web-site). The higher prices are typically charged by surgeons who are publicly visible, mostly through television, and the higher cost reflects the cost of advertising. Is it worth paying $10,000 for a breast augmentation? See the paragraph above for comparison.
Now there are patients who must buy “so and so” bag or shoe, regardless of cost, mainly to impress their peers, and these patients will probably do the same for cosmetic surgery as well.
I hope most of you are savvier than this! In my opinion, a price range of $4500-5500 for saline implant breast augmentation and $5500-6500 for silicone implant will give you the highest chance of obtaining quality work at a reasonable price. The price range has to do more with geography than any other reason. The cost of doing business is higher in Newport Beach than Anaheim and this will be reflected in the final price. Regardless of the cost, however, it is up to the patient to do his/her homework and most importantly, to like the surgeon’s work (most surgeons in Southern California post before and after photos on-line).
Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon. His office is located in Orange County, California. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 714-834-0101.