Financial considerations in cosmetic surgery

Research consistently shows that over 60% of people would have cosmetic plastic surgery if they could and that the number one reason that prevents them from doing so is cost.

There are multiple financing options available to cosmetic surgery patients these days, including loans specifically designed for cosmetic surgery such as those offered by Care Credit. See this link:

Nevertheless, there is a cost for plastic surgery, and though it may be a lot less than you think, it can still run into the thousands of dollars when the fees for the hospital and anesthesia are included. But what factors are the costs of cosmetic plastic surgery based on?

  • Geography – Some areas of the country have higher costs for rent, personnel, equipment, etc., and this is reflected in the cost of the surgery.
  • Surgeon’s preference – Cosmetic surgeons can charge what they want for a surgery. Some may have particular expertise in one technique and charge more for it. Others just charge more or less without any rhyme or reason.
  • Marketplace – The costs of plastic surgery surgery are often determined by what other plastic surgeons are charging with attention to anti-trust laws that prevent price fixing. If one surgeon charges ten times more than another, you might think they have fewer patients, but that’s not necessarily true! I have often been asked why my fee for a surgery is so little compared to another surgeon’s, and I really don’t know what to say!

Obviously, there are a number of different factors, some of which are discussed below, but let me first start with an analogy.

Here are two cars. One, a Porsche Boxter, was being driven by a friend and his wife, and the other, a Fiat Panda (not one of the cute new Fiat 500s you see around), was being driven by me and my wife along the beautiful Tuscan roads during a recent holiday. We were all able to get from one place to the other and arrived at our destinations at about the same time, though the Porsche always arrived first. There were differences, however.

The Tuscan countryside consists of undulating hills and valleys. The Fiat sometimes needed a bit more power than it could muster, and a few times I almost opened the door to help push the car up a particularly steep road with the kick of a foot—you know, like when riding a motorcycle up a hill.

The Porsche swerved and moved about as if on a railroad track, smoothly hugging the road with its top down and Leonard Cohen blaring while I had a scratchy Italian talk show interrupted by advertisements in very fast Italian to listen to whenever the station came into reach—no other stations worked.  He had leather seats, I had cloth. And so on. You get the message.

Both cars get you to your destination, but they do so in different styles.

In the same way, your cosmetic plastic surgery can be similar. You have the option to be traveling the road of consultation, operation and post-operative care in a Porsche or in a Fiat.  Hopefully both plastic surgeons will be able to get you from your destination to your end point, but the style you travel in will be different.

 The funny thing is that even though the Porsche costs six times more than the Fiat, the cost of your cosmetic surgery may be the same or in many cases even cheaper when you travel with an experienced, board-certified cosmetic plastic surgeon in a Porsche as opposed to an untrained doctor performing cosmetic surgery driving you around on a bicycle!

For more information regarding plastic surgery financing, look here:  Financing

Morad Tavallali, M.D., FACS

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