Financing Your Plastic Surgery
Believe it or not, cosmetic surgery has become more affordable, relatively speaking. Plastic surgery is no longer a luxury available only to the very wealthy. More and more people undergo plastic surgery than ever before, in fact, in 2016 Americans spent a record breaking $15.44 billion on cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. This is a significant number, especially when you consider, cosmetic surgery procedures are very rarely covered by insurance. Insurance coverage exceptions include reconstructive surgery after an accident or when the procedure relates to a medical condition. While these costs have been decreasing, it is still a significant expense. Patients often explore creative financing solutions for their plastic surgery procedures.
Plastic Surgery Costs
Plastic surgery costs vary greatly. The costs depend on locale, the surgeon, hospital and related surgical expenses, facility fees, etc. Each surgeon sets their own fees, but here are some general costs for common procedures in the Scottsdale, Arizona area:
Average Scottsdale, Arizona Plastic Surgery Fees
- Liposuction $3,950 – $8,000
- Breast Augmentation $3,950 – $8,000
- Tummy Tuck $5,000 – $15,000
- SMAS Facelift $2,400 – $20,000
- Rhinoplasty $3,000 – $11,500
- Brow Lift $6,000 – $8,125
- Blepharoplasty (eyelids) $1,800 – $6,500
You can see there is a broad range of fees for each service. Keep in mind, your circumstances and surgery are unique to you. The best way to find out the exact costs that apply to you is to schedule a consultation with your doctor and discuss the costs and fees.
Top Three Considerations When Selecting Your Plastic Surgeon – Financing Options is not one of Them
Here are the Top Considerations in selecting a plastic surgeon Experience, Results, Specialization. There are extremely qualified, successful, experienced doctors that charge reasonable fees. Conversely, there are surgeons with very high fees that do not have equivalent or superior Experience, Results & Specialization. The fee is not always equivalent to Quality, Experience & Results.
We cannot overstate the value of an experienced surgeon that has years of education, training, and experience, along with excellent results in a specialized area of expertise. For my patients, I, as a facial plastic surgeon, remind them that this is your face and your health. Select a highly skilled surgeon with an excellent track record to care for you in this procedure. This is not the time to ‘bundle services’ or shop discounts or price. And, as we mentioned, because a surgeon is the most expensive does not mean they are the best for your procedure. We have met with patients that have had very poor results after “picking the most expensive surgeon in Beverly Hills” or “saving time and money by having my breasts and my brow done simultaneously”.
Read my blog Plastic Surgeon Selection Cheat Sheet for an in depth review of considerations when selecting your plastic surgeon.
Financing Options for Your Plastic Surgery
What are your options for financing your plastic surgery? Here are tips and options that are commonly used by patients. We are not endorsing one payment method over another, nor are we suggesting that these options are appropriate for your circumstances. Only you can determine the best solution given your personal financial situation.
Unsecured Medical Credit Cards
These are relatively new financing options for patients to cover the costs of plastic surgery. And, with the rise in plastic surgery procedures, these cards have become very popular as an alternative to financing the significant expense of cosmetic surgery. A popular medical credit card is CareCredit and there are others. These cards typically offer 0% promotions and can offer reasonable interest rates and repayment plans. They are a credit card and will affect your credit rating. There has been some bad press on some of these cards recently related to bad practices allegations. Investigate the rules and stipulations carefully and always read the fine print.
Regular Credit Cards
Another financing option is to use a regular credit card. There are many considerations in choosing this option, such as your credit rating, use of available credit, and interest rates.
Home Equity Line of Credit
A home equity loan or line of credit is a loan against the equity of your house. New Jersey certified financial planner, John M. Egan states, “Using a home equity loan can get people into financial trouble. However, some of our clients have used a home equity loan for plastic surgery because the interest rates are very low — but as a last resort.”
Patients share that they created a ‘plastic surgery savings fund’. They set aside money not earmarked for emergencies to pay for their plastic surgery procedure.
Often a patient’s plastic surgery is paid for in part or entirely by a spouse, relative or friend as a gift.
These are loans made by friends or family members with funds to spare. This offers flexible repayment plans, but can tax a relationship also.
Financing Options – The Surgeon’s Advice
Here is an important note to the financing decisions each patient faces in paying for their plastic surgery:
Dr. Ariel Rad, former director of aesthetic plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore cautions, “A surgeon’s job is not to determine whether a patient can afford the procedures, but rather to communicate whether the procedures can achieve the patient’s goals. Patients should take a step back after the consultation and ask, ‘ What procedures do I really want or need? and What amount can I really afford?’ ”
Research for this article included material from Financing Plastic Surgery: 10 Options, by Emma Johnson, March 20, 2017 and RealSelf.
Dr. Robert H. Woods is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon with 20+ years of experience as an ENT and Facial Plastic Surgeon. He is head of the ENT Department of Honor Health, Shea Hospital. Read more about Dr. Woods.