*WARNING* – Sensitive Area : We don’t mean a body part, or anatomical function of a delicate nature. We’re talking about people’s finances. And there’s really no more delicate area than that.
You’d love to have some nips or tucks or lifts. And you need to ask the single most popular question in all of Cosmetic Surgery: “How much does it cost?”
THE BIG MYTH: ONLY RICH PEOPLE GET or CAN AFFORD COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Simply not true. In fact, the vast majority of people who undergo any type of cosmetic surgery, are working adults of moderate income who plan ahead, or finance these procedures, the way they would with any other significant investment or purchase.
SO- HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Potential patients are very savvy these days, and can get lots of information with the click of a mouse. What you’ll find though, is that you have to search the right way. If you do a basic search for “Breast Augmentation Costs” for instance, you’ll see a global array of prices and advertisements. That’s a fast dive into confusion and frustration.
At the time of your consultation in our office, you’ll be given a quote for your cosmetic surgery procedure. Individual doctors, and broad-based websites such as Healthcare Bluebook.com, will often give you ‘ballpark’ estimates of various surgeries- a range of costs from the simplest and least, to the most complicated and costly version of that particular case.
Here’s what you need to know:
- What does the estimate include? For example, does the fee you’ve been quoted for a Breast Augmentation include only the doctor’s surgery fee, or the other associated costs?
WHAT ARE THE ‘OTHER’ COSTS?
- In addition to the cost for the doctor’s time and expertise, a surgery such as a breast augmentation carries costs for the following:
** SURGICAL FACILITY (INCLUDING NURSES, TECHS, ETC.)
** MATERIALS, POST-SURGICAL GARMENTS, PRESCRIPTIONS
** POST-SURGICAL VISITS (these are almost always considered part of the Doctor’s surgery fee)
- How long will your surgery take? That will also figure into your surgical fee.
- Is your surgery simple, or complex? (simple Tummy Tuck or extended? One procedure, or a combination?)
WILL INSURANCE PAY FOR COSMETIC SURGERY?
In general, cosmetic surgery is considered elective surgery, and insurance companies do not cover it. There are exceptions in some cases where the lines are blurred. Some eyelid surgeries may be considered medically necessary. And, Breast Reconstruction following Mastectomy is something that is covered by insurance. Have a discussion with your insurance carrier about what might be available to you.
WHAT KIND OF PAYMENTS OR PLANS ARE AVAILABLE?
A hot topic in San Jose, cosmetic surgery payment plans are widely available. Plastic Surgeons today are well aware of the difficulties and financial burdens faced by their patients. Most have a list of finance companies they work with and trust, which specialize in medical procedure financing. You apply just as you would for other kinds of credit.
Patients also make cash or credit card payments. Don’t be afraid to discuss your needs and situation with the Doctor’s staff. Most have a wealth of experience in this area, and will be happy to take the time to help you.
Please be prepared to pay a non-refundable fee at the time you schedule your surgery. This is applied to your overall surgical cost, and would offset the charges the doctor would incur, should you suddenly cancel.
WHAT ABOUT COSMETIC SURGERY CONSULTATIONS?
In my office, and in many others, a cosmetic surgery consultation is offered free of charge to prospective patients. It’s a great way for a patient to get to know the doctor, to have questions answered, and to get a true quote for the cost of a procedure for your individual case.
In return for the free services offered, please be mindful of the length of your visit, and most important, please keep your consultation appointment. Remember, the doctor and his staff have blocked out that time for you.
ARE THERE “BARGAIN” SURGERIES?
As we’ve said, we encourage you to have a frank talk with your doctor about costs, and your financial comfort level. That doesn’t guarantee your doctor will “negotiate” or get into a bidding war with other quotes you may have found. However, open, honest dialogue is always best.
– Please be cautious about surgery quotes that sound “too good to be true.”
– Sometimes, doctors will base an especially low fee on the use of “local anesthesia” – even for a significant surgery. We urge you to think carefully and cautiously.
– “Cosmetic Surgery Tourism” is big business nowadays, because it seems to be less costly. Please beware. We recommend that you read information on the topic provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
– As always, we advise seeking a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. You should choose treatment based on skill, experience, and training. More than likely, cosmetic surgery is within your reach. Do some research, make an appointment, and plan ahead to achieve your cosmetic goals.
( Dr. Vincent Lepore is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, serving San Jose, Los Gatos, Cupertino, and all of the Bay Area. Dr. Lepore is expert in all areas of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery. For your convenience, most of his surgeries are performed in his on-site AAAASF-Certified outpatient surgical facility. Many of his patients take advantage of his longstanding relationships with a number of Medical Financing companies. ) Have a question- or wish to schedule a consultation? Please call us at 408-356-4241.