Plastic Surgery Costs: Myths Debunked

question markQuestions about the prices of various plastic surgery procedures are the most common ones we receive, and for good reason — it is not inexpensive. Because there is very little information readily available about the cost of cosmetic surgery, it’s understandable that so much misinformation has sprung up around the subject. So, we think it’s time to help clear up some of the myths around plastic surgery’s cost.

Myth: Most people who have plastic surgery are rich.

man with money
Actual photo of one of our patients…Okay not really.

Reality: If this was true, we’d have been looking for new jobs a long time ago! The vast majority of people who elect to undergo plastic surgery are definitely not rich. However, most do view it as an investment in themselves. That means they either set aside the money in advance, saving over time in order to pay for the procedure or procedures all at once, or, they elect one of the many payment plans available that allow them to pay most fees after surgery has been completed, over a set period of time, and with low or no interest. Some choose a combination of the two, paying some up front, and financing the rest.

Myth: Plastic surgery should be cheaper than it is.

Reality: If you think about it, almost any category of product or service available can be had inexpensively. Furniture, clothing, food…you name it. But there are no investment-quality products or services that can be acquired cheaply. Plastic surgery, like a solid house or a dependable car, is absolutely an investment, only in yourself; one that will be with you for the rest of your life. And, with luck, longer than a car or even a house.

Ikea Furniture Ad
Yes, this is a real ad from Ikea.

Ikea furniture is great, but it’s never going to be a family heirloom. We love our H&M t-shirts, too, but we aren’t going to pass them down to our grandchildren. But our bodies, our health and our happiness? They are with us forever. If there’s any area in which you want to choose the absolute best quality you can, it’s healthcare, and in particular, surgical care.

And, quite frankly, there is such a thing as “cheap” (or at least, cheap-er) plastic surgery. However, if you price compare board-certified plastic surgeons, practicing only in partner hospitals (not in clinics) and in the same geographic area, you’ll find that there aren’t huge differences between them. The deciding factor almost always comes down to how the surgeon and their staff makes you feel (which should be respected, cared for, and listened to!).

Myth: Plastic surgeons charge for consultations.

Reality: Well, this one is partially true. There are some surgeons who do charge for consultations, but in our experience, most do not. The few that do tend to be on the “celebrity surgeon” side of things. And that’s fine. But it’s not how the majority of surgeons operate, including Panacea’s doctors, Dr. Kimberly Singh & Dr. Nour Abboushi. Our surgeons never charge for plastic surgery consults; they are always complimentary.

Myth: Post-op plastic surgery care costs aren’t always included.

american moneyReality: This one can also be true at times, but most surgeons do try their best to be as transparent as possible regarding the total cost of a plastic surgery procedure. At Panacea, we use an all-inclusive model, which means that just about every single cost — pre-op visits, lab tests, hospital fees, surgical fees, anesthesiology fees, a compression garment (if needed) and post-op visits (there are many!) are all built into the price our patients are given.

The only costs not built-in to the pricing, all of which which are explained in advance, are additional compression garments (if desired), post-op medications (which we call in several days before surgery), and any post-operative supplies suggested or required for at-home care of incision sites, like gauze, antibiotic ointment or bandages. Depending on the pharmacy coverage, we generally say that outside costs, if including an extra compression garment, will run between $100-$250.

Myth: Plastic surgery performed in an onsite clinic is cheaper than hospital plastic surgery.

first aid heartReality: For better or for worse (and it’s usually not the former), this is quite often true. And like most things that can be had in less-expensive versions, there’s a reason for the cheaper price tag; in this case, it’s because clinic plastic surgery simply isn’t as safe. Plastic surgery performed in a hospital setting allows for better and more extensive care than surgery completed in an onsite clinic. There is greater access to emergency care and equipment to handle serious medical problems, in the exceptionally rare case that it’s needed. It’s why Dr. Singh and Dr. Abboushi only perform major surgery in their partner hospitals. In fact, they perform nearly every surgical procedure together, as a team — a practice that is practically unheard of in their field.

Myth: Doctors must be plastic surgeons in order to perform plastic surgery so experience shouldn’t affect cost.

confused woman
I know. We think it’s crazy, too.

Reality: Nope. They really don’t. They don’t even have be surgeons! They do have to be medical doctors, but that’s it. This is another reason why many onsite plastic surgery clinics are less expensive — sometimes disturbingly so — than those practices that only perform major surgery in hospitals. Accredited hospitals don’t allow untrained doctors to perform plastic surgery at their facilities, ever. Clinics, on the other hand, are subject to very different rules, and the result can be a lack of quality and safety.

The extra training required to become not just a plastic surgeon, but a board-certified one who also has hospital privileges, is what makes someone an expert in their field; one who also puts patient safety first. Paying for this expert care is part of the investment you’re making in yourself. This is not an area where relative cheapness should ever be the deciding factor.

The Cost of Plastic Surgery Procedures

Hopefully, the information shared above is helpful for understanding the price of plastic surgery. Our doctors understand it’s a serious commitment — financially and health-wise — and it’s important to them and the rest of Panacea’s staff that patients have all the information they need in order to make the decision that’s right for them.

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