Cosmetic surgery is an investment that most patients agree is totally worth it—there’s no substitute for feeling confident and loving your appearance. But what if you are ready to have your procedure (and you finally have vacation days to use for recovery), but your bank account isn’t quite in the same boat?
The financial aspect of cosmetic surgery is a common concern among patients; because cosmetic procedures are elective, you’ll be paying entirely out of pocket. But it is possible to fit plastic surgery into most budgets. All it takes is some smart strategy and a little patience.
First things first. Don’t bargain on your safety & appearance
Choose a qualified, experienced board certified or board eligible plastic surgeon who operates in an accredited surgical facility that is fully equipped for emergency situations and works with a trained, qualified support team, including a board certified anesthesiologist. Period. Never settle for a doctor that does not meet these requirements—it’s simply not worth the risk, even if it means waiting to have your procedure. Why is board certification so important? Unfortunately, not everyone who calls themselves a “cosmetic surgeon” is appropriately trained, and often those who offer discount pricing are cutting corners on safety.
Cosmetic surgery is a major investment. But with some smart strategy and a little patience, you can fit the procedures you want into your budget—without compromising on your safety or results.
Moreover, you’re making changes to your body that will last for years, if not a lifetime, so a surgeon’s skill, experience and proven ability to achieve results that you love are more important than any cost savings.
With these crucial points in mind, let’s look at some smart tactics you can take to help ensure you get the safe surgery and great results you deserve at a manageable price.
1. Sign up for specials
Did you know that many practices regularly run specials on skin care, injectables, and even plastic surgery? If you have already found a promising provider, staying in the loop on upcoming specials can potentially help you save hundreds of dollars. Typically, all you have to do is sign up for the practice’s email newsletter to get first word of new specials.
Aesthetic manufacturers also run their own savings programs that you can sign up for, usually for free. For example, with Allergan’s Brilliant Distinctions, you get exclusive deals and earn points to use as credit toward future BOTOX injections, skin care, breast implants, and other treatments.
2. Get a discount for your military service
Are you or your spouse an active or retired service member? Check and see if the plastic surgeons on your short list offer a military discount on cosmetic procedures—many do! For example, here at Center for Plastic Surgery, active and retired US military and their spouses can receive 10% off surgeon’s fees with a valid military ID.
3. Take advantage of cosmetic surgery financing
If you prefer not to pay in a lump sum, the right financing plan can help you pay for your procedure in monthly installments. In fact, a large portion of cosmetic surgery patients choose to finance their procedures simply because it is convenient and easy to do—and most practices will help you sort out the details. If you have good credit, you can usually get very low interest rates or even an interest-free period to keep additional costs to a minimum.
Most plastic surgery financing plans work like a credit card. You choose the amount of credit you need, and pay a minimum monthly amount until your procedure is paid off. Ask your surgeon or look on their website to find out what cosmetic surgery financing options you have.
4. Or, put away the plastic
Did you know that it saves a business money when you pay in cash instead of using plastic? As such, some practices may be willing to offer you a modest discount on procedure costs if you pay directly in cash. To find out, just ask your patient coordinator or the practice’s financing specialist.
5. Bundle procedures into one surgery day
Trying to decide between breast augmentation and tummy tuck surgery? A “pick one” approach might cost less in the short term, but if deep down you really want both procedures, consider the benefits of getting both at once. Not only will you get more satisfying results with only one recovery period (and less total time off work), but you’ll only need to pay operating room and anesthesia fees once, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.
6. Find ways to save outside the operating room
Don’t forget about peripheral costs associated with cosmetic surgery, which you have a lot more control over. Try to cut spending in the easy ways so you don’t feel deprived. A few ideas:
- Try to book your procedure around a holiday that you already have off to avoid taking more time off work than necessary.
- Plan ahead to eat during your recovery. You won’t feel like cooking for a few days after surgery (and it may be off-limits anyway), but the price of multiple take-out meals can quickly add up. Before your procedure, cook healthy casseroles, soups, or other dishes and freeze them in meal-sized portions.
- Enlist family members or barter with friends for childcare (and you-care) after your surgery, instead of hiring a babysitter or paying for camp or daycare during this time.
- Redirect daily spending money into cosmetic surgery savings. Do you drop $4 on a latte every day? Consider this: if you instead put that latte money into a jar, after 6 months you’ll have $728 more to put towards your appearance goals.
Plastic surgery deals that aren’t
As you research how save on plastic surgery, you’ll probably come across some suggestions that seem iffy. Trust your gut. We recommend against choosing a doctor based on online deals or agreeing to cheaper surgery from an inexperienced surgeon in exchange for being an “example” of his or her work.
Also, beware of cheap offshore “medical tourism.” Many countries do not require the same standards for safety and hygiene that you will find in the U.S. And, if complications should occur, you may have little to no recourse, possibly subjecting yourself to even greater costs to have a qualified doctor correct the issue. If you haven’t found a plastic surgeon in your town whom you love, it’s fine to expand your search to other cities within the U.S. Many highly reputable surgeons are used to serving out-of-town patients and can help you find local accommodation, transportation, and post-op care.
Considering cosmetic surgery in Washington, DC? A consultation with our experienced team won’t cost you a cent.
We hope you’ve gotten some good ideas from the tips above, but the best way to learn about the costs and benefits of cosmetic surgery is to talk with a reputable plastic surgeon, who can assess your needs and goals and provide accurate, honest information about your procedure options.
At Center for Plastic Surgery, our plastic surgeons offer cosmetic consultations free of charge—we believe your consultation should be a time to get to know our practice, learn about your options, and ask questions without feeling any pressure. To schedule, please call or contact us online. We look forward to helping you take the next step toward a look you’ll love.