No Black Friday Here - 'Discount' Cosmetic Surgery May Cost More

VVartanian on 29 Nov 2013 at 9:00am

black friday tags

We all love a rock-bottom Black Friday discount. Heck, this year, scores of stores were open on Thanksgiving -- just so shoppers could scoop up ultra early-bird deals on laptops and HDTVs.

That said, although the allure of an in-store "steal" is irresistible, when it comes to plastic surgery -- cutting costs may actually cost you more. Sylvia Silvestri, a.k.a. Beverly Hills RN, who's spent the last two decades in the OR with surgeons like Dr. Jason Diamond, offers some expert insight on "sale-priced" cosmetic surgery.

Beware of $2995 breast augmentation

Even when you're bored-to-the-gills stuck in after-work traffic -- you're being targeted as a cosmetic surgery shopper. We've all seen a freeway billboard (or two) advertising breast implants or liposuction at a rock-bottom rate.

Sylvia says to approach a surgeon advertising breast augmentation for only $2995 with some skepticism. "Remember, there are actually three fees -- an anesthesia fee, the OR fee and the surgeon's fee. And the breast implants alone cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500. So this should make you wonder if the surgeon is making any money at all. $2,995 might not be the full price of the procedure."

Look closely at that Groupon for laser hair removal

black friday sale tags on pink piggy bank

Before you whip our your credit card (anticipating warm July sand under your bikini-wrapped butt) -- investigate who will be doing your service. Says Sylvia, "Some medi-spas don't have physician on-site and have registered nurses that are not fully supervised. Consumers don't realize that they have to see a physician or nurse practitioner first. These [facilities] have been cracked down on recently." 

So, take the extra second to check credentials to avoid getting burned (both literally and financially). Says Sylvia, "I've seen 2nd and 3rd degree burns from laser treatments being done by someone who was not properly educated or trained. You end up spending more in the long run, because you have to see another specialist for your burn. It's upsetting, expensive and painful."

Don't sacrifice safety to save a buck on Botox

Sylvia also warns that a low low price could mean costs cut elsewhere -- maybe even in a place that can sacrifice your safety. For example, last winter, the FDA warned more than 350 medical practices that Botox received from a Canadian pharmacy was unapproved and could be counterfeit or unsafe.

"People were using it because it was cheaper to purchase. Everyone knows that a vial of Botox from Allergan costs about $500. So if they are advertising it for an insanely cheap amount -- why is that? You have to wonder."

And, as always, trust your gut as the golden rule

If you're getting a leery feeling or even a bit uncomfortable at your first visit -- take it as a red flag. In fact, Sylvia says it's a good practice to see 2 to 4 surgeons before settling on the one you want. "This goes for all the sales, deals and discounts, " says Sylvia, "if something is too good to be true -- it usually is."

Want more info a choosing qualified board-certified surgeon for your next cosmetic procedure? Click here!

Comments (5)

Fantastic article. I have seen so many botched jobs as a result of resorting to a "discount" plastic surgery. My surgeon is slightly higher than some of the others I have consulted with. I did a thorough check on him, and he seem to be reputable. While some of the unconventional ways of collecting funds to fund your surgery have gained bad press, there are some reputable ways to "panhandle" or win contest to fund your plastic surgery. I have read about a few women that were able to fully fund their surgery on My Free Implants. Kudos to them. Recently in my home town they did a raffle when the winner took home a $6000 check to a board certified plastic surgeon of their choice. I recently entered a essay contest to win my share of $7500 to assist in funding my tummy tuck. While the ad suggest you don't have to be an English major to win for a $40 entry fee I am willing to take my chances...Wish me luck!!!
This is an excellent article. Thank you for posting it. Sometimes low prices mean hidden costs, other times, low prices on plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures may mean that quality and safety is compromised.

Thanks for reading, Dr. Law!  Appreciate your insight!

Excellent article. The retail mentality does not apply to plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments. They are healthcare treatments, and decidedly different from buying a suit or pair of shoes.

Thank you for taking the time to read it!  Agreed that when needles and scalpels come into play -- safety is first.