No Black Friday Here - 'Discount' Cosmetic Surgery May Cost More
Varci Vartanian on 29 Nov 2013 at 9:00am
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
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."