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Why Does a Face Lift Have to Cost So Much Money?

So many people would love to have this procedure done but they just don't have these kinds of funds. Is there a real reason why it has to be so so very expensive??? I guess you could say it is only for the rich people, and again the heck with the low income and poor people.

Doctor Answers (23)

Facelifts are not expensive

+6
People have their priorities when it comes to spending their money. I know people who spend $10 a day on cigarettes which is about $3650 a year. Others may spend $100 a week trying to win the lottery. It all comes down to your own vices. Most of my facelift patients are not rich. They either have saved for years or found a way to finance it. Quality care is not cheap. Operating room fees, anesthesia and surgery is not without cost. It's up to you as to wether it is important enough to make sacrifices in order get something you want badly enough. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford it. There are many things in life that many of us will never be able to afford.


Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Low cost facelift!

+5

You can always find a bargain, but what you get is often what you pay for! No where is this more true than in elective cosmetic surgery. Too many doctors take weekend courses in facelifting techniques and think they are then qualified to "practice" on your face. All you need is a severed branch of your facial nerve causing permanent stroke-like paralysis (loss of the ability to smile or close your eyelids, for example) to make you understand that cosmetic surgery is REAL surgery, and best performed by a doctor with full training in plastic surgery and certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Considering what you get for the money you pay, a facelift is a significantly-better investment than a new car. The car can break down, rust out, have any number of mechanical problems, and needs constant upkeep and ongoing investment, and still they wear out after 5 years or so. And most of us pay far more for a much-less reliable piece of machinery multiple times throughout our lives, whereas most patients have one facelift and that's it!

This isn't about being only for "the rich" and saying "the heck" with low income or poor people. Over 1/3 of all plastic surgeons travel to third world countries and perform free cleft lip and palate surgery for the most desperately poor people on our planet (You are "rich" compared to these people, who often walk miles to have their child evaluated for possible reconstructive surgery so they can eat and speak like you), and many others perform charitable works for less-fortunate people here at home.

I'm sorry you feel compelled to complain about this. If wanting was the same as deserving, we would all eat steak, drive Cadillacs, and live in the suburbs. All the men would be strong, the women beautiful, and the children above-average. (credit Garrison Keillor)

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Do facelifts need to be expensive?

+3

The marketplace punishes surgeons who charge too little.  Many people believe that they must pay top dollar to get "the best", and are only satisfied by what they perceive to be the best possible result.  If you can avoid this mentality, you can save some money AND find a surgeon who provides real value.

Consider contacting University plastic surgery departments, as many training programs offer discount surgery performed by Surgical trainees (residents) under supervision by faculty plastic surgeons.

Michael Kreidstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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Not just for "the rich"

+2

Most of my patients are not "the rich" they are hard working individuals who feel strongly about investing in their appearance.  Many of my patients have saved for years to be able to afford the operation.  Think of it in terms of an investment that is spaced out over many years.  We all make choices in terms of clothing, hair, jewelry, makeup, cars, etc. based on our priorities.  If this is a priority for you, develop a plan to make it happen.  For those who are struggling to survive, then cosmetic surgery (or most indulgences) are not a good idea.

Once you get to the point of deciding to have something like a facelift done, get several consultations and make your choice based on who you trust will take the best care of you and give you the results you desire, not on cost.  If the surgeon you prefer is out of your range, try to work out financing or negotiate terms that will work for you.  I would discourage you from settling for less when it comes to your face.

If your question is really asking why a facelift must cost what it does, consider that those of us who practice in the art of plastic surgery value are work not just for the labor but for the knowledge it takes to perform the procedure properly and with invisible incisions and the effort it has taken for us to dedicate our lives to this pursuit.  

Each surgeon has within them only a limited number of this type of operation in their career.  Most surgeons support a practice with employees, rent, and extensive overhead.  This operation is not just something someone "whips up" but takes time in pre-operative planning, about 4 hours during surgery (when performing a proper lift with SMAS lifting and neck/platysmal work) and multiple visits postoperatively for proper after care.  Additionally, an anesthesiologist and surgery center with well-trained staff also contribute to the cost of the operation and are generally non-negotiable.

The bottom line is, like many things in life, something valuable costs more.  The reason a facelift is valuable is because not just anybody can perform it right, and those who can work very hard to continue to be able to do it.  

Paul K. Holden, MD
Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Cost of facelifts, please get three opinions

+2

Facelifts are not too expensive when compared with cosmetic procedures that require significant time in the operating room.  The total cost of a procedure includes the experience level of the surgeon, estimated operating time, and requirements for post-operative care.  The gold standard facelift with platysma work, some fat grafting, and liposuction can usually take around four hours.  There are several regularly scheduled visits for several years after your surgery.  I think you'll find that the cost is minimal in comparison to the importance of your results.

Please get three references prior to surgery.  This will allow you to be very informed about both the science as well as the finances involved.  Patients should find relative agreement among specialists.  Often times patients come for consultations after bargain lifts and there is little that I can do.  Take your time and make sure you are comfortable.

Best wishes,

Dr. Hobgood

Todd Christopher Hobgood, MD
Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Why Does a Face Lift Have to Cost So Much Money?

+2

If you obtain at least 3 boarded opinions from PSs in your area and the fees are within 20% of each other. Than these are the standard fees for your area. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Affordable face lift

+2

I happen to agree with you Aquarius.

Just because it takes us Board Certified Plastic surgeons many years of training to become the highly skilled professionals that we are does not give us a license to overcharge for our services. I happen to believe that plastic surgery should be affordable to anyone and everyone regardless of social or economic status. That does not imply that you will receive sub-standard care in any way shape or form. I take all my patients to fully accredited surgi-centers and hospitals. I have been in private practice for many years and I am fortunate to have established special rates at  these highly rated facilities. Good luck to you, Dr H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

Facelift cost

+1
Your are right. A good facelift isn't cheap, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune either.  A well done basic facelift should be around $7500.  If you add other things to that it can add up pretty quickly.  For example expect another $4000 to have your upper and lower lids done as well.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

High Cost of Facelifts

+1

Surgical Fees vary greatly across the country and even in the same city. Some surgeons will structure fees to promote themselves to a certain class of people; however, most surgeons try to price it so that it will appeal to the most number of people while covering high costs related to anesthesia and the facility.  If you search well, you may be surprised to find that there are surgeons who may fit your budget as well as deliver the results that you seek.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

A good face lift does cost more

+1

One of the main factors is that you have to make sure you are comparing apples with apples.

For example if a 60 year old woman goes to an experienced face lift surgeon she may receive a shocking face lift estimate of $25-30k but this will include:

Brow lift
Eyelid lift
Facial fat grafting to multiple regions
Deep plane face lift
Neck lift with platysmaplasty

The same woman may go to one of the face lift Mills that advertise on TV and may get a price quote for $5k for a ‘face lift’.  This may seem like a great deal but when you break it down:

Brow lift → not performed
Eyelid lift → not performed
Facial fat grafting → not performed
Deep plane face lift →  not performed (a mini lift performed instead)
Neck lift with platysmaplasty → not performed

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.