Financial Issues Part 1
Consider several financial issues before committing to cosmetic surgery. The most obvious concern is whether you can afford it. Then, does the amount spent correlate with the results obtained? Does it make sense to shop around for the best price? What costs are involved? How can cosmetic surgery be financed? Are there circumstances when insurance pays the bills?
Cosmetic Surgery Is a Luxury Item
The cost of the cosmetic procedures ranges from $60 to $25,000. At least some procedures are within reach of many people. This explains the rise in popularity of cosmetic procedures among all levels of wage earners. High or low, the cost of cosmetic surgery should be considered in the same light as other luxuries—items you do not need to survive. A trip to the Bahamas, a television set, a fur coat, jewelry, and a candy bar are all examples of luxury items. Although most people can afford inexpensive luxury items, most financial advisors recommend against buying high-end luxury items unless you have sufficient funds available to pay for them. It simply does not make sense to get a face-lift when you are struggling to pay for housing or health insurance.
Justifying the Cost
Some people justify cosmetic surgery by figuring the monthly cost over the time they will have the improvement. For example, the average fee for a facelift is $8,000. Since a face-lift may last 7 to 10 years, the cost can be broken down accordingly: $8,000 divided by 120 months (assuming 10 years) equals $67 per month. The same amount can be spent on monthly facials, which do little to turn back the clock. Similarly, liposuction of the abdomen and hips may cost $6,800 and permanently removes fat cells. The average liposuction patient is 35 years old and can expect to live another 40 years. The cost of liposuction over a lifetime therefore may be $14 per month ($6,800 divided by 480 months). Some people spend more money on their appearance through health club memberships, diet books, medications, and home exercise equipment, yet they remain unable to lose diet-resistant fat. This is not to suggest that liposuction should be performed in lieu of diet and exercise, because the latter clearly offer benefits that liposuction does not. It simply compares the monthly costs of cosmetic surgery and of other things that improve how you look and feel.
Justifying the cost of cosmetic surgery in this way is not necessarily helpful. The best approach is to decide if you have the funds available and whether you want to spend them on cosmetic surgery or another luxury item.
Quality and Price
In the arena of cosmetic surgery, quality and price may correlate, but often do not. The best surgeons may perform quality surgery, develop favorable reputations, and become busy. They then raise prices in response to greater demand. A higher fee, however, does not guarantee a good result. Neither does a lower fee necessarily indicate lesser quality or experience in the realm of cosmetic surgery.
Shopping around for the best price makes sense when you are purchasing a particular model of a new car, because the car will be the same at every dealer. Such is not the case with plastic surgery. Avoid the mistake of choosing your surgeon based on cost. Rather, find a plastic surgeon who is well trained, who puts you at ease, and who has earned your trust. If you are satisfied with the first plastic surgeon you see, then there is no need to see a second. If you see more than one surgeon, base your decision on quality and rapport, not price.