Cosmetic Surgery Gift Giving?

My mom is in her late 50s, and her age is really starting to show. Is it appropriate to give cosmetic surgery or treatments as a gift? Do doctors or spas even sell cosmetic "gift certificates?"

Doctor Answers 9

Great Gift


Giving a gift of cosmetic surgery is a very nice gesture. However, the specific procedure really cannot be determined until your mom has had a full consultation with her plastic surgeon.

The prices vary widely depending on which procedures are indicated. Some offices and spas do offer gift certificates. These are good for skin care services and products (skin peels, creams, etc).

Perhaps is would be nice to make her a consultation appointment with a local plastic surgeon, pay for the appointment (if they charge you), and let her know that you would like to help her out financially if she chooses to have surgery or some other procedure.

I hope this is helpful.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Cosmetic Gift Giving is Popular: Gift Certificates for Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic gift giving is well intentioned but difficult. A plastic surgeon should be chosen not only based on credentials, but also based on the warm interaction between patient and physician. Aside from generic facial packages or skin treatments, more invasive procedures should be scheduled and chosen by the patient after meeting with a plastic surgoen.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

It's the thought that counts- keep your mom involved

I think your desire to give your mom the gift of looking younger is great- and shared by many sons and daughters this time of year. You'll want to be sure that she is involved in the process from the start, so that she is comfortable with the experience and feels positive about your gift, rather than risk her feeling like she was obliged to politely accept- this is as much an ethical concern as it is a matter of thoughtfulness.

I would suggest doing some research on the Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in your area. Give your mom a card or token describing your wish to help her achieve the more youthful look she remembers, and then make it a fun experience the two of you can share- schedule a consultation with the surgeon you chose, go with her to the consultation, help her plan for her big day, and if possible and necessary, help her during her recovery.

When all is said and done, you will both have fond memories of the gift.

Happy Holidays!

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Maybe give her something generic


This can be a slippery slope of sorts as you don't want her to look at the gift in a pejorative way, but if done carefully it can work well.

I have had people give chemical peels or "light" stuff that can be looked at as "maintenance" or skin care. It is like you are saying: "I just wanted to help you with that sun damage." Then she can decide if she wants to advance toward "real surgery."

Every office/practice handles the logistics differently.

Happy Holidays!

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

You simply want to pay for your mother's treatment, which is great

Dear tridelt92,

(I am a delt myself.)

PROMOTIONAL gift giving of plastic surgery procedures is unethical and outlawed by the national societies. But, of course, this is not what you are talking about.

Go about finding a plastic surgeon as if it were for yourself. A referral from a happy patient is great. Look for credentials, experience in cosmetic surgery, board certification. Then take your mother and make sure she listens to the plastic surgeon. She is the patient and you will pay the fees.

Of course you should not tell your mother what she needs, but you sound much too sensible to do that.

Good luck!

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Cosmetic surgery: the gift that keeps giving!

First of all, what a nice daughter you are to do something for your mother that she wouldn’t do for herself! I agree with the other physicians’ comments. It is very important to choose a reputable, board certified plastic surgeon in your area. Visit websites to find expert surgeons, and choose someone with experience and knowledge in the areas you think your mother may be interested in.

The consultation process is very important. Like Dr. Williams said, it is important to visit a surgeon who will give your mom the time and attention she deserves, ESPECIALLY if she is hesitant about procedures in the first place. Since cosmetic costs vary greatly (anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a non-surgical procedure to several thousand for a more invasive surgery).

I would advise against purchasing a gift certificate without knowing the amount you’d like to spend. Accompany your mother to the consultation and determine your financial plan at that point. Thank you for your question, and have a wonderful holiday season!

Stephen A. Goldstein, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Be sure to give the right gift!

Plastic surgery is being given as a gift more and more commonly.

But be sure to use care in picking a plastic surgeon for your mom.

#1 Choose a board certified plastic surgeon (certifed by the American Board of Plastic Surgery).

#2 Choose someone that can take the time to talk to your mother about concerns and interests she may have. Nothing is more frustrating than a quick 5 minute consultation when a patient has many questions.

#3 Choose someone that has experience in procedures that your mother may be interested in.

I hope this helps! Happy holidays.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Give her the consultation and go with her

The best thing you could do is to research the very best Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area and set up a consultation for your mom. Go with her and find out what would be the best treatments and or surgery for her. Then, assist in the fees if you choose to do so.

Finding her the best doctor and helping her get a wonderful rejuvenation would be a truly great gift.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Mom's gift

The best way to handle this is to go for a consultation with her and see what she needs and is willing to have.   Then see what you are willing to spend on this very generous gift.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 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.