Is It Customary to Pay for the Initial Consultation (Breast Augmentation)?

Hi! Everyone says you should check out 3 or 4 plastic surgeons before deciding on someone to perform the surgery on you. But is it customary to pay for an initial consultation? Some of the surgeons charge quite some money for their consultations and since I am only going to chose one to perform surgery on me .. well, it adds up! Thank you in advance for all your anwers!

Doctor Answers 19

Depends on each surgeon

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This depends on the surgeon. Some surgeons request payment for the consultation and some don't. Either way, if a fee is paid then it's usually put toward the surgery if you decide to go with them.

Is there a charge for Breast Augmentation Consultation.

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Prior to the 2008 economic downturn, most board certified plastic surgeons charged for cosmetic consultations. After 2008, Plastic Surgeons became one of the few specialites where some of its members did not to charge for their time at the initial consultation or else simply applied it to the surgeon's fee. The reason is that during the economic downturn a tremendous amount of non-board certified plastic surgeons doing cosmetic surgery did not charge so that the public was directed towards less trained individuals. This circumstance continues to this day.

Our office presently does not charge for the first cosmetic consultation but we still charge for reconstruction consultations.

Cunsultation fees

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Some plastic surgeons charge an initial consultation fee and others do not. For those who do you should find out if the fee will be put toward the cost of your surgery.  Surgeons are allowed to have whatever policy they want regarding this just like you are entitled to decide whether you will only consult with  plastic surgeons who give free consultations. Just be aware that charging a consultation fee does not indicate that the surgeon is better than one who does not charge  a fee, but that is what they want you to believe. Think about it.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Should I Pay For A Cosmetic Consultation?

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There are many policies regarding consultation fees. Some practices will apply your fee to the cost of the surgery if you schedule with them, others do not. I understand why a practice may charge a fee, you are paying for the doctor's time and knowledge. I have chosen not to charge a fee for the very reason you mention. It discourages patients from seeking other opinions and it also limits the number of doctors they may choose to see and may have surgery with a surgeon that may not be the best fit for them. We have found that patients are very appreciative of our policy to spend time with them while they are in their decision making process. What happens if you want to see the surgeon again or have more questions before you've made up your mind? Will you be charged another fee? Again, most patients prefer an open door policy with their surgeon and this is why we do not charge a fee. Good luck.

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Paying for your Breast Augmentation Consultation

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Yes, it is customary for you to pay for the initial consultation for breast augmentation. You are paying for the time and expertise of the plastic surgeon.  However, many times (as is the case at my office) the doctor may apply the funds that you paid for the consultation toward the cost of the surgery when you sign up for surgery. So in a way, if you sign up for surgery, the consulation is "free," but if you don't, you will not get a refund and you have paid for the doctor's time, expertise, exam, and counseling regarding the risks, benefits, and recovery from surgery. Other offices may have a different policy and that is okay too.  I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

Fees for consultations

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Offices have different policies regarding fees for cosmetic surgery consultations.  I have practiced on both sides of this issue over the years.  Ultimately we found that patients who are paying for a consultation are more serious.  I personally have questioned patients who have had free consultations in addition to mine, and they universally report that I spend much more time with them compared to the free doctor.  Also, we found that patients who have to pay for a consultation have done more research on the doctors they visit, so they are not running around to multiple offices with no personal investment of their own.  In my office, the consultation fee is applied to the surgical fee, and returning patients are given free consultations to reward their loyalty.

Bruce E. Genter, MD, FACS
Abington Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast Augmentation - Is It Customary to Pay for the Initial Consultation (Breast Augmentation)?

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Policies vary widely from office to office, and that includes everything related to the consultation.  Some consultations are longer than others, some include a lot of time with the surgeon, others include more time with an assistant or nurse and relatively less time with the doctor.

You can certainly factor in the cost of the consultation as part of your entire costs.  But with the amount of information available online you should be able to do the bulk of your research in that manner, and then have it confirmed with a few visits.  If you're comfortable with your first surgeon (or your second or third) you may no longer feel the need to see more than that.

That being said, one of my patients said that I was the twelfth (12!) surgeon she had seen and was delighted she kept going until she was satisfied.  And that may often be the determining factor - at what point are YOU comfortable?

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

Concerns about paying a consultation fee for a breast augmentation

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Every office has their own policy regarding whether or not to charge for a cosmetic consultation and if so, how much. It is not wrong to charge because the visits do incur significant expenses in addition to valuable time from the plastic surgeon and his/her staff. Furthermore, given the amount of shopping around, this can add up to a significant amount and it does potentially take away time that can be used for those who have paid for surgery, etc. No one is forcing you to see someone who charges for a consultation so you have the right not to see them. 

With that said, I do not charge for a cosmetic consultation.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Consultation fees

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If you see three of four different plastic surgeons you will get as many different opinions.  Although I do not currently charge a fee for cosmetic surgical consultations it does have a value.   I am not sure if this is a universal practice.   A small fee to cover costs is not unreasonable but each practice will have their own operating policies.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Consultation fee

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A consultation fee is for the time of the doctor and his expertise. I find a lot of patients shop around, and I  feel that it weeds out the patients that are really not interested.  Most of my consultations last 30 minutes or more, just think what you would have to pay for a lawyer or a consultant for their time!

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.