Consultation Fees - Should I Use That As Basis for Choice?

I noticed that some Dr's charge for consultation and others not ...should this be pertinent in choosing a DR to perform liposuction? What criteria should I use for choosing Dr and please prioritize. Thanks

Doctor Answers 10

Whether your Liposuction Doc charges for the consultation or not does NOT have anything to do with the Quality of Liposuction.

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Do not choose a liposuction doc on whether or not he charges for his consultations. Usually the very best docs don't charge for their liposuction consultations.  Choose your doc  on his qualifications such as if Liposuction is the major part of their practice and he is doing them daily and has for many, many yrs and does them under local tumescent technique anesthesia rather than general anesthesia.  If his only qualification is that he is a board certified plastic surgeon, then buyer beware.  He probably has a dermatologic surgeon doing all his liposuction revisions for him.  And that Dermatologist will also be board certified but will have the extra training in liposuction that the plastic surgeons usually don't have.  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Choosing a doctor

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I routinely charge a consultation fee.  My office will apply it towards the surgical fee.  The consultation fee in my mind weeds out people who are just window shopping and may not be as serious as someone who really wants the surgery.  Plus, the expertise of the doctor during consultation is what you are paying for.

Don't agree with Dr. Peterson.

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Board certification in plastic surgeon does not ensure that you are in the best possible hands.  Board certified plastic surgeons continue to be responsible for a disproportionate amount of liability stemming from liposuction malpractice and procedure related deaths.  This is primarily because most liposuction they perform is under general anesthesia and this increases the mortality of the procedure.  Board certified dermatologic surgeons and other board certified surgeons who offer pure tumescent liposuction practice liposuction that is performed under local anesthesia.  From the stand point of mortality, this form of anesthesia is approximately 10 times safer compare to liposuction done under general anesthesia.  Recognize specialties are in competition with each other so look at the facts and remember that the there are four core surgical specialties in aesthetic surgery: plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, oculoplastic surgery, and dermatological surgery.

Regarding paying for a consultation:  If the fee for the consultation is modest, it is reasonable and should not be used as a reason to not see someone who otherwise has an excellent reputation.  On the other hand, don't be put off by surgeons who don't charge for a consultation (reverse snobbery).  These are just different business models.  It is highly worthwhile to get several opinions.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Complimentary or free consultation fees for plastic cosmetic surgery

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Charging  consultation fee is a great way of eliminating patients who are not serious about the surgery but it is also an obstactle to those looking into the surgery. We take a credit card reservation fee to avoid  the potential for "no-shows" but do not charge if patients attend the consultation. Board certification is one important criteria as is referrals or recommendations by friends and other physicians.

Experience is the key

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If a surgeon charges a consultation fee, he/she will usually apply it to the surgical fees. This is a way to weed out those who unnecessarily waste a physician's time. Choose a doctor based on experience and ask to talk to some of his patients before deciding to go forward. Best of luck.

Bala S. Chandrasekhar, MD - RETIRED
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Consultation Fees - Should I Use That As Basis for Choice

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That is a very personal decision. I have never charged a cosmetic consult fee in over 30 years. I feel I can teach the patient my opinions as to the real needs.

Liposuction & Plastic Surgeons

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The vast majority of board certified plastic surgeons in the US do isolated liposuction procedures  under IV sedation or use tumescent techniques. The statistic that is previously quoted regarding mortality rates under general anesthesia exists simply because plastic surgeons combine liposuction with other procedures that require General Anesthesia- tummy tucks, for example. Consequently, we use General Anesthesia more frequently in combined cases that include 'liposuction' than other aesthetic surgeons do.

Choosing your Plastic Surgeon

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You should choose a board certified plastic surgeon first and foremost.  The next criteria to evaluate would be that particular surgeon's experience with the procedure you are interested in.  Lastly does this surgeon have privileges at the local hospital to perform your procedure and/or works with an accredited office surgery center.

Dr. ES

Choosing a plastic surgeon

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The #1 criteria for choosing a plastic surgeon is board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Many companies will see liposuction equipment to any doctor - even if they are not a plastic surgeon.  You have to be very careful and ask specifically about a doctor's credentials.

Some surgeons charge consultation fees while other do not.  It all really has to do with the community standard, the economy and how busy the surgeon's practice is.  

In my office, we charge a consultation fee.  However, if you choose to have surgery, we apply that fee toward your cost of surgery.

Good luck.

Liposuction is done with experience and good judgement

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Find a (1) board certified plastic surgeon that  (2) does liposction on a regular basis and you will be in the best hands possible.  The consultation fee is secondary and could mean you will miss the best surgeon if you only go to fee consultations.  Most surgeon will apply the consultation fee to the surgery costs.  Look around and see if you can find some one that has had a good experience with a particular surgeon.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

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.