Reduced or Eliminated Plastic Surgery Consultation Fees?

What is your current consultation fee and how has this changed from last year to present?

Doctor Answers 18

Complimentary Consultation, then 2nd $100 Consult

In my North Carolina plastic surgery practice we offer a complimentary initial consultation for people interested in surgery. These consultations are performed by my patient coordinator who has worked very closely with me for six years. This consultation lasts 45 minutes. Patients ask questions, view photographs, etc. Never has a patient expressed that this appointment was not worthwhile.
If a patient would like to proceed to the next step, they meet with me. During the hour long consultation with me, I focus on the needs of the particular patient more than some of the general information about the surgery as some of that has been addrressed in the initial consultation.
Given the amount of time I spend in the operating room and the spending the time time that I feel is required for post operative care of my patients, It would absolutely impossible for me to provide initial consultations for everyone interested in surgery in my practice . My consultation lasts 1 hour and the price is $100.00 , which is applied to the cost of surgery.
I take pride in doing my best to really listen and provide the best information possible in pre-operative appointments. I want to provide time, care and attention to patients considerting surgery, But my most significant obligation is doing my best in surgery and taking care of patients post-operatively.
After the consultation, I will review my notes and base an individualized quote on the particular needs of the patient I met in consultation. I do not have a "cookie cutter" price list of surgeries. Surgery prices are based on the amount of time surgery will take.
Before surgery, the patient will come in for a pre-operative appointment. That consultation is one more opportunity to ask questions before surgery, and another opportunity to meet more of the caring, qualified people who will be part of your "team" I realize this may not work for all practices but it has worked very well for our patients for six years. I find that our patients and their loved ones feel very confident and well informed about their surgery and what to expect during recovery.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

We have a minimal consultation fee that is applied toward surgery.

After 19 years in practice we find that "free consultations" lead to patients who value the service as much as they pay for it - zero. We find that when we offered free consultations, patients were more likely to fail to show for their appointments since they placed no value on it. That created a scheduling nightmare, since we never knew who would be showing up.

When we instituted a $25 fee, patients were more likely to keep their appointments and it made it possible to better schedule the appointments and to give better service to those willing to pay the fee. A minimal fee of $25 is what we presently charge, and that can be applied toward a surgical procedure. We provide an extensive consultation and we feel that the fee is reasonable.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

No change

At this point, I have not charged a consultation fee. Even with these economic times, I have not decided to start charging a fee for new consultations. I have found that this policy allows a wider range of patients to see me. Even if they cannot afford the procedures they are considering, I am at least providing them with useful information. Also, we provide many financing options that allow patients to pay off their procedures or treatments over time. This, I feel, has been the biggest help for patients during these tough economic times.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

No Change - But No Fee Either!

In our San Francisco area practice we are not currently charging appointment or new consultation fees and haven't since our opening. Unlike some of the other physicians we have a very low "no show" rate and find that when patients meet our staff and physicians they're even more impressed.

We feel that providing information to patients to help them make decisions should have has few barriers to it as possible.

My typical profile provides for one hour new consultations.

I hope this helps.

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

We have never charged for consultation

In our area (Southern California) there are literally hundreds of surgeons to chose from within a small radius. Unless the prospective patient is already set on a surgeon, he or she will likely go to 3-5 consults before deciding on a doctor. These patients are most likely to go to consultations with doctors who do not charge.

In previous years, if a patient had a friend that came to you andt.she was thrilled with her results, the patient had a very high percentage chance that she would stop at just one consult.

Now that plastic surgery has boomed, she may receive several different recommendations from friends and will go to all of them before she decides on a surgeon. Again, she probably will try to avoid paying several consultation fees and will go to the consultations that are at no cost first.

Thomas T. Nguyen, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

We ask our staff

We always charge a consultation fee and in fact obtain a credit card down payment of $25.00 when the appt is made. We listen to what the receptionists tell us.

If patients think the consultation fee is too high and that prevents the making of an appointment, then we lower the fee. We recently did just that and the feedback is positive.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

No change in consultation fees

While we have reduced our surgical fees temporarily in recognition of the economic distress in the country, the $75 consultation fee I charge has not changed. I spend an hour with each new patient personally. The cost is deducted from the cost of surgery if a patient goes ahead with a procedure. It is necessary to charge a fee for an hour of my time in order to maintain the integrity of our schedule and minimize the potential for no-shows that would be higher with free visits.

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

Free consultations have their disadvantages

I have always offered free cosmetic consultations but have gone back and forth on whether I feel this is the best thing for me and my patients. The way I look at it the advantages of free consultations are:

  • You may otherwise lose the opportunity to impress a patient whom would otherwise not schedule a consultation with a fee
  • The patient benefits by feeling no obligation or pressure to schedule due to their investment they have already made for the consultation (this is also a disadvantage, depending on how you look at it)

The disadvantages:

  • Some of your patients are not ready for surgery at this point and are just testing the water
  • Some of your consults will be "kicking tires", scheduling multiple consultations
  • Higher risk of "no-shows"
  • The patient has no financial pressure to schedule

At this point, our "no-show" rate is fairly low (but it still angers me when it happens) and our conversion rate is fairly high, so I don't feel like I need to change anything. For now.

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

$200 for a consultation

I have always charged a consultation fee from the time I started my practice in 1987. The fee has increased over time to reflect inflation, as well as to reflect the increased experience that over 20 years of practice has given me.

Although there are some geographical variations in fees, in general fees vary depending on the level of expertise of the surgeon. "Charge what you're worth, or you will become worth what you charge" one of my professors said to me.

Darrick E. Antell, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

No change in consultation policy

We do not charge for consultation but require that the patient would cancel or reschedule within 48 hours. They can get charged if they booked the appointment and did not show up.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 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.