Is there a significant difference in price when choosing a surgeon at a hospital vs a clinic?

I research their credentials and reviews regardless of where they perform the procedure. I am currently in the Iowa City, IA area and would like to schedule a consult but each consult is at least $100 so it would be nice to get more information before scheduling. I want a lift without implants. Also I am unable to see any before and after photos from the surgeons at the main hospital. Can I request them before the consult?

Doctor Answers 5

Office versus clinic

The key question relates to the training and certification of the surgeon and the certification of the hospital. Assuming that the facility and surgeon are experienced with the technique and credentialed as such you should feel safe. Cost can vary signficiantly. Many hospitals provide cheaper surgical rates in order to remain competitive cost-wise with surgery centers and have far more resources in the rare event that you would medically require them. Surgeon rates are likely a bigger differentiator than the clinic versus hospital, and very often they are comparable. 

Office vs Hospital for breast augmentation

First of all irregardless of where it is performed if the surgeon can perform it both at his office or at a hospital it most likely means he has been credentialed and is a 95% of the time is a sign of  residency trained surgeon. Hospitals will not often credential someone that has not been trained in their specialty and will not give them privilieges to do the procedure. If the surgeon says he cannot perform tat procedure  in the hospital (not that he does not recommend it because of cost) it may be a sign that he can only do them in his office and may not have the training a board certified plastic surgeon has.

That being said I now do the overwhelming majority of my cosmetic breast augmentations and breast lifts at my accredited office surgery suite for the following reasons. In the past I have done at surgery centers and a hospital

1. The accredited office suite is more private. The hospital has dozens of people asking questions. Sometimes despite HIPAA, they think the cosmetic surgery can be talked about differently.
2. The accredited office suite does not get delayed by emergencies.
3. It is usually less expensive.
4. My team has worked with me dozens of times, and I feel the safety is higher and studies have supported that. At the hospital I get different people sometimes during the middle of the operation, that dont know what we are doing. At the hospital they spend the majority of their time clicking on the electronic medical record.
5. I believe the infection rate is lower at my office, we dont do colon surgery, or abdominal abscesses in my office.
6. We are used to getting patients home with less nausea.

We show patients dozens of before and after photographs. We also have them on our website. We measure and discuss the options. 

Clinic vs hospital

Out-patient Surgery Centers are in general less expensive than hospitals primarily because they are open only during the daytime.  Usually, the surgeons fees will be competitive and the cost difference may well be the cost of anesthesia and operating room charges. If you choose a board certified plastic surgeon with adequate experience and good reviews, you will likely be in good hands. Before and after pictures are over rated because the practices will typically only publish their very best results. If you choose a well trained and qualified surgeon and you have good feelings after the consultation you should expect a good result.
Good luck!

William H. Gorman, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Breast Lift /Breast Augmentation/ Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/ Breast Implant Revision Surgery

I appreciate your question.

Cost varies by geographic location, surgeon expertise, OR time, anesthesia, length of procedure etc. I would recommend that you go to The American Society of Plastic Surgery website and look for a list of board certified plastic surgeons in your area. You can call their offices in advance and ask for quotes prior to scheduling consultations.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute

Price Difference

Thank you for your question.

The cost for a lift can vary based on operative facility, time under anesthesia, professional fees for the surgeon, and geographic variation.  Regarding the before/after pictures, you can always request them (you may not get them, but you can always ask).

Best of luck,
Dr. Michael Epstein
MAE Plastic Surgery
Northbrook, IL

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.