The cost of cosmetic surgery is undoubtedly an important factor in the decision-making process for various aspects of your upcoming procedure — from what specific procedure to get to which cosmetic surgeon to choose. However, making decisions based solely on price can have detrimental effects down the road, including an increased risk for complications, unsatisfactory results and, in some cases, the need for a revision procedure.
Fortunately, there are several safe ways to save on cosmetic surgery without sacrificing quality. Take a look at some dos and don’ts to avoid cheap cosmetic surgery while still getting an affordable procedure.
Do Consult with Several Cosmetic Surgeons
Getting a second or even third opinion before you choose a cosmetic surgeon for your breast augmentation, tummy tuck or other cosmetic procedure is beneficial for several reasons. First, this will give you an opportunity to get a variety of professional opinions about the best cosmetic procedure and techniques for your specific goals.
Secondly, consulting several cosmetic surgeons will give you a better idea of the average cost of your procedure in your area. You can then weigh each price estimate against the skills and expertise of the cosmetic surgeon to help you choose the best cosmetic surgeon for your situation.
This can also help you to eliminate a potential red flag: an ultra-low price that isn’t in the same ballpark as other cosmetic surgeons’ offices in the same area.
Do Look for Specials and Promotions
Many reputable cosmetic surgeons offer special deals and promotions throughout the year to help make your procedure as affordable as possible. Take advantage of these specials to save money without skimping on the experience or technical ability of your cosmetic surgeon.
Ask about any applicable promotions that could help you save on your procedure during your consultation — you might even consider scheduling your cosmetic surgery to coincide with a special price if it also works with your schedule. That said, you should never feel pressured or urged to book an appointment immediately.
Do Apply for Financing
In addition to asking about promotions, you can also inquire about financing options at your consultation. There are several third-party cosmetic surgery financing solutions like CareCredit® and PatientFi®, with which many cosmetic surgeons’ offices partner to offer affordable payment options to their clients. These financing solutions typically offer quick and easy pre-qualification processes that don’t require a hard credit check. CareCredit also provides a helpful monthly payment calculator to give you a better idea of how much each payment might be.
Don’t Travel Overseas
Medical tourism, or the act of traveling abroad for the purpose of getting cheap surgery, is unfortunately on the rise. However, the risks truly do not outweigh the rewards. While medical procedures including elective surgeries are often less expensive in other countries than in the United States, the medical standards of care are lower, blood products are not screened as thoroughly and the rate of infection is often higher in other countries compared to the US.
Additionally, surgeons in many other countries around the world do not undergo the same rigorous medical schooling, training and residency programs as cosmetic surgeons in the US do. Thus, you may pay less for a cosmetic procedure in another country, but you are not necessarily getting the same quality or surgical precision as you would at home.
As a result, revision procedures are often necessary in order to correct complications or achieve the original desired result, ultimately offsetting any initial savings of traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery.
Don’t Cut Corners on Anesthesia
Thankfully, modern surgical procedures use anesthesia to make patients as comfortable and pain-free as possible. This is not an area of your cosmetic surgery procedure where you want to cut costs.
Reputable cosmetic surgeons should have hospital privileges and access to general anesthesia for surgical procedures like a tummy tuck, mommy makeover and breast augmentation. Local anesthesia should never be used in place of general anesthesia simply because a practice does not have access to general anesthesia or in order to cut costs.
Don’t Choose a Poorly-Rated Surgeon
As explained earlier, scheduling consultations with several cosmetic surgeons is a great idea. However, you want to avoid “shopping around” for surgeons and choosing based on who has the lowest price, regardless of other credentials.
One easy credential to check is online reviews. A history of poor ratings (i.e. not just a stray negative comment here and there) is a huge red flag that this surgeon’s too-good-to-be-true price is just that: too good to be true. And while you may be eager to schedule your procedure as soon as possible, surgeons with wide-open schedules and pushy sales tactics to get you in the door may not be the best fit.