Can I Afford Plastic Surgery?

Can I Even Afford Plastic Surgery?

By Andrea Goto

When I was growing up, cosmetic plastic procedures were reserved for the Susan Lucci’s of the world, not the 3rd-grade teacher next door. Even a little Botox procedure was out of reach for most—it was certainly just out of reach for my Mom. I remember her stashing away some cash for a few months in the ‘90s just so she could try it—once. So, for 4 months in 1997, Mom felt great. But she determined it wasn’t financially sustainable. And that teacher next door? Not even an option.

Things have come a long way since the Back Street Boys first reigned and Mom dipped her toe into the pool of non-invasive procedures. For one, there seems to be more transparency about the cost of treatments. There are also more options than ever. If a full facelift isn’t in the budget, maybe a mini facelift will still get you closer to where you want to be. Or even a nonsurgical liquid facelift may give you the temporary results you want—and a preview of what could be with surgery—at a fraction of the cost.

The affordability of cosmetic plastic procedures is very personal, and you want a doctor who respects that. When I first met with Dr. Minton, he was very upfront about the cost of cosmetic injections. Based on my concerns, he told me how many Botox units it would take (and, the subsequent cost) to get the results I wanted. I asked if we could skimp some around the bridge of my nose, which didn’t really bother me, in order to save some greenbacks. He made it happen. I was happy. And I could still buy groceries.

Many people don’t care about the lines on their forehead, and that’s totally cool. I don’t care about their lines either. But I do care about mine. So, I’ve come to regard cosmetic plastic procedures as akin to getting my hair done—maybe even shaving my legs. It’s important to me. For me.

Good surgeons are focused on giving their patients the best results that are also within their patients’ budget. It should never be about upselling, but it should be about having an open conversation about options and cost-benefit. When I accompanied an anxious friend to get Botox, Dr. Minton explained that Botox, in her case, would not give her the results she wanted. He recommended laser skin resurfacing for her deeper lines, which is also more expensive. But he didn’t recommend this because he wanted her to spend more money; he recommended this because he didn’t want her to spend money on a procedure that wouldn’t give her the results she wanted. That would be a lose-lose for both doctor and patient.

The point is, it’s important to select a plastic surgeon with whom you feel comfortable weighing your options, both procedurally and financially. And that discussion happens in the initial consultation, which is free of charge.

To some, the cost of a full facelift is more than worth the result, but to others a full facelift may be cost-prohibitive, yet they still want to see some improvement. Thanks to the wide array of procedures and price points available, everyone should have a viable option. Susan Lucci be damned.

Have questions about your cosmetic options? Request a consultation today!