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Financing Your Cosmetic Surgery

Everyone knows that cosmetic surgery is expensive and typically not covered by health insurance. Yet each year, more and more people are having cosmetic surgery. What expenses can you expect? Can you afford to have a specific procedure? These facts will help you decide.

A survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that in 2011, average surgeon fees for cosmetic procedures were:

  • Botox                                                $ 365             
  • Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)     $ 2,741
  • Cheek implants                                $ 2,989                       
  • Face lift (rhytidectomy)                    $ 6,426
  • Chemical peel                                  $ 653             
  • Forehead/brow lift                            $ 3,309
  • Chin augmentation                          $ 1,851                      
  • Laser skin resurfacing                     
    • Ablative                                $ 2,169
    • Non-ablative                        $1,223
  • Collagen injection                             $520
  • Lip augmentation (other than injectable materials)              $ 1,650
  • Microdermabrasion                         $ 141              
  • Nose surgery (rhinoplasty)             $ 4,422

There are additional costs. You must add in fees for anesthesia, operating room facilities, or other related expenses. The total bill can be 50% to 100% higher than the surgeon's fees above.

Discounts and Payment

How does the average person handle these expenses if they don't have the cash? Here are some options to check out:

Insurance. In some cases, health insurance may cover some of the costs of cosmetic surgery. For example, if nose surgery can also correct breathing problems, your insurer may cover the hospital and anesthesia fees. In that case, you only have to pay the cosmetic surgeon's fee.

Also, if droopy eyelids interfere with your vision, some insurance companies will cover the cost of upper eyelid surgery.

Discounts. If you want to have several procedures, having them all done on the same day will save you money. You can also save money by paying for multiple procedures at the same time. And most surgeons offer significant discounts for second, third, and fourth procedures.

Financing. In addition to your credit card or a loan from your local bank, there are a number of financial institutions that offer loans for cosmetic surgery. Look for these programs online. Also, talk to your surgeon.

Gift. Perhaps someone special will pay for your cosmetic surgery -- making it a very nice gift for you! A cosmetic surgery "gift" is becoming a popular trend.

Most fees are paid in advance of surgery. But talk to your surgeon about procedures for handling unexpected results or complications. Most surgeons will not charge for follow-up "repair" surgeries within a year of your surgery. However, you will be responsible for hospital and anesthesia fees.

Some complications may be covered by your health insurance. Or you might be able to buy "cosmetic surgery insurance" that will cover any subsequent procedures to repair complications. Check with your surgeon and insurance company for details.

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