How Much Does It Cost?

It’s usually the last question. Patients come in for the free consultation. Who wouldn’t, its FREE! We talk for a while about what they want, what they don’t like about themselves, what they want to change. I examine them – usually with a little self consciousness on the patients part (I can never put someone totally at ease. I guess if I could, they wouldn’t want to change anything). I take some photographs to document their appearance. No, you won’t see any patient photos here.

Next, I talk about what is possible. We discuss the risks, the benefits, the realistic outcomes, and the possible poor outcomes. Then “How much will this cost?”

I usually step out of the room and let my patient care coordinator speak about that. I can’t formulate a clear explanation for it, but I don’t want to be seen as the one asking for money or discussing financing. I think I prefer the role of physician, not accountant.

So what goes in to the cost of having a procedure? Lets break it down and look at a typical plastic surgery – a tummy tuck. First – there is the cost of the place. I choose to do my surgery in an outpatient hospital setting. If I move at a comfortable pace but do a careful job, including liposuction, removing the extra skin, tightening the abdominal muscles, and closing with as fine a line as I can, it takes about 3 hours 15 minutes. That costs $1965.

Then there is the cost of anesthesia (always important). Anesthesia done by a nurse anesthetist under the direct supervision of an anesthesiologist is $1091. Now add on the cost of supplemental insurance (your own medical insurance does not pay for complications). That’s an additional $240. You must also include the post operative binder. Prices vary but average around $50.

Lastly, there is the surgeons fee. My fees run lower than average, but let’s look at the national average. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons published in 2009 a statistical average of surgeons fees. The fee for a tummy tuck was $4936. (Wow, maybe I should raise my fee!)

If you have been keeping score, you see a total of $8282. Seems steep, but how does that compare to other procedures? The Health Care BlueBook lists the total costs of several procedures. Removal of a gall bladder (cholecystectomy) totals $16,435. A hysterectomy comes to $9160. And a hernia repair can be $8156. You see that the cost of plastic surgery is in line with other surgical procedures.

Let’s finish up with financing. Of course paying cash is always nice, but all of the plastic surgeons that I know offer some type of financing plans. We use something called CareCredit. The financing company usually gives the physician the option to pay some of the interest on the financing. That’s a great savings to you. My practice offers a 6 month no interest plan as well as a 24 month and 36 month low interest plans.

Hope that gives you a bit of information. Don’t forget, FREE consultations!

How to Fit Dental Care Into Your Budget

In light of the economic situation, consumers seem to be looking for ways to reduce spending in every area of life. Unfortunately, dental care often gets cut, despite how essential it is to overall health.

Learning to budget for dentist visits instead of cutting them entirely can save you money in the long run and protect your health at the same time.

Explore all of your payment options

You don’t have to pay in full upfront or have good insurance to afford dental care. As the economic scene changes, dentists are updating their payment options to match. Be sure to find out all of the choices available to you by talking to your dentist or calling around to other offices.

Here are some of the common payment options to look for:

  • CareCredit: Similar to a credit card, CareCredit allows you to charge the cost of your visit and pay it off in smaller payments over time. It can be used for essential procedures, such as root canals, and cosmetic procedures, such as whitening. As long as your dentist is enrolled in the program, all you have to do is fill out an application.
  • Comprehensive Dental Finance: This option gives the dentist more control over the terms of the payment plan as well as the rate. It allows an outside party to handle the payments so that the dentist can focus on the actual treatments instead of finances.

Create a dental care savings account

The most important factor to keep in mind is that paying for routine cleanings now can save money down the road by preventing the need for expensive treatments. As a result, it pays to set aside an account for dental care. Use rates provided by your dentist to determine your annual cost for care. Then take steps to set aside enough each month to meet this amount.

Research schools and free clinics

Are there any dentistry schools near you? Sometimes they accept patients for free or discounted services. Try giving one a call to see what they offer.

Some dentists also volunteer at free clinics that are open to the public.

A little research can connect you with one of these opportunities if you are having a hard time fitting dental care into your budget.

Keep up with routine home care

Of course, the best way to limit your dental costs is to keep up with your daily brushing and flossing regimen. Limit your sugar intake, drink plenty of water to rinse your mouth, and eat crunchy fruits and veggies like carrots or apples to work as natural scrubbers for your teeth.


Plastic Surgery – Anybody Can Afford Plastic Surgery If They Follow These Tips

Start Saving

If you cannot afford to pay off the procedure in full, you should start saving money. When you get paid each week or every two weeks, you should put a portion of the money into a bank account or CD. If you work on it for one year or a few years, you will have enough money for the procedure you want to get done. If you save half the money you need for the procedure, you can always charge the rest onto a credit card.

Charge The Procedure

You can pay for the plastic surgery procedure with a credit card. Some credit cards are interest free for 6 months, so take advantage of credit card offers. Just make sure you find out what your credit limit is before you charge the procedure.

Apply For Financing

If you do not like the idea of charging the procedure on a credit card, you should apply for financing. You can apply for financing online with a bank, credit union, or financial institution. If you finance the procedure, you will have an easier time paying it off and your monthly payments will be lower. You will need decent credit in order to get approved for a personal loan. However, you can apply with a co-signer if your credit is poor.

Apply For CareCredit

You can finance the procedure with CareCredit. CareCredit offers a credit card with no up-front costs, monthly payment options, and no prepayment penalties or annual fees. CareCredit works like a credit card but it was designed for health care services.

In-House Financing

Bear in mind that some plastic surgeons offer in-house financing. In-house financing is often free of interest, so it is an excellent option for you. You may qualify if your credit is poor, so find a doctor that offers in-house financing.

Layaway Plan

Some plastic surgeons offer layaway plans. With a layaway plan, you will be required to make payments to the doctor. Your payments will go towards the plastic surgery procedure. When the procedure is paid off in full, you can make an appointment to have the surgery done.

Get A Second Job

If you are concerned about the plastic surgery costs, you may want to consider applying for a second job. If you work long hours, you will have an easier time paying off the procedure. You will be making more money, and you can use it to pay off your plastic surgery bills. Good luck.