Cosmetic Surgery: Deal or No Deal?
Running a business is expensive in New York; cosmetic surgery is no exception. It’s no surprise to learn that patients can pay less for procedures in rural locations, foreign countries and even nearby discount clinics. But should you consider cosmetic surgeons that offer deals?
It’s possible that you’ll come across a good doctor who’s fairly new in practice offering limited time deals to attract new patients. Depending on how complicated your procedure is, you may want to consider such an option IF the surgeon has excellent training and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). We all have to start somewhere, and with ABPS certification you will at least know that the doctor has been specifically trained in plastic surgery and has been approved by his or her peers.
It pays to look very closely at the doctors and practices offering discounts, deals and bargains, however. Many try to make up the difference in what you’ll be paying them in ways that don’t benefit you. Be sure to say “NO DEAL” if you notice things that seem unsettling (we’ve listed a few below) or if you just have a bad feeling about the practice.
It was used so often years ago the saying became a cliché: “we’ll drop the price and make it up in volume.” That might work with furniture or maybe even cars, but if cosmetic surgery clinic management is successful at attracting hordes of patients, they may have to cut corners in training, sterilization processes and more. As a patient, you may very well not get the attention you need.
Find out about the number of surgeries performed in a week, a month, a year and see what you think. If a New York cosmetic surgery facility has a factory-level, assembly line feel: NO DEAL.
To achieve that high patient volume, or simply to save money, a practice may decide to use the services of cosmetic surgeons with minimal credentials along with, or instead of, board certified plastic surgeons who have some measure of ownership in the organization. The “gold standard,” – certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery – is a bigger investment for a surgeon than certification by a lesser board or no certification at all.
In addition to exploring the roster of doctors and their credentials at a practice, we advise finding out how often particular cosmetic surgeons operate at the clinic. Would it feel right to have no idea who you’d be working with until the day of your procedure? What if you discover the practice seems like a revolving door of staff with limited certification? NO DEAL.
Access to the Professionals
You probably expect to meet and talk with your doctor during your initial consultation, but this doesn’t happen at every clinic. This means you don’t get to ask your questions and don’t have the chance to get a feel for the surgeon and his or her skills, concern about you and so on. At some clinics, you may not even know who your cosmetic surgeon will be until the big day. It can also be telling to ask staff about their credentials and background. If you don’t like what you hear: NO DEAL.
Cutting Other Corners
Unless you ask, you may not discover other ways the practice you’re considering cuts corners. Think about finding out how old their lifesaving equipment is, of example. And ask how long the surgical team has been together (generally speaking, the longer the experts work together successfully, the more finely tuned and highly paid they will be).
Just as you can boost a practice’s bottom line by using staff with minimal credentials, you can skimp on the surgical facility as well. A fully-accredited hospital or out-patient clinic is another must for your safety as a patient. What it means is that the operating facility used by your surgical team must be approved by the Joint Commission, the AAAASF or other organization with rigorous standards—an investment that costs time and money. If not: NO DEAL.
Another aspect of surgery you may not know is that the doctors and anesthesiologist decide which kind of anesthesia to use, and you may not have a lot of say in the matter. Some practices favor using local anesthesia for certain procedures, such as facelifts, liposuction, male breast reduction and a few others. It may seem like a benefit since no one really looks forward to general anesthesia, but there’s a key advantage for the practice too: it’s cheaper.
When Decision Time Comes
It’s fun to watch “Deal or no Deal,” on TV. Sometimes people who seem very deserving get lucky and walk away with a good amount of money. But even if you’ve been dreaming about cosmetic surgery in New York or elsewhere, if you receive a sudden gameshow windfall that could make it happen, it really doesn’t change the important decisions you have to make.
Bargain cosmetic surgery? NO DEAL!