Why Does Plastic Surgery Cost More in The U.S.?

When I first opened Yager Esthetics in 1997, I spent a lot of my time answering the question as to why the cost of Plastic Surgery is higher in The United States than overseas, and why the extra money is worth it. Seventeen years and over 5000 surgeries later, it is still the most important question for a patient to ask.

I do not spend my time and energy educating the Hispanic Community about safety and honesty in Plastic Surgery for the sole purpose of making money. I do it to make sure that everyone knows what the risks and benefits are before making a decision as to where and with whom to have elective surgery. I have seen and heard too many horror stories to let my conscience do otherwise.

There are many very talented and qualified Plastic Surgeons in every country. The problem is knowing which is which. In the U.S., you can go to www.abplsurg.org and see if your doctor is Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, insuring the highest level of training and education. This type of verification does not exist in most countries, and you have no idea as to what the training of your doctor was.

Where is the procedure taking place? In the U.S., not only hospitals are accredited, but ASPS members are required to operate in only Accredited Ambulatory Surgery Centers, and you can check that accreditation online or by phone. It insures the highest level of safety and emergency equipment as well. In many other countries, operating rooms are unregulated, and you have no idea who is giving anesthesia or caring for you after surgery.

Even if you manage to find a fantastic surgeon who does things well in his well organized center overseas, and you have a complication such as a reaction to anesthesia or an unknown health condition, where is the nearest hospital, how do you get there, and do they have the most advanced technology to save your life? In the U.S., if you have a complication, your doctor is available to see you without having to travel or miss work.

Plastic Surgeons here are also required to have malpractice insurance, follow rigorous and extensive programs for infection control and safety as well as continuing medical education to protect you and your rights, all at their expense. It is important for surgeons to have malpractice insurance, as even some of the most straight-forward surgeries can carry risks, which could potentially turn out to be fatal. If the unthinkable were to happen, and we get faced with a civil action for wrongful death suit from a patient’s family, then we would need to have the relevant protection to help us move forward. Surgery is risky, and so that is why we need to ensure that we have the relevant education, training, and tools in place that can help us to prevent any fatalities from happening. FDA approved materials and products all cost more due to the strict testing needed.

So it is not that U.S. doctors are greedy, or do the same thing for more money. Plastic Surgery is more than just the operation. It is the preoperative testing, the proper training and education of the patient, providing the safest environment and having the systems in place to reduce the risks of the procedures to insure your safety. With all of that, the question should be why is Plastic Surgery overseas cheaper? Also, no your health insurance will not cover cosmetic surgery, that’s for medical emergencies unless you own a personal custom cover policy in which you are paying a lot more for.