Affordable vs Cheap Plastic Surgery

Last Updated: August 30, 2013

The cost of plastic surgery is dependent on a few factors. Primarily of course you have the cost for the actual procedure. This cost is determined by the number of areas treated, the amount of work involved, medications, potential anesthesia, potential medical tests, surgical garments or other miscellaneous fees related to the surgery.

Why Cheap Plastic Surgery Can Be Expensive

Everybody wants to pay less for an excellent service. However, that's not the case with plastic surgery. What first seemed to be an affordable plastic surgery operation can later on become a very expensive one.

When you expect a highly successful plastic surgery operation, you need to hire a competent plastic surgeon. And a skilled surgeon charges more.

Though this is not always true in all cases (there might be great plastic surgeons who are charging less than their worth) most people agree that this is generally the expectation.

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The key when deciding on a cosmetic procedure and a surgeon is obviously to do the best research you can. If you really dig into the results from affordable plastic surgeons who offer cut-rate prices, most inexpensive cosmetic surgeries may give lesser quality results.

Inexpensive surgery may not necessarily mean an unsafe and sub-standard operation however. The key when deciding on a cosmetic procedure and a surgeon is obviously to do the best research you can. If you really dig into the results from plastic surgeons who offer cut-rate prices, most inexpensive cosmetic surgeries give lesser quality results.

Plastic Surgery Prices

Further down this page you can read about US national averages from 2010 for different plastic surgery procedure prices. There are a few other factors to consider not connected to the actual procedure. One is the geographic location of your surgery.

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The cost of plastic surgery is dependent on a few factors, cost for the actual procedure, amount of work involved, medications, anesthesia, medical tests, surgical garments or other miscellaneous fees related to the surgery.

Cheap Plastic Surgery Abroad

As far as cheap plastic surgery goes, many patients consider the option of going overseas for their procedure as the actual surgical costs can be much lower.

The cost of a tummy tuck in Thailand, for example, is much lower than the cost here in the United States. India is also a popular place known to have good quality plastic surgery services for very affordable prices.

Many international surgeons are of course just as good as the ones in the US, and do come at a much cheaper price. But overseas plastic surgery comes with its own set of risks as well. (You can read more on cheap plastic surgery at the bottom of this page.)

In the US, the cost of the surgery can differ from one state to another and on the expertise of the plastic surgeon. The more experienced the surgeon is, the more expensive his or her services are.

More factors in the overall cost of plastic surgery include the operating room and facility fees, anesthesia, lab fees and more, so bear in mind that plastic surgery is rarely "cheap" despite the price (typically only the surgeon's fee) you see advertised.

2011 US Actual National Average Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Prices

The table below gives you the 2011 US national average cost for only the surgeon fees.

National Average Plastic Surgery Cost per Procedure 2010

Surgeon/physician fees only. This does not include costs for surgical facility, anesthesia, medical tests, prescriptions, surgical garments or other miscellaneous fees related to surgery given earlier in this article. Data taken from ASAPS (American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) and ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons)

Procedures Average 2011 Surgeon Fee - ASAPS (2010) Average 2011 Surgeon Fee - ASPS (2010)
Soft Tissue Fillers - Autologous Fat Grafting $1,781 ($1,763) $1,658 ($1,700)
Botox Type A (Botox, Dysport) $328 ($398) $356 ($375)
Breast Implant Removal no data $2,292 ($2,288)
Breast Augmentation (Implants) $3,308** ($3,600)* $3,388 ($3,351)
Breast Lift $4,233 ($4,401) $4,286 ($4,207)
Breast Reduction in Men - Gynecomastia $3,277 ($3,377) $3,051 ($3,013)
Breast Reduction in Women $5,317 no data
Buttock Augmentation (Implants) $3,887 ($4,459) $4,283 ($4,500)
Buttock Lift $4,498 ($4,950) $4,694 ($4,379)
Calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse Injection) $654 ($712) $626 ($650)
Calf Augmentation no data $3,856
Cellulite Treatment (Velosmooth, Endermology) no data $219 ($230)
Cheek Implants (Malar Augmentation) no data ($2,732) $2,989 ($2,739)
Chemical Peel $588 ($679) 653 ($706)
Chin Augmentation (Mentoplasty) $2259 ($2,239) $1,851 ($2,000)
Soft Tissue Fillers - Bovine/Porcine-based Collagen, Evolence, Zyderm, Zyplast no data ($473) $468 ($475)
Soft Tissue Fillers - Human-based Collagen, Cosmoderm, Cosmoplast, Cymetra no data $520
Dermabrasion $1,555 $1,281 ($1,200)
Ear Surgery - Otoplasty $2,987 ($3,048) $3,148 ($3,054)
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) $2,630 ($2,912) $2,741 ($2,828)
Facelift $6,408 ($6,629) $6,426 ($6,231)
Forehead Lift $3,099 ($3,173) $3,309 ($3,161)
Hair Transplantation no data $4,934 ($4,676)
Soft Tissue Fillers - Hyaluronic Acid (JuvedermUltra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Perlane, Prevelle Silk, Restylane) $560 ($558) $529 ($547)
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Laser Treatment $366 ($384) $467 ($470)
Laser Hair Removal $235 ($314) $358 ($383)
Laser Skin Resurfacing (ablative) $2322 ($2,232) $2,169 ($2,040)
Laser Skin Resurfacing (non-ablative, Fraxel) $1,229 ($952) $1,223 ($1,156)
Laser Treatment of Leg Veins $290 ($351) $387 ($404)
Lip Augmentation (surgical not with injectable materials) $1,827 ($2,022) $1,650 ($1,683)
Liposuction - Lipoplasty $2,773 ($2,914) $2,859 ($2,884)
Lower Body Lift $7,311 ($7,904) $7,928 ($7,247)
Microdermabrasion $114 ($123) $141 ($146)
Pectoral Implants no data $4,024
Soft Tissue Fillers - Polylactic Acid (Sculptra) $847 ($897) $987 ($940)
Soft Tissue Fillers - Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (Artefill) no data $995 ($1,099)
Rhinoplasty - Nose Reshaping $4,246 ($4,314) $4,422 ($4,306)
Sclerotherapy $301 ($344) $334 ($354)
Thigh Lift $4,736 ($4,882) $4,657 ($4,507)
Tummy Tuck - Abdominoplasty $5,278 ($5,332) $5,279 ($5,130)
Upper Arm Lift $3,790 ($4,070) $3,809 ($3,729)
Vaginal Rejuvenation $2,342 no data

* In 2010 Silicone gel implants are $3,797 whereas saline implants are somewhat cheaper with $3,486

** In 2011 Silicone gel implants are $3,694 whereas saline implants are somewhat cheaper with $3,308

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Learn Your Options

When offered a very low price, it is more than likely the doctor took a few shortcuts to save on cost and may even have compromised safety protocols.

When safety measures are taken for granted, risks and complication rates are bound to go up, and this is where "cheap" plastic surgery becomes very expensive - either due to a series of corrective surgeries to rectify the errors of the previous operation or through risk to your health.

Simply put, it's imperative that you as a patient make sure you are getting the right plastic surgeon to perform your operation, regardless of the cost.

An advice is to consult a few different surgeons before you make that decision.

Cosmetic Surgery Price by Region in 2010

– data taken from ASAPS (The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery)

The table below gives you the 2010 cost by region.

Region 1: CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
Region 2: IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI
Region 3: FL, GA, NC, SC, VA, WV
Region 4: AL, AR, KY, LA, MS, OK, TN, TX
Region 5: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY

Procedure Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4 Region 5
Tummy tuck $4,995 $3,926 $4,175 $3,681 $4,247
Eyelid Surgery $3,063 $2,254 $2,199 $2,143 $2,378
Botox injections $510 $377 $502 $382 $369
Breast aug. $3,949 $2,820 $2,936 $2,739 $3,248
Chemical peel $741 $837 $728 $653 $753
Liposuction* $2,746 $2,277 $2,289 $2,246 $2,699


* Average for suction-assisted and ultrasound assisted methods.
Note: Figures represent physician or surgeon fees only. They do not include costs for surgical facility, anesthesia, medical tests, prescriptions, surgical garments or other miscellaneous fees related to surgery.

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Total Average Cost For Procedures in US - 2010

The following table gives an estimate of the total average cost including all the costs outlined earlier for some of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures.

Procedures Average Total Cost
Breast Augmentation $6,000
Breast Lift $5,200
Breast Reduction $5,200
Eyelid Surgery $4,000
Facelift $8,500
Liposuction (one area) $4,000
Male Breast Reduction $5,200
Rhinoplasty $5,000
Tummy Tuck $6,400

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