Spending a Pretty PennyWhether one needs them or not, plastic surgery can be pricey, yet cosmetic and reconstructive procedures are nearly as common now as they were a year ago, despite a tough economy.
Facelifts and hair transplants may be the most obvious procedures, and breast augmentation is eye-catching fodder for gossip, but how often and how much it costs to surgically alter and enhance less-visible parts of the body may surprise you, especially since cosmetic procedures generally aren’t covered by health insurance plans.
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Surgery StatsThere was only a 2% decrease in the number of cosmetic procedures performed from 2008 to 2009, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Notably, 90% of the procedures were on women, and most were between the ages of 35 and 50.
Here are some of the most expensive procedures based on the average physician or surgeon fees according to ASAPS, plus an extra 30% that is considered a fair estimate of additional related costs.
Those costs include facility fees, anesthesia and other surgical costs that vary by location, a surgeon’s experience, the time a procedure takes and where it’s performed. Of course, we’re not necessarily condoning plastic surgery; we think you’re beautiful as you are.
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20. Vaginal Rejuvenation
What you get: Women can tighten the private parts stretched out by childbirth or simply correct unsightly or unnerving imperfections.
Average surgeon’s fee: $2,689
Estimated additional costs: $807
Estimated total cost: $3,496
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19. Eyelid SurgeryWhat you get: Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, often means removing excess fat and wrinkled upper-eyelid skin, eliminating bags under the eyes and droopy lower eyelid skin, according to ASAPS. Some eyelid surgeries involve stitching a permanent crease in those with “single eyelids” to make them look more round.
Average surgeon’s fee: $2,717
Estimated additional costs: $815
Estimated total cost: $3,532
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18. Cheek ImplantsWhat you get: Like all facial implants, cheek implants are intended to help shape the face in a way that can make it look younger or more proportionate, according to ASAPS.
Average surgeon’s fee: $2,732
Estimated additional costs: $820
Estimated total cost: $3,552
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What you get: Liposuction, or suction-assisted lipectomy, involves the removal of fat from areas of the body including the abdomen, hips, thighs, calves, ankles, face and neck when changes in diet and exercise don’t help in fat reduction there. Patients with younger, more elastic skin will see the best results, ASAPS notes.
Average surgeon’s fee: $2,803
Estimated additional costs: $841
Estimated total cost: $3,644
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16. Ultrasound LipoplastyWhat you get: Ultrasound Lipoplasty offers results similar to liposuction, but works by blasting fat cells with ultrasonic energy, turning them into liquid and making it easier to remove the fat, explains the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
Average surgeon’s fee: $3,095
Estimated additional costs: $929
Estimated total cost: $4,024
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15. Cosmetic Ear SurgeryWhat you get: This type of surgery can involve pinning back ears that stick out, as well as reshaping ears, reducing their size or making them more symmetrical, explains the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Average surgeon’s fee: $3,104
Estimated additional costs: $931
Estimated total cost: $4,035
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14. Forehead LiftWhat you get: This surgery, also known as a brow lift, raises sagging brows that can make one look tired or sad. The muscles in the forehead that cause wrinkling and frown lines can also be modified or removed, according to ASAPS.
Average surgeon’s fee: $3,276
Estimated additional costs: $983
Estimated total cost: $4,259
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13. Male Breast ReductionWhat you get: More men than you might expect are affected by a condition known as gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts. In many cases, the cause is unknown, and not linked to anabolic steroids, medications with estrogen or other drug use or medical conditions, ASAPS explains. Excess tissue, fat and skin is removed in the procedure. If a bit of extra fat is the only problem, liposuction alone should work.
Average surgeon’s fee: $3,294
Estimated additional costs: $988
Estimated total cost: $4,282
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12. Breast Augmentation With Saline ImplantsWhat you get: This type of boob job involves the insertion of breast implants that contain saline, a salt water solution. These implants have been criticized by some for feeling hard and unnatural, according to the Mayo Clinic. But if the implant ruptures, the saline can be safely absorbed by the body (though you may need surgery to remove the silicone shell that holds the saline).
Average surgeon’s fee: $3,541
Estimated additional costs: $1062
Estimated total cost: $4,603
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11. Breast Augmentation With Silicone ImplantsWhat you get: Silicone implants for small or even just disproportionate breasts can be trickier. The Food and Drug Administration recommdends MRI scans every two years to monitor the implants. If one ruptures, you might not even notice until you experience breast pain or your breasts change shape, according to the Mayo Clinic. The chance of an implant rupturing is less than 1% in the three years after surgery, according to one study.
Average surgeon’s fee: $3,860
Estimated additional costs: $1,158
Estimated total cost: $5,018
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10. Upper Arm LiftWhat you get: Excess fat on the underside of the upper arm is removed during this procedure. This condition can occur due to aging, weight loss or simplE genetics, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. It may fix your flabby triceps, but your surgery scars will always be visible, the foundation says.
Average surgeon’s fee: $3,878
Estimated additional costs: $1,163
Estimated total cost: $5,041
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9. Buttock AugmentationWhat you get: This procedure involves the insertion of implants under the skin of the buttocks to create a rounder, firmer appearance, according to the Web site of Dr. Constantino Mendieta, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Miami.
Average surgeon’s fee: $4,200
Estimated additional costs: $1,260
Estimated total cost: $5,460
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8. RhinoplastyWhat you get: If you’re convinced that you need to fix a nose that you think is too large, wide or oddly-shaped, you’ll likely consider rhinoplasty, one of the most common plastic surgery procedures, according to ASAPS. Not all nose jobs are cosmetic, however. A deviated nasal septum can be repaired for health reasons and that’s more likely to be covered by insurance.
Average surgeon’s fee: $4,493
Estimated additional costs: $1,348
Estimated total cost: $5,841
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7. Thigh LiftWhat you get: A thigh lift cuts away extra skin and fat to create slimmer and “better-proportioned” legs, according to ASAPS. It can also improve the appearance of saggy, flabby and dimpled thighs.
Average surgeon’s fee: $4,629
Estimated additional costs: $1,389
Estimated total cost: $6,018
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6. Buttock LiftWhat you get: The buttock lift is best for those with excess fat and weakened muscles that lead to sagging skin around the buttocks and thighs. A procedure known as the Brazilian butt lift involves the removal of fat cells from other areas of the body and strategically injecting them into the buttocks to create a bit more lift.
Average surgeon’s fee: $4,675
Estimated additional costs: $1,403
Estimated total cost: $6,078
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5. Hair TransplantationWhat you get: About 50% of men in America as well as some women experience hair loss, which is hereditary in many cases, and hair transplantation techniques have improved from earlier hair-plug grafts. According to ASAPS, newer, micro-hair transplant procedures use local anesthesia and are performed on an outpatient basis, but there are others types of hair transplant procedures currently being used that are more complicated as well.
Average surgeon’s fee: $5,218
Estimated additional costs: $1,565
Estimated total cost: $6,783
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4. Tummy TuckWhat you get: A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, aims to make the abdomen appear more firm and smooth by excising extra abdominal skin, reducing fat and tightening abdominal wall muscles if deemed necessary. Sometimes, weakened abdominal muscles are caused by pregnancy, in which case a tummy tuck may also reduce the appearance of stretch marks, according to ASAPS.
Average surgeon’s fee: $5,381
Estimated additional costs: $1,614
Estimated total cost: $6,995
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3. Breast ReductionWhat you get: Excessively large breasts can cause chronic discomfort and even pain in some women, and those with disproportionate or pendulous breasts may opt for a reduction as well, according to ASAPS. When excess breast tissue is removed, the breasts will be smaller and firmer, the organization notes.
Average surgeon’s fee: $5,637
Estimated additional costs: $1,691
Estimated total cost: $7,328
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2. FaceliftWhat you get: A smoother, tighter face and neck is the aim of a facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy. Excess fat is removed and tissues are tightened to give subtle or dramatic results, depending on the patient’s goal. Incisions are usually hidden in the contour of the ear, around the earlobe and into the hairline and there may be another small incision hidden under the chin. Skin is then pulled up and back and extra skin is cut away, removing loose skin and deep wrinkles, according to ASAPS.
Average surgeon’s fee: $6,881
Estimated additional costs: $2,064
Estimated total cost: $8,945
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1. Lower Body LiftWhat you get: A lower body lift is meant to improve the appearance of the entire lower body by removing saggy fat and skin related to a loss of skin elasticity, according to ASAPS. The result is a tighter butt and thighs and in many cases, scars are hidden in the body’s natural creases.
Average surgeon’s fee: $7,809
Estimated additional costs: $2,343
Estimated total cost: $10,162
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A Note on Sex Change ProceduresSex change operations, known as gender reassignment surgeries, are often much more costly procedures, but ASAPS doesn’t provide cost estimates on these.
According to Fortune.com, however, they can cost between $5,000 and $150,000 depending on what kind of work is being done, who does it and where, but it’s increasingly being covered by company health plans if deemed medically necessary.
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