Hey gorgeous! Here's an article for you that was shared with me. For some of you who are getting through the mid summer beauty slump and considering a procedure-read on!
WHAT PRICE DO YOU PAY FOR A “BARGAIN” NIP TUCK IN SOUTH FLORIDA? SOME PATIENTS HAVE PAID WITH THEIR LIVES. BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON ADVISES PATIENTS ON HOW TO CHOOSE A PLASTIC SURGEON- INFORMATION THAT COULD PROVE LIFE SAVING.
“Buy one get one free” or “50% off”- these are sales slogans normally associated with retail items such as groceries or clothing. Surprisingly, these “super sale” slogans have transcended the retail industries and appeared in recent ads for medical services including plastic surgery. Typically, these advertisements are coming from “Centers” that are seemingly focused on the quantity they produce. Most centers are owned and operated by regular business people and entrepreneurs rather than the actual surgeons or medical doctors. One particular South Florida center is infamous for this type of bargain basement marketing flooding the radio with commercial after commercial for super low cost surgery. The Sun-Sentinel reported that this same center had more recent deaths than any other doctor's office in Florida. When offering an item at such as reduced price, one must wonder what else has been reduced. Quality? Safety?
During these hard times, many of us are looking for the great “deals & steals” and ways to save a little extra money. But is it smart or safe to bargain hunt when it comes to your health? An increasing number of Americans are nipping and tucking, sucking and suturing, injecting and implanting, all in the quest for better looks. Each year, thousands of prospective patients bargain hunt for plastic surgeons – price being the main attraction. But what risks are patients really taking to save a little extra cash when going under the knife? A bargain at the outset could result in more money spent on revision surgery or fatally worse, death or disfigurement at the hands of an incompetent surgeon or in a compromised surgical setting. Despite the warnings, people continue to sign up for bargain plastic surgery.
According to Dr. Miami board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer, “with the U.S. economic climate being unstable many plastic surgeons are slashing their prices to attract customers who are driven by the cost of surgery. Consumers are affected by the slowing economy are beginning to ‘price shop’ with plastic surgeons,” says Dr. Salzhauer. But buyers beware, “it can be a very dangerous practice to bargain with your health the way you would when a new car.”
Plastic Surgery: You Get What You Pay For
Dr. Salzhauer warns it is a case of “buyer beware” when a potential patient begins seeing plastic surgery procedures in monetary terms. “There is a reason plastic surgery usually has high costs associated with it,” says Dr. Salzhauer. “Sometimes when economic times are bad, surgeons will cut their fees for the sake of acquiring new patients. However, if you hear a dramatically reduced price from a surgeon, you should ask yourself ‘what corners are they cutting to offer surgery at such a low price?’”
Surgeon's Fee: The surgeon’s fee for cosmetic surgery can vary depending on the complexity and how much time, in number of hours, he estimates is required to complete a specific procedure for a particular patient. For example, liposuction costs can be very different depending on the number of areas treated, the size of the patient and the anticipated degree of difficulty in performing the procedure. Therefore two different patients may be quoted very different prices for the “same” procedure. According to Dr. Salzhauer, “there is almost a mathematical equation that a doctor must sometimes do for each individual patient that enters his office. Therefore patients who use other people as references or bargaining points are often unaware of these factors.”
Anesthesiologist's Fee: A variety of medical professionals are qualified to administer anesthesia, but board-certified anesthesiologists offer the highest level of training and safety. Naturally, this expertise tends to augment the overall cost of the surgery. Some surgeons may try to avoid the anesthesiologist fee by administering anesthesia themselves or by using local anesthesia for procedures that really should be done under sedation. “While this practice is not technically illegal, it is extremely risky,” says Dr. Salzhauer, “an anesthesiologist should be present during the time of operation to monitor a patient’s vital signs. With major surgery, your doctor, no matter how skilled, should not be doing the job of two people especially while operating. ”
Operating Room Fee: Many plastic surgeons use outpatient surgical centers to perform procedures which are included in the cost of your procedure. Facility fees usually range from $1500 to $2000 for the first hour alone. Costs at local hospitals can be even higher. To reduce costs, some surgeons may illegally use uncertified operating rooms in their offices. In recent years, injuries, disfigurements, and deaths in unregulated office operating rooms has lead to a bill that creates safety standards and regulations for all doctors who perform outpatient surgery in their private practices. “If your procedure is performed in a surgeon’s office, the operating facility must be certified,” says Dr. Salzhauer. Certification of an outpatient operating room is an arduous and expensive process with strict regulations imposed by the State. Of course, because the cost of building and maintaining such a facility is so high, this cost is eventually factored into the cost of your procedure. In the end though, the extra expense is worth it to ensure that the highest level of care is provided.
According to Dr. Salzhauer, plastic surgery should never be treated like anything less than a serious medical procedure. “If you have a plastic surgeon that looks like he is giving you a fee that is ‘too good to be true’, you should begin to question whether your life is worth the bargain.”
Below is a list of the must-ask questions Dr. Salzhauer advises potential patients to ask a prospective plastic surgeon before deciding who is the right choice to perform their procedure:
Ask the Doctor
What is board-certified?
Make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only board recognized to certify surgeons in the entire spectrum of plastic surgery. Make sure your plastic surgeon is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the largest plastic surgery society in the world.
How many times have you done this procedure?
Surgeons who frequently and regularly perform the particular procedure you request have often seen the variations, nuances, and even complications which make for a well seasoned expert. Also, if a surgeon sees referrals from others in his field, he is seen as an expert by his peers, the ultimate compliment.
What other medical staff will assist with the procedure?
Your surgeon should be the primary one who performs and directs your surgical procedure. He will be assisted by various personnel such as nurses and surgical scrub techs who routinely operate with your plastic surgeon. In addition, your plastic surgeon will often use someone who is trained in anesthesia, such as an anesthesiologist or certified nurse anesthetist
Where will the procedure be performed?
A board certified plastic surgeon who is a member of the ASPS is required to perform your surgery in a certified and accredited outpatient surgery center or hospital. This represents the gold standard for patient safety.
What type of anesthesia will be used during the procedure?
Type of anesthetic depends on the type of procedure, length of surgery, and professional recommendation of the anesthesiologist
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
All surgery comes with inherent risks and complications. Your board certified plastic surgeon will discuss the recovery, risks, and alternative treatment options with you so that you might make an informed decision.
Can you provide me with 3-6 references to patients on whom you have performed this procedure?
Your plastic surgeon will provide you with several patients who have undergone your particular procedure so that you can learn about their surgical experience from a patient's perspective.
What is the exact breakdown of fees for this procedure?
Surgical fees. You should expect to see a clear,written estimate of your surgical procedure. This will include surgeon's fee, anesthesia fee, operating room costs, and implant fees if any.
Meet Dr. Michael Salzhauer
Miami board-certified plastic surgeon Michael Salzhauer, MD, has extensive experience with procedures such as liposuction, breast lift, breast augmentation, breast reduction, brow lift, face lift, nose improvement surgery, ear reshaping, laser eyelid rejuvenation surgery, neck lift, plastic surgery for men, abdominoplasty, lip enhancement, BOTOX® injections, and other wrinkle treatments. He maintains a high level of surgical activity to enhance his expertise, averaging 800 operative procedures per year since 2000. Dr. Michael Salzhauer was educated at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis , Missouri and he was trained in the latest plastic surgery techniques while serving on the staff of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach ; the University of Miami Medical Center; and the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Michael Salzhauer has built a truly unique practice and recently authored “My Beautiful Mommy,” a children’s book explaining the phases of plastic surgery.
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