Preparing for Surgery: The Hidden Costs of Aesthetic Surgery

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Cosmetic Surgery Costs More Than What You Pay the Surgeon

Cosmetic surgery can be costly, but most patients find the results and boost in their confidence is well worth the expense.

While researching the cost of procedures such as a tummy tuck, rhinoplasty, facelift, or breast lift surgery, you will likely see a wide range of price estimates online. Often, the advertised prices represent only the surgeon fee and do not include aftercare, pre-operative expenses, or ancillary costs.

Savvy Patients Will Do Well to Get Familiar With the Hidden Costs of Aesthetic Surgery Ahead of Time

Time and money spent preparing for surgery and on aftercare necessities contribute to optimal healing. However, many patients are blindsided by unexpected costs, considering only the surgeon fee. Read on to learn what potential expenses to expect so you can prepare financially.

Pre-Surgical Clearance

Some, but not all, patients need to complete lab tests or diagnostic imaging exams before being cleared for surgery, especially if they are older or have compromised health. Your surgeon may ask you to complete blood work, a mammogram, or cardiovascular exams several weeks before your procedure. These can take place at your facility of choice, and that facility will bill you for services rendered directly. Always check with your insurance carrier to see if they cover routine lab work or mammography, which may reduce out-of-pocket costs.


Antibiotics and prescription pain relievers are part of most patients’ recovery plans. Your surgeon will send the prescription to your preferred pharmacy and ask you to fill the prescriptions a few days before your operation.

Transportation Arrangements

If your procedure involves general anesthesia, you will not be able to drive home afterward. If a friend or family member is not available, you must arrange a transportation alternative. Ask your surgeon’s office if they work with Uber Health or another non-emergency patient transport service. If available, please be aware this costs extra. Finally, some surgical procedures may require a week or more off of driving. In this case, you may need to arrange transportation to your first few follow-up appointments.

Comfortable and Functional Post-Surgical Clothing

Your surgeon may require you to purchase a post-surgical bra to support your breasts after breast surgery or compression garments after liposuction, abdominoplasty, or a BBL. Compression garments are essential to proper healing. They minimize post-surgical swelling and lower the risk of secondary lymphoedema. Additionally, you may need to purchase clothing to wear during your initial healing period. Loose-fitting clothes will be a more comfortable choice than outfits that are too constrictive.

Post-Surgical Treatments

Aftercare is critical to a safe, comfortable recovery. Keep in mind that aftercare costs are generally not reflected in the surgical fee.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage for Surgical Recovery

Depending on your procedure, the surgeon may recommend a series of post-surgical lymphatic drainage massages performed by a professional massage therapist, which costs extra. Lymphatic massage decreases swelling and fluid retention for a more comfortable, quicker recovery.

Post-Surgical Scar Treatments

Optional laser scar treatments can accelerate scar fading so you can enjoy your results sooner.

Surgery always leaves a scar. Typically, surgical scars take between nine months and a year to fade. For some patients, the process takes longer, especially if they have a complication such as wound separation or infection. Other patients are genetically prone to keloid or hypertrophic scarring. Still, others simply want their scar to mature more quickly.

A great-looking scar is integral to a beautiful aesthetic outcome. While surgical scars never entirely disappear, the goal is to get them to fade substantially so they don’t detract from your surgical results.

In-office procedures like laser scar resurfacing can refine the texture and appearance of surgical scars. Light treatments take redness out of scars so they blend in better with the surrounding skin. Topical scar creams such as tretinoin (a prescription retinoid) can improve scar texture, increase collagen production, and speed skin cell turnover—all of which support the finest-looking scar possible. Finally, silicone sheets, readily available at drugstores, improve skin hydration, which is essential to scar healing.

If you elect for scar lightening or skin resurfacing treatments, be advised that these generally cost extra.

A New Wardrobe for Your New Size

Body contouring surgery can transform your shape, which may mean a new wardrobe is in your future. Whether purchasing new bras after aesthetic breast surgery or buying jeans in a smaller size after a tummy tuck, patients should consider the potential costs of updating their wardrobes.

Receive Your Custom Price Quote for Aesthetic Surgery Today

After your first consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, you will receive a price quote outlining the operative fees and a detailed plan of the next steps.

The idea of preparing for surgery and the anticipated costs may feel overwhelming at first. Remember these additional steps will promote the smoothest recovery and best surgical outcome possible.

As a patient of Heights Plastic Surgery, you can rest assured our patient coordinator will help you navigate the process and remove stress from the equation. Receive your custom surgical plan and price quote today by calling (346) 552-8050 to schedule your consultation.