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15 What Price Beauty? Cosmetic Surgery Costs

Ah, the big question. How much does all this cost? Many people scrimp and save for years to pay for cosmetic surgery, and if you're one of them, you'll want to know what to expect. I must emphasize that prices vary widely from one doctor to the next, and it's a huge ballpark. A doctor's fees are set according to many factors, including his overhead, his reputation, how long it takes him to perform a procedure, what the market will bear, the geographic region (a doctor in Arkansas isn't going to charge the same as a doctor in Los Angeles), the equipment he's using (it has to be able to pay for itself), how effective his marketing is, or the number of his referrals, and so on.

When you shop around, remind yourself that you won't get something for nothing. If you buy the cheapest of anything, you probably won't be satisfied. What do you own that you bought just on the basis of price? Most people want quality over cost. After all, you are dealing with your looks, and there is a huge difference in excellence between surgeons and procedures. Please make sure you read chapter 2 on choosing your cosmetic surgeon if you aren't convinced.

Following are some rough price ranges for 2004 surgical fees. Remember that fees vary tremendously from one doctor and region to the next. Facility fees and anesthesia may be extra — be sure to ask.


Look carefully at the quality you're buying, and judge mainly by the doctor's "before and after" photos. Also, your safety depends on the doctor's experience with the newest techniques. (For more details, see the chapter "What's the Worst That Can Happen?" and the Complications section on the home page of Many doctors offer liposuction, only a few really focus on it, and most hate it because of how tedious it is. If your budget is limited, you may settle for an inexperienced physician, but remember that touch-ups can be expensive, and the results often questionable. Price also depends on how much fat is to be removed.

Body liposuction: $2,000 to $10,000, depending on how much of the body is treated

Chin/lower face liposuction: $1,500 to $3,500

Breast Liposuction

Insurance can sometimes pay for breast liposuction, especially if you are having a lot of back pain and/or other physical problems. Costs are usually about $3,000 to $5,000 in Los Angeles and may be more than $10,000 in other areas of the U.S.

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