Patients contemplating cosmetic surgery often see the costs and wonder exactly what they are paying for. Most patients feel that they are paying for a perfect result that fits ideally with what they want.
They tend to equate this with their other consumer activities. After all, we go into a department store, pick out the perfect dress or pair of sunglasses, weigh the cost, pay for the item, and leave the store happy with our purchase. However, if the sunglasses turn out to be of shoddy construction or the dress seams start coming apart, we don’t feel we got what we paid for.
It seems reasonable to apply this same line of thinking to plastic surgery, but it’s not applicable. Unlike a pair of sunglasses, you are not paying for a specific, perfect result that fits exactly with your expectations. You are paying for an experienced surgeon who will do the best he or she can with the surgical situation and your unique condition, after having educated you on realistic outcomes. You also are paying for the surgeon to deal with whatever inherent infirmities or other issues that may cause problems with reaching your anticipated goal. Are you a smoker? Are you a heavy drinker? Do you live with a heavy smoker? Do you have underlying medical conditions that may cause healing issues? Are there substance abuse issues? Do you have an underlying hematologic disorder? There are myriad issues that may cause one patient to have a result that exceeds the results of another. Conditions such as age, family history, underlying medical problems, personal habits, lifestyle choices, and even geographic location can affect the results that can be obtained.
You are also paying for the surgeon to take care of you in a safe operating environment. Plus, you are paying for continued involvement after the procedure to help manage your expectations. In short, you are paying for experience, expertise, compassion, and personal attention. If in the end the result is perfect then that is great. However, the value received is not always measured by perfect results. Many times a good result in the face of challenges is a great buy.
I hope this helps with the concept of what you receive in value when purchasing cosmetic medical services.