What to Know Before Going in for a Cosmetic Treatment

Photo Credits: Oksana Doroshko/ Getty Images | Model Used for Illustrative Purpose Only

Transforming your look is a major decision, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality care for cost. Before proceeding with any procedure, it’s important to be as well-informed as possible about all of the stages in the process and base your decision on more than just price. Follow these steps to empower yourself with the knowledge to make the best choices for your beauty, health and safety.

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Step 1: Choose a Qualified Doctors
When considering cosmetic enhancement, whether surgical or nonsurgical, there is no substitute for safety, which is why it’s important to choose a skilled, well-credentialed doctor you can trust.

Finding a doctor is difficult, but finding the right one to cater to your specific needs can be downright confusing. Not every practicing doctor is equipped to do every single aesthetic treatment. To ensure an optimal outcome, you and your chosen doctor have to see eye to eye and be on the same page in terms of expectations. As your search begins, some important qualifications to keep in mind are that the doctor is board-certified, practicing within scope (performing only the procedures he or she has been trained in) and known to be reputable and ethical. Choose a doctor who really understands your aesthetic concerns and goals and can perform the right procedure for you.

Step 2: Research Your Procedure
Doing your homework is key, but be sure to arm yourself with the most accurate information available. Although there is a great deal of information for prospective patients online, you must discern what is true and what is hearsay and base your knowledge on credible information. Make a list of questions prior to your office visit and take notes during your consultation. Your doctor should be able to answer any questions you may have about your particular procedure.

Step 3: Arrive to your Consultation Prepared
During your consultation, your doctor will ask about your aesthetic goals before recommending detailed treatment options. This is the appropriate time to go over any questions you may have that will help you make informed decisions. 

The doctor should review your personal concerns and your desired aesthetic goals and work with you to devise a customized plan based on your specific needs. Each suggested treatment option should be explained in a way that you understand, describing the extent of the procedure and the anticipated results, as well as any possible side effects or risks. You should discuss your anesthesia and recovery options, and the expected outcomes associated with each procedure. Ask your doctor how many times he or she has performed the procedure you’re interested in and request before-and-after photographs of the actual results achieved. Your overall health and any medical conditions you have should also be discussed. Before proceeding with treatment, informed consent is a must. Even if you’ve had the same treatment in the past, each procedure requires your consent.

Questions to Consider Asking

  • How many of these types of procedures have you performed?
  • And can you show me your before-and-after photos?
  • Is there anything you recommend I do before my procedure to ensure better results or a quicker recovery?
  • What are the risks associated with this procedure?
  • Are there any alternative treatments?
  • What preparation is required the day before and morning of my procedure?
  • Should my regular medications be taken on the morning of my procedure?
  • What time should I arrive? Should someone drive me?

What It Will Cost
There are many variables that affect the total cost of a procedure. Geographic location, as well as the training, experience and reputation of your doctor, can greatly impact his or her fees. Knowing the national averages of the most popular procedures is a good starting point for discussing your doctor’s fees. According to a report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), Americans spent a whopping $16 billion on plastic surgery and elective procedures in 2016. The report also breaks down the national average cost for the most popular cosmetic surgical and minimally invasive procedures.

Plastic Surgery
Facelift: $7,048
Rhinoplasty: $5,046
Breast augmentation: $3,719
Tummy tuck: $5,798
Liposuction: $3,200
Buttock augmentation: $4,356

Noninvasive Treatments
Wrinkle erasers (like Botox Cosmetic, Dysport or Xeomin): $385
Dermal fillers (like Juvéderm or Restylane): $644
Laser skin resurfacing: $433
Chemical peel: $673
Microdermabrasion: $138

Before you run off to the most affordable doctor in your area, be sure to base your decision for your aesthetic treatment on more than just price. The cost of any treatment or procedure is not nearly as important as doing your due diligence and selecting a surgeon whose primary focus is your safety.

Get the beautiful results you want, with a beautiful way to pay for it. CareCredit is a health, beauty and wellness credit card dedicated to helping millions of patients get the care they want and need by offering special financing options to fit into your monthly budget. You can use the CareCredit credit card for cosmetic surgery, dermatology, injectables, fillers, laser treatments, skin care products, medical procedure deductibles, and much more to pay for your aesthetic needs in manageable payments rather than one lump sum.

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