Do you know the #1 and #2 questions posed by Australians who are considering cosmetic surgery?
We do because the Team Costhetics mailbox is filled with messages asking:
- How much does it cost?
- What will my out-of-pocket costs be?
These are excellent questions. Like it or not, cosmetic surgery has a price tag attached. In order to know what’s right for you financially as well as surgically, it’s important that you understand the factors that impact the cost of a procedure.
That’s not always easy to do. Some unscrupulous providers quote low, low prices and then inflate the bill with hidden costs. As Australia’s leading provider of cosmetic surgery news and information, Costhetics wants to help put an end to that.
In this article, we’re giving you the facts on the true costs of cosmetic surgery in Australia.
Break It Down: Your Cosmetic Surgery Bill
Cosmetic surgery is complex. A wide range of skilled professionals, innovative tools, and pristine facilities are necessary to achieve optimal outcomes. Needless to say, breast augmentation surgery has different requirements than eyelid surgery, and those differences impact a procedure’s cost.
Regardless of the procedure you are considering, your surgeon should be able to provide you with a comprehensive estimate of costs before your surgery. Those cost estimates will typically include:
- Preliminary consultation (fees range from $50 to $500 depending on the surgeon)
- Pre-surgical office visits
- Surgeon’s fee
- Implants (prices are based on the type of implant)
- Hospital fees (hourly rates starting at $750)
- Anaesthesiologist (hourly rates from $600 to $650)
- Post-operative garments
- Recovery kit
- Follow-up visits
I Want It All & I Want it Now
Led by outspoken, cosmetic surgery-loving celebrities, it’s boom time for aesthetic enhancement in Australia. According to the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons,
“No-one knows exactly how much cosmetic surgery is being performed in Australia, as national statistics for the industry are not collected at this time. However it is generally accepted that there has been a big rise in the past 10 years”
Recently, online trend spotter RealSelf surveyed nearly three-quarters of a million Australians and compiled a list of the seven most-searched cosmetic surgery topics for Australians:
- Breast augmentation and implants
- Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
- Breast Reduction
- Eyelid Surgery
- Breast Lift
Cosmetic Surgery Favorites by State
More surprising than the list above, however, was the discovery that
“The surgeries of interest among Australians depended on where they call home.” – Mamamia
Sydneysiders search most for rhinoplasty surgery, while Brisbanites show a preference for breast surgeries and facelifts. Most interesting of all may be the news from Perth. Residents of Perth appear to be the most satisfied with their natural appearances. Western Australia’s capital city consistently came in fourth for all searches regarding cosmetic surgery (except for breast surgeries, which interests Melbournians the least).
Cosmetic Surgery Covered by Medicare in Australia
We’re fortunate to have robust health insurance in Australia. Some surgical procedures that correct medical problems may be reimbursable. These include, among others:
- Augmentation Mammoplasty (to correct poor breast symmetry, post-mastectomy)
- Rhinoplasty (to correct nasal obstruction)
- Blepharoplasty (to remove sagging skin from the upper eyelids)
Laws regarding rebates are not constant. In 2016, it was determined that patients will not receive any rebates for cosmetic abdominoplasty surgery. Team Costhetics recommends that you consult the Medicare Schedule to ensure that you’ve got the most current information on your coverage.
Cosmetic surgery is not covered by Medicare. Any surgery not identified as necessary or for medical purposes will not be considered. However, a practitioner may apply to the Department of Human Services on your behalf for any proposed surgery. Your surgeon will need to identify that surgery is necessary for medical reasons, and may have to provide photos and clinical details to convince the Department that it is essential surgery for your well being.
This underscores why it is important for any patient to have an honest, open relationship with his/her surgeon.
Some private insurance policies exclude all cosmetic surgery procedures. Others, like Medicare, allow for reconstructive plastic surgery (a medical necessity), but not cosmetic surgery (an aesthetic choice). If you’re uncertain about your coverage, be sure to check with your health insurance company for clarification.
Average Costs for Cosmetic Surgery in Sydney
Here in Australia both cosmetic and plastic surgeons perform popular transformative procedures. This can have an impact on a patient’s cost. Location is another wild card in the mix. In order to simplify things, Team Costhetics decided to use Sydney as our focus in determining the median cost of different procedures. Our survey revealed:
- Breast Augmentation – $7,000 to $15,000 (your surgeon’s fee and choice of implant materials are big factors here).
- Rhinoplasty – $8000 to $20,000 (the surgeon’s fee and exact nature of the procedure are key factors).
- Tummy Tuck – $9,000 to $18,000
- Eyelid Surgery – $2,500 to $4,500 for either upper or lower eyelids, $4,500 to $8,000 for a combination procedure.
- Facelift – the cost of a facelift is highly dependent on how long the procedure is likely to take. The surgeon’s fee reflects the time he/she spends in the operating room. It can range from $6,500 to $12,000 for a short scar or endoscopic facelift, $17,000 to $25,000 for an SMAS facelift and neck lift, and $20,000 to $30,000 for a deep plane facelift.
- Breast Reduction Surgery – Here, too, the surgical fee is the variable, depending on the complexity and length of the procedure. The typical surgeon’s fee is $9,000.
- Breast Lift – Surgeon’s fees range from $6,000 to $8,000. Patients who choose breast implants along with a lift can expect to pay approximately $12,000 for their surgeon’s fee.
Price vs. Value: An Important Distinction in Cosmetic Surgery
The Internet has made it incredibly easy to comparison shop, and we’ve all become very accustomed to shopping for the best price. This is a great strategy for buying Christian Louboutin shoes on ebay. It’s a terrible strategy for selecting a healthcare professional.
Would you go to a gynaecologist for triple-bypass surgery because the price was low? Of course not! Yet an alarming number of people are going to medical practitioners that don’t specialise in the services they’re offering.
You shouldn’t be cynical, but do be sceptical. A too-good-to-be-true low price can be an indication that the surgeon is untrained, that there are insufficient staff on hand, and that safety is being sacrificed for profit.
Costhetics says you deserve better. In fact, you deserve the very best. Here’s how to get it:
- Check your surgeon’s credentials
- Ask for recommendations
- Look at before and after pictures to assess the provider’s skills
Don’t be shy about this. Any surgeon worth his/her salt will be happy to answer your questions.