Americans spent $10.5 billion dollars on plastic surgery in 2009, according to the latest statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. That was down 20 percent from the year before, as the economy took a toll on those opting for cosmetic surgery. That is likely to be reversed in 2010, as personal finances improve.

Based on what we’re seeing in our practice right now, people of all ages are beginning to invest again in their appearance, especially as they work to market themselves in the job world. But cost remains a big issue for many of our patients.

Cost, of course, should be a key variable to weigh in the pursuit of ageless beauty. But how much a procedure costs will vary greatly depending on several factors.

First to have an impact on cost: the area or areas to be treated. If you’re considering liposuction in more than one area, it may be more cost effective to do it on several parts of the body at once, rather than individually. Similarly, the cost is higher for larger body areas. Liposuction of the abdomen, for example, will cost significantly more than liposuction of the outer thigh.

The expertise and experience of the physician is something else you may want to take into account. Although the most expensive surgeon may not be the best, be wary of any surgeon who gives you a quote that is significantly below the average in your geographical area.

The surgeon’s overhead is also something that will have an impact on the cost. So will the amount of time and effort required of the surgeon, the cost of anesthesiologist’s services, as well as operating room and lab fees.

I also warn patients to question certain advertised plastic surgery costs, which may appear low because they only reflect the cost of the procedure itself, not the other costs associated with it, which may also include pre- and post-operative exams, and even corrective surgery, if needed.

In our practice, we have full disclosure when it comes to the cost, and will work with patients to determine the best way for them to pay for their procedures.

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From the moment I walked through the door my fears evaporated. Dr. Zubowski is a gifted surgeon and his staff is tops.

– Kerry G.