Plastic surgery consultation costs!

ellesan

Cathlete
So I've lost 100 lbs and maintained that for over a year. I've been an avid exerciser and everything has toned up nicely except for my legs. Since that is where I carried the majority of my weight, I have tons of loose saggy baggy skin on my thighs. I hate it, it looks and feels awful and I'm *considering* having a thigh lift next year after I save up some money. So I did some research for surgeons in the area and found 3 that I'm interested in and would like to meet and interview. I just called all of them...they all charge $100 for a consultation fee!! :eek:

Am I being unrealistic here, I think this is robbery! C'mon! They make enough $$ on prodcedures. I guess I have to suck it up and pay if I want to interview several people and make an educated decision...but then I'm out $200 for the two surgeons I don't pick. :confused:

I will definitely be waiting until next year to do the consults, but this stinks!
 

LauraMax

Cathlete
Jeez Sandra, that stinks! I feel so lucky I have a good doc--at least I know I'll only be having one consultation, & since they apply it to the procedure if you go ahead w/it I'm OK w/the fee.

Would you feel comfortable just going on references? Maybe the docs you're interested in seeing would give them to you before the consult so you could at least narrow down who you'd like to see?
 

ellesan

Cathlete
Well I did narrow it down to two after going through the before/after gallery, but still! They also apply it to the procedure if you go with them but it stinks that you would shell out so much $$ to really find someone you're comfortable with as far as skills and bedside manner, etc. I'm in the medical field so I pay special attention to certain things. Anyway, I guess I'll ask around about these guys and try to get some references, thanks!

Jeez Sandra, that stinks! I feel so lucky I have a good doc--at least I know I'll only be having one consultation, & since they apply it to the procedure if you go ahead w/it I'm OK w/the fee.

Would you feel comfortable just going on references? Maybe the docs you're interested in seeing would give them to you before the consult so you could at least narrow down who you'd like to see?
 

syzygy314

Cathlete
I know it's lousy that you have to pay to talk to them, but I'd rather be out the $200 or and be really comfortable with the surgeon and his or her skill, than to go on faith! Remember, this will last you a lifetime and since it's going to be visible, I would suspect you'd want the job done right the first time! If you're like me, $100 per interview is a lot of dough, though. Take your time deciding. It sounds like you are doing it right by researching and checking them out beforehand.
 

NY25

Cathlete
Some docs will waive the fee if you've found them through a referral. Not sure if you found them that way, but you can ask.
 

Fit_mommy

Cathlete
A lot of them DO charge a fee but, atleast when i had a procedure done about 6 years ago, not ALL of them did. I only consulted with surgeons who did not charge a fee and ended up choosing one who I was very happy with. Just because they charge you to speak with them does not mean that they are the better surgeon.

JMO FWIW.
 

exer_cited

Cathlete
Sandra, any chance one or all of these surgeons hold open houses?

I went to an open house at my sister's plastic surgeon's office. It was very informative and it gave me a chance to get a good feel for whether or not this surgeon was a good fit for me. And the bonus was that if you scheduled a consult within so many days of the open house, the consultation fee was waived.

You've obviously worked hard and this may be the last piece of your puzzle. MHO: you are potentially going to invest thousands of $$$ in getting this issue resolved FOREVER, a couple of hundred dollars spent to find the right surgeon may be well worth it!!;)

Good luck to you!!!
 
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janie1234

Cathlete
Have you thought of going to your general practice Dr. and asking him/her for a referral? I'm sure Dr's talk to other Dr's. Actually $100 is cheap, . . .I work for a Dr, . . a dentist but you are paying for his/her education and expertise. This is something you probably don't want to do cheap.
 

backer65

Cathlete
Make sure you check out their credentials. they should be board certified in plastic surgery and you can check if there have been complaints (though in this litigious society, not sure that will provide the full picture).

I agree with others that considering this is real surgery a big picture perspective is good. Great suggestions from everyone, especially asking you regular family doctor about referrals.

I also have some sagging skin on my legs and would love to hear how the surgery goes once you've had it.

All the best,

Michele
 

lori254

Cathlete
You might want to check the ratemds website to get an idea of what other patients have said about the surgeons. I'm too scared to get plastic surgery, but my best friend had a tummy tuck and says it was the best thing she's ever done.
 

BuffyR

Cathlete
When I had plastic surgery my surgeon did not charge a consultation fee, however, he spent a better part of an hour talking to me and I thought he should charge for his time. I am a lawyer so I know my time and skill is how I make money. I think though for surgeons charging a fee discourages people who are not really serious from taking up their time if they are just out "kicking the tires" so to speak. Not saying you are doing that. If it were me I would not be discouraged by the $100, I would probably just narrow my choices to the absolute best.
 

ellesan

Cathlete
Buffy, I am in the medical field, I totally get it. I don't mind charging a fee to discourage people who aren't really serious about it, but $25 for a consult fee is reasonable to me, the office person said they spend about 30 minutes or so during the consult. They're talking and looking at my skin for goodness sake, not doing the surgery!

The challenge is that a thigh lift is not a common surgery, like say breast aug or tummy tuck. Even the receptionist on the phone said I could have a free consult with the nurse but when I told her it was for thigh lift she said that I needed to see the surgeon and pay the fee.

I will narrow it down to two based on board cert, referrals, photos, etc.

Thanks!

When I had plastic surgery my surgeon did not charge a consultation fee, however, he spent a better part of an hour talking to me and I thought he should charge for his time. I am a lawyer so I know my time and skill is how I make money. I think though for surgeons charging a fee discourages people who are not really serious from taking up their time if they are just out "kicking the tires" so to speak. Not saying you are doing that. If it were me I would not be discouraged by the $100, I would probably just narrow my choices to the absolute best.
 

ellesan

Cathlete
Tricia, thanks, you are right but it's still a lot of $$!

I know it's lousy that you have to pay to talk to them, but I'd rather be out the $200 or and be really comfortable with the surgeon and his or her skill, than to go on faith! Remember, this will last you a lifetime and since it's going to be visible, I would suspect you'd want the job done right the first time! If you're like me, $100 per interview is a lot of dough, though. Take your time deciding. It sounds like you are doing it right by researching and checking them out beforehand.
 

ellesan

Cathlete
Thanks, you are right (don't need to charge to be good/better) but ALL the docs I'm interested in do charge the fee...ok, well one was $90 instead of $100. ;)

A lot of them DO charge a fee but, atleast when i had a procedure done about 6 years ago, not ALL of them did. I only consulted with surgeons who did not charge a fee and ended up choosing one who I was very happy with. Just because they charge you to speak with them does not mean that they are the better surgeon.

JMO FWIW.
 

ellesan

Cathlete
Oh, Melissa, good point! I will call and see if they have an open house schedule, thanks!

Sandra, any chance one or all of these surgeons hold open houses?

I went to an open house at my sister's plastic surgeon's office. It was very informative and it gave me a chance to get a good feel for whether or not this surgeon was a good fit for me. And the bonus was that if you scheduled a consult within so many days of the open house, the consultation fee was waived.

You've obviously worked hard and this may be the last piece of your puzzle. MHO: you are potentially going to invest thousands of $$$ in getting this issue resolved FOREVER, a couple of hundred dollars spent to find the right surgeon may be well worth it!!;)

Good luck to you!!!
 

ellesan

Cathlete
Janie, Michele, Lori, thanks for the input. You are all right, I'm definitely doing my homework on this and want to make the right decision in the long run...so I know a few hundred $$ won't make that big of a difference, it's just the thought of coughing up that $$ up front.

I'm going to wait until next year to even do the consults...I think. ;)
 

soon2bfit

Cathlete
I saw 4 surgeons and they all charged a fee of 150 for a consult. To be honest if they did not I would not have gone to them. I live in Boston and medical is huge business here. Ultimately I decided on the Chief of Plastic at the Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston. After my initial consolt with him I went back to him 5 times for more consults at no charge. The surgeon was very patient with me. This is not normally the case but I really did my homework and I ended up with better than average results, so it was well worth it to spend the 600 on consults to get what I think was the bst surgeon for me.
 

exer_cited

Cathlete
After my initial consolt with him I went back to him 5 times for more consults at no charge.
Good point, soon2bfit! I'm from the Boston area as well, so "howdy neighbor"!!!! :D

Sandra, ask them if you have to pay a fee every time you go for a follow up. In my case, all of my office visits are free for one year as well as appts needed to see the therapist for lymphatic massage.

I know you mentioned that you were planning on pursuing this until next year, but I highly recommend you start jotting down some questions you want to ask. And don't be afraid to ask every single one, no matter how insignificant you think it might be at the time.
 

soon2bfit

Cathlete
One other thing I forgot to mention. My surgeon had to take several precautions for my surgery. He went above and beyond doing what was required. Being the Cheif I am sure he gets what he wants and he did. He straped me on the table himself rather than having the anesthiaoligist do it, he also had a cardiac doc in the or as a precaution because I have pfo. My surgeon new I was a worry wart and that I had thought of every premetation and combination of what could go wrong, he knew from meeting with me that I was a planner. He was excellemt and assessing who I was as a person and how to best accomondate me. I can not tell you how at ease I was when I walked in to be introduced to the cardiac doc and the rest of his team. They were there for me. I ended up having to stay overnight because of an unrelated issue. The first doc I saw when I woke up was mine, not some doc on call.

Whe you meet your surgeon you will know it. It is kind of like buying a wedding dress, once you are wearing it you know that dress is perfect just for you!

I would be happy to call my doc and ask for a referral in your area if you like. I don't know if he knows anyone but it won't hurt to ask.


btw I also have hashimotos. HOw did your thyroid surgery go?
julie
 

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