To the chagrin of many we’re now past the Holiday season. However, I’d like to discuss a issue that peaked during the Holidays: cosmetic surgery as a gift. Surprisingly, this isn’t as crazy, or uncommon, as it sounds. With the rise of Groupon and Living Social many medical practices are now offering discounts (that you can gift). This is in spite of the potential “fee splitting” issue I’ve mentioned in the past.
Now, let me be clear, the medical treatments offered on Groupon and such are typically non-invasive (Botox, laser hair removal, etc). It’s not like you can go online and purchase a nose job. However, if a friend or loved one has expressed interest in cosmetic surgery, and you’re adamant about getting them this procedure as a gift, there are some things you need to consider.
You need to do your research wisely. You can start by doing a basic search for your procedure. If you find a surgeon in your area you’ll first want to go to their bio. Make sure that they’re a board-certified plastic surgeon. You can even confirm that by using the search tool located on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ website. Then you’ll want to take a look at their work. Before and after photos are important, as are patient testimonials. Look for video testimonials of patients who’ve had the same procedure done. These tend to be more “real” than written testimonials.
Once you’ve narrowed down a few surgeons you’ll want to call to get a rough ballpark of the cost of the surgery. Most practices will require the patient to come in for a consultation to get anything more than that, so keep that in mind. If you’ve got a good list of surgeons narrowed down you’ll simply want to make a note in a card to the recipient that you’re willing to pay for their surgery. You’ll then need to schedule a consultation and see if the surgeon believes the recipient is a good candidate for surgery.
Generally speaking, cosmetic surgery is not really an appropriate gift, but who am I to judge what people do with their money? If a recent college grad has wanted a nose job to fix the bump where it was broken in the past then that would be a nice gesture from his or her parents. There’s also nothing wrong with a husband simply wanting to give his wife the breast augmentation she’s always wanted. Just make sure you do your due diligence to find the right surgeon.