How Much Plastic Surgery Really Costs

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If you’re thinking of getting some work done, you probably already have an idea of how much plastic surgery costs. Plastic surgery isn’t cheap!

Depending on the work you’re getting done, your bill can come int at anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000 for one single procedure. Getting more than treatment done in a sitting, and you can see that cost double or even triple.

Only you can decide if a cosmetic procedure belongs in your budget. But if it’s something you’re contemplating, read on to get an idea of how much it will cost and how to pay for it.

How much does plastic surgery cost?

How much plastic surgery costs depends on the work you’re getting done. Some procedures are inherently more expensive than others, but a lot of the cost depends on your body type and goals.

Here are the average plastic surgery prices in North America for the top 10 most popular cosmetic procedures:

SurgeryCost
Breast Augmentation$4,000 to $10,000
Rhinoplasty (nose job)$5,000 to $10,000
Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)$2,000 to $5,000
Liposuction$3,500
Tummy Tuck$7,500 to $9,500
Facelift$7,500 to $11,500
Breastlift$7,000 to $9,000
Dermabrasion$1,300
Forehead or Brow lift$3,500 to $8,500
Ear pinning$3,200

Below is a breakdown of why each surgery costs what it does!

Breast Augmentation surgery cost $4,000 to $10,000

A boob job costs anywhere from around $4,000 to over $10,000. This is one of the most popular surgeries in the world. Many women get breast augmentation, or a “boob job”, for cosmetic reasons or breast reconstruction after breast-cancer surgery.

The downside? Complications are common and many people find themselves paying for another surgery later. Even those that don’t have any complications often wish they’d gone bigger, and pay for another surgery to size up.

Nevertheless, breast augmentation remains one of the most popular surgeries in the world.

Rhinoplasty (Nose Job) surgery cost $5,000 to $10,000

Nose jobs are the second most popular plastic surgeries people undergo. A rhinoplasty will run you anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 out of pocket.

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, they can work magic with filler now. You might want to check out what a good aesthetician at your local spa can do with filler for a few hundred dollars before you commit to spending thousands on rhinoplasty.

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid surgery) cost $2,000 to $5,000

I used to think this was a surgery only for old people since the only person I knew that got it done was my grandfather. However, now it’s popular amongst beauty influencers of all people!

Belpharoplasty or eyelid surgery involves removing excess skin around the eye. If you have hooded eyelids, as you age you may find your skin sags and impedes your vision. If you’re young, you might simply hate that your eyeshadow is hidden!

Liposuction cost $3,500

Liposuction involves removing fat cells from your body that you can’t otherwise get rid of with diet and exercise. It’s a fairly straightforward procedure, but depending how many areas you’re getting treated can really cost a pretty penny.

Tummy Tuck cost $7,500 to $9,500

A tummy tuck surgery is surprisingly expensive at first glance, until you learn what it really is. Many of my mom friends have gone under the knife for abdominoplasty to repair diastasis recti due to pregnancy. The procedure involves not only tightening the skin of the abdomen, but also repairing the muscle underneath. This is why it costs so much!

Facelift cost $7,500 to $11,500

A facelift is probably not a surgery you’ll consider until your 50s or later, but it can take decades off your face if you’re willing to pay for it.

Breast lift cost $7,000 to $9,000

A breast lift is different than a breast augmentation, though sometimes people will get both procedures done at the same time. A breast lift involves lifting the breast to make it perkier, without changing its size.

Nevertheless, it comes in at almost the same price as a breast augmentation. However, which surgery is best for you depends on your wants and your body.

Dermabrasion cost $1,300

Dermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that involves freezing then sanding the skin. It removes fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. It’s cheaper than most of the other items on this list, and can be done by either a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist.

For those fighting the good fight against aging, dermabrasion is a comes in somewhere between a facial and facelift, and that’s reflected in the price tag.

Forehead or Brow lift cost $3,500 to $8,500

A forehead lift, or brow lift, is exactly that it sounds like: lifting your forehead up. This procedure reduces fine lines and wrinkles in your forehead for a younger appearance. How much you’ll pay depends on how much of a lift you need.

Otoplasty (Ear surgery or Ear pinning) cost $3,200

Otoplasty, or “ear pinning” is a popular and simple surgery to make your ears look smaller or stick out less. This is a simple and relatively short surgery, and that’s reflected in the price-tag. It’s so common they even do it on children!

What about the price of other cosmetic treatments?

There are other ways to semi-permanently change your looks that don’t involve going under the knife (but might still hurt). The difference between the cosmetic treatments below and the plastic surgery above is first, they’re much cheaper, but they’re also temporary.

Eyebrow microblading $400 to $700

Eyebrow microblading is a form of semi-permanent makeup. Your first appointment will cost $400 to $700, but it requires yearly upkeep so expect to spend about $250 at least once per year thereafter.

You can read more about my experience in my post Is Microblading Worth It?

Botox $150 to $900

Botox is priced per unit, and usually costs $10 to $20 per unit. While this seems cheap at first glance, you’ll likely need anywhere from a 10 to 60 units of Botox.

I got Botox around my lips when I got my lip injections, and it was 8 units at $10 each, adding $80 to my bill! I have yet to try Botox elsewhere on my face, but I know the day is coming.

Lip injections $300 to $600+

Lip filler is all the rage right now, but it doesn’t come cheap. Expect to need anywhere from 1/2 syringe to 2 syringes to get your lips to the plumpness you desire. At a cost of about $600 per syringe, you’ll pay anywhere from $300 to over $1,000 for lip fillers.

Facial fillers $300+

Along the line of lip injections, you can get filler in other places on your face. Many people now use filler to augment their chin, change the shape of their nose, or fill in saggy undereye circles. No, really! You can work magic with filler!

Should I even be spending money on this?

I feel like the price of cosmetic treatments is a dirty little secret in the personal finance community. I remember reading blogs years ago where someone alluded to getting work done, but they wouldn’t say what it was or how much it costs.

In the personal finance space that’s still largely dominated by men, the out-of-pocket expenses for your appearance are mostly categorized as frivolous. But paying for small (or big) changes to your looks can provide a pretty high ROI in terms of self-esteem and happiness, making it a worthy investment.

I never got anything done in my 20’s because I couldn’t afford it. But as my income increased, I aged, and beauty trends changed, I found myself spending thousands of dollars on minor cosmetic treatments. First it was getting my eyebrows microbladed, then I dropped cash on lip injections and botox.

I don’t think that’s the last of it either. But this stuff’s expensive and I need to budget!

How to afford plastic surgery

While the very frugal will frown at the frivolity of paying to alter your appearance, you should only worry about whether or not a procedure will bring value to you. If you can afford it and you want it, go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Shop around

Before you go under the knife or needle, make sure to shop around for surgeons and aestheticians. Don’t compare just their prices! Take a look at before & after photos to make your decision.

This is your face and your body. It’s worthwhile to spend a little extra money to get the look you want. Plastic surgery is not something you want to regret!

Set your budget and savings goal

Once you’ve chosen your procedure and surgeon, set your budget and lay out your savings plan. How long it takes you to reach your goal depends on your cash flow and the price of the work you’re getting done, but you should be able to save up for the plastic surgery you want in 2 years or less.

Start saving!

Once you have your savings plan outlined, open a high-interest savings account and start setting cash aside. Try to save on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to watch that balance grow faster.

If you’re looking for savings tips, check out How to Save $10,000. That should help put a dent in whatever cosmetic procedure you’re trying to afford!

Should you finance plastic surgery?

This is a tough question. I know many people think the right answer is no, you should absolutely never go into debt for something cosmetic, but life isn’t really that simple.

For many people, their appearance is a major source of unhappiness. Getting their cosmetic procedure done sooner can return more joy and happiness than the cost of carrying the debt to fund it. However, rushing into surgery by using debt is a bad idea.

Unsurprisingly, many people finance their plastic surgery procedures. It’s so common your plastic surgeon will probably include an offer for a plastic surgery loan in your info packet! But that doesn’t mean you should go into debt for it. Below is some advice on when and how to finance plastic surgery.

Don’t finance small procedures

If the cosmetic work you want to be done costs less than $2,000, there is no reason why you can’t just bite the bullet and save up for it. If anything costs a few hundred dollars to up to $2,000, you can find a way to cut back in your monthly budget or earn extra income to afford it.

Don’t finance your entire surgery

If your surgery is multiple thousands of dollars, it might make sense to finance it, but only in part. You absolutely should not go into debt for the entire bill!

Try to come up with at least 1/3 of your surgery cost in cash savings before you go under the knife. You can use a low-interest loan or line of credit to finance the remaining 2/3.

Don’t put it on a credit card

This should go without saying but you absolutely should not charge the cost of any cosmetic procedure to a credit card. Credit cards charge anywhere from 14% to 19.99% interest (or more) and that’s a ludicrous premium to pay on an already expensive purchase.

Do take out a line of credit or low-interest loan

If you will be financing part of your cosmetic procedure, make sure you’re doing so with a low-interest loan or line of credit. Try to find somewhere that will give you an interest rate of 10% or less. This ensures your debt won’t get out of control and your payments should remain manageable as you pay it off.

The interest rate you qualify for will depend on your credit score, so make sure you know what it is before you apply for a loan or line of credit. If you have a low credit score, work in building it back up while simultaneously saving for your plastic surgery. Then, apply 1-3 months before your surgery date to ensure you get the best rate possible.

Final thoughts on paying to go under the knife

Whether or not cosmetic surgery belongs in your beauty budget or not is entirely up to you. All that matters is you’re spending money on the things you value, and you’re doing so responsibly without derailing your other financial goals!

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • I like that this was written in a very neutral, non-judgemental way. I feel like there are two circles I encounter frequently: the “29 year olds shouldn’t have fine lines/aging is a personal failing” school of thought and the “if you alter your appearance at all you don’t love yourself enough” types.

    As someone whose self-esteem massively improved after getting braces in my teens (my mom says she found me crying over my teeth when I was like three), I think people massively underestimate how much small things can impact your quality of life.

    I do think there is the danger of addiction and spending way too much money on correcting very minute things with diminishing returns, but that can be said about anything.

    Reply
    • YUP. Agree completely. I do think there should be some concern over how many people are altering their appearance just to appear a certain way on Instagram, but otherwise I think correcting one or two things you don’t like about yourself is totally fine too.

      I had braces as an adult too. I really don’t think plastic surgery is much different than that!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Catherine Truong
    September 24, 2020 3:14 pm

    This is one of the most beneficial posts I’ve read in the PF world for a while.

    As someone who suffered from cystic acne in my teens, my self esteem increased so much when my skin cleared up. Our society values beauty and having certain procedures done can boost one’s earning potentials, not to mention the benefit from increasing one’s confidence to go for higher-paying/better positions, or to make a change in one’s career to something more meaningful.

    Sounds a bit cliche – but plastic surgery is usually not just skin deep.

    Reply

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