So I’m looking at a weekly email that I receive which highlights new articles in the media pertaining to plastic surgery. As a plastic surgeon, it’s natural for me to want to stay up to date on the latest developments. But as the founder of BuildMyBod, a website that provides total price estimates on cosmetic surgery from board certified plastic surgeons near you, and as a blogger on that site, I’m also looking for topics to discuss. Well, today I found one! The Cost of Cosmetic Surgery.
In the article by Regina Lewis from USA Today, she discusses the cost of cosmetic surgery. Her first recommendation is to “get ballpark prices” by going to Health Care Blue Book. The idea is that the site provides pricing information on medical procedures, similarly to how Kelley Blue Book does for cars. When you go to the site, it has a section on Cosmetic Medicine which breaks down into surgical procedures and non-invasive procedures. So far so good. But when you look at the procedures, it shows a lot of random numbers that are not complete – I know they’re not complete because, as a plastic surgeon, I know what needs to be included…and it’s not there! Implants aren’t included, postop garments aren’t included, for example. Also, the prices are not associated with a specific doctor so you don’t know whose prices they are. More importantly, you don’t know if those prices are associated with a board certified plastic surgeon or not.
So obviously I’m a little perturbed because a site was recommended in the USA Today article that doesn’t help the consumer as much as the site I developed. I recognize I’m not objective here but I know what patients want – they want to find a plastic surgeon that they’ve heard something good about and they want to be sure they can afford it. Preferably, they’d like to know if they can afford it before the consultation so they don’t waste their time or the doctor’s time. I’m sure the author of the USA Today article, Regina Lewis, has done her research and is more familiar with the other site but we tweeted at her yesterday in the hopes that if she writes on this topic again, she’s now aware of BuildMyBod and will hopefully give us a shout out in the future! And just to be clear, I’m sure Ms. Lewis is a good person, no malicious intent on her part, so this blog post should only be seen as a “teachable moment”, nothing more.
For future reference, anyone searching “plastic surgery pricing” on Google, BuildMyBod is on either the first or second page….Healthcare Blue Book didn’t even make it onto the first two pages (or the 3rd, the 4th or 5th (I gave up after that))!
The bottom line is, if you want to find a plastic surgeon in your area that provides total pricing information on a procedure they offer (surgeon’s fee, anesthesia, OR fees, implants fees, postop garments, cosmetic insurance, etc), then go to www.buildmybod.com/pricing and you’ve now found the first website that connects the consumer and doctor by answering the question that everyone wants to know by the end of their cosmetic consultation – how much does it cost?!
Hope this helped!