More Patients Turn to Credit Cards to Support Cosmetic Surgery Habit

As consumers feel the pinch from the recent economic downturn, plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures are no longer the high priority purchases they once were.

Market analysts point out that many patients are turning to lower-priced elective surgery such as BOTOX injections to get rid of wrinkles instead of paying for a pricey face lift, and trying liposuction alternatives such as VelaShape to get rid of unwanted body fat to maintain their youthful look - and worry less about finances during the tough economic times.

Aesthetic Medicine News, a publication of The International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM) shares the latest insights in the cosmetic surgery market:

The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery said its members are reporting an increase in noninvasive procedures like Botox injections and laser resurfacing, which are cheaper than traditional surgery.

“They’re still willing to do the smaller lunchtime procedures … in the $300 to $500 range,” said Dr. Leonard Kim, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills. “But more patients have asked if they can spread payments out.”

Patients can pay for their procedures with cash, credit card or obtain patient financing through companies such as CareCredit. CareCredit is the healthcare division of GE Money, and works with hundreds of plastic surgery centers, medical spas and cosmetic rejuvenation centers to offer interest-free financing for prospective patients.

Patient financing plans vary by location and facility, but in some cases, patients can cash in with as much as twelve months of interest-free financing.  Standard payment plans offer 3 to 6 months of interest-free purchases using the CareCredit card. Personal credit cards are another option for those who want to get their 'lunchtime lipo' fix and reduce the anxiety about immediate payments.

'Just charge it' may be the mantra for many cosmetic surgery patients in the oncoming months as the impact of the economic downturn continues to take its toll on consumer spending.

Further Reading

  • Motivated by his wife and kids, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who once called himself “the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen”, disclosed Tuesday he secretly underwent Gastric Banding (Lap Band Surgery) on February 16, 2013, performed by Dr. George Fielding, head of NYU Medical Center’s Weight Management Program.

  • With bathing suit season right around the corner, plastic surgeons across the country are finding more women are booking up appointments for body contouring and breast augmentation procedures. Dr. Michael Niccole, founder and medical director of CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center and MedSpa in Newport Beach, and one of the “Top Plastic Surgeons in America”, reports that his appointment books are full, with a high demand for breast implants, skin tightening procedures and body contouring procedures to help women lose a few inches around the hips and thighs.

  • Sound Surgical Technologies, the company behind Vaser Liposelection the Vaser ultrasound device, has developed the VaserShape system, a non-surgical device that helps reduce cellulite and inches in certain areas of the body. The VaserShape device is a non-invasive body contouring system powered by ultrasonic laser. The device is designed to disrupt fat cells beneath the skin by delivering ultrasound energy deep into the skin’s tissues.

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