23 Oct 2011

Consultation fees for Cosmetic Surgery

Why should you see a surgeon who charges a consultation fee when some surgeons give free consultations? Your consultation is the most important step in having a successful surgery experience. If you see a surgeon who doesn’t charge a consultation fee, the consultation becomes primarily a screening process for finding candidates for surgery. As a result, if you are not someone who is a good candidate, you can count on a quick ending to your consultation. More importantly, the surgeon may become financially biased towards talking you (and himself) into your suitability for surgery, and receives no reward for reassuring you that surgery is unnecessary, or advising you that someone else may have something better to offer. Just as surgeons receive a fee for consultations for insured (OHIP) covered procedures, a consultation fee for cosmetic procedures allows the surgeon to dedicate the consultation to simply giving good advice.
Problems occasionally will arise, as some patients assume that paying a consultation fee obliges the surgeon to operate on them. As much as you may be measuring up a surgeon to decide if you want them to do your ‘work’, the surgeon is also deciding whether you are likely to be happy with typical results, and will properly refuse surgery if you aren’t a good candidate. We will occasionally see a patient who has nothing to gain from a consultation, and offer to interrupt the consultation and return the consultation fee. We see many patients who ultimately can’t be offered surgery or one of our other treatments, but are rewarded by the knowledge gained from a full discussion of their complaint and the alternatives for management. We are connected with a vast professional network, and can often recommend someone with expertise in areas outside our practice.

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