It’s amazing what one can do with the technology of modern science. If you weren’t born with the face or body you want, no problem. You can change it to resemble whatever model, actor, or celebrity you desire. Although when cosmetic surgery first emerged in the 1960s it was not thought of as serious medicine, cosmetic surgery has become much more legitimate and remains in high demand. As these are usually elective procedures, their extravagant costs are not covered by most private health insurance. But if your pockets are deep enough, you can afford to have just about any part of your body cosmetically altered.
1. Breast Augmentation
Average cost: $4000 to $10000
The first breast implants were attempted in 1889, using a woman’s own fat tissue. Since that time breast augmentation surgery has evolved and is now the most popular cosmetic surgery performed in the United States. Approximately 300,000 breast augmentation surgeries are performed each year in the U.S. alone. Breasts can be enlarged through saline or silicone-gel-filled implants. While some use breast augmentation simply to increase the size of their natural breasts, others have used it to reconstruct breast tissue following a mastectomy. Breast implants vary in cost by region, but average $3500 for saline implants and $4500 for silicone implants. The procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis and takes from one to three hours.
2. Buttocks Implants
Average cost: $6000 to $12000
Although it might sound a bit strange, buttocks implants are actually quite a popular cosmetic procedure. Originating in South America in the 1960s, buttocks implants have become popular in the United States since 2002. Some women simply feel their butts aren’t large enough, aren’t rounded enough, aren’t well-defined, or just don’t look they way they wish. Surgeons may use actual implants, while others transfer fat from one part of the body to the other. Buttocks implants, also called gluteal implants, vary in size, style, and surgical technique. The butt that might look good on an Asian, Hispanic, or African-American patient might not look good on a Caucasian patient. Buttocks implants average $6000 to $12000 and the procedure usually takes about two hours.
Average cost: $4000 to $8000
Who would have thought this area of a woman’s body, which is usually covered by clothing, would be a candidate for cosmetic surgery? Labiaplasty, or labial reduction, is a fairly new cosmetic surgical option. Women with an enlarged or protruding labial area complain of physical irritation or pain and mental embarrassment. Not only does labial reduction reduce or reshape the size of a woman’s labia, it also gives the vagina a more youthful appearance. This outpatient procedure usually takes about 1 ½ hours and costs $4000 to $8000.
4. Earlobe Reduction/Enhancement
Average cost: $4500 to $5500 (each ear)Women are the most likely patients to undergo earlobe reduction or enhancement surgery, as their earlobes change in shape and size through the years from wearing heavy earrings. This in-office procedure is quite simple and can be done at the same time as other cosmetic surgeries (such as a facelift). Earlobe enhancement is also performed quite often, as some older women complain their earlobes are too thin. They can be injected in the plastic surgeon’s office with fillers like Juvaderm or Radiesse, making the earlobes look plumper and younger. Such enhancement can last about a year. Both procedures take about fifteen to thirty minutes, and average in cost from $4500 to $5500 per ear.
5. Eyebrow/Eyelash Transplants
Average cost: $2000 to $3000
In these times when it’s possible for both men and woman to easily get hair transplants, why not eyebrow or eyelash transplants as well? Single hair follicle transplantation is done in both eyebrows and eyelashes, usually transplanting hair from the scalp. Under local anesthesia in the plastic surgeon’s office, donor hair is obtained from the scalp and transplanted to the eyelash or eyebrow area. Transplantation is permanent and an option for many who might have thin or sparse eyebrows or eyelashes due to chemotherapy, illness or disease. The average cost of such a procedure is $2000 to $3000.
6. Bellybutton Change (Umbilicoplasty)
Average cost: $1500 to $3000
Although tummy tucks are now commonplace, one cosmetic surgery just coming into vogue is a change in one’s belly button, otherwise known as an umbilicoplasty. Under local anesthesia in the surgeon’s office, the shape and size of one’s original belly button can be changed, as extra skin is trimmed from the navel area. It is often done in women who feel the belly button area is sagging due to increased weight, age, hernias, or after pregnancy. Many simply want an “outie” changed to an “innie.” This procedure takes from 30 minutes to two hours and can be performed in a surgeon’s office under local anesthesia or in an outpatient hospital setting. It costs an average of $1500 to $3000.
7. Botox® Injections
Average cost: $300 to $1200
Believe it or not, women (and men) receive injections of botulism toxins, otherwise known as Botox® , more than 1.6 million times per year. Botulism toxins were first used in the 1960s to treat neurological disorders and later in the 1980s for eye muscle disorder treatment. As an unusual side effect, doctors noticed that injections around the eye area caused frown lines to soften. Now, women use Botox® often (some every three months) to keep old age at bay. These treatments aren’t quite as costly as a facelift, at $300 to $1200 a pop, unless you add them up over months and think of what you’re spending per year just to look younger. To each his own.
Average cost: $2500
Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, I wish I could just suck out all this extra fat on my buttocks and thighs with my vacuum cleaner? Well, that’s the basic principle behind liposuction. Excess fat deposits between the skin and muscle are sucked out through a stainless steel tube connected to a suction pump. Liposuction can be done all over the body, from the abdomen to the arms to the legs, even to the face and neck. There is a limit of the amount of fat (usually no more than 50 lbs) that can be removed at one time due to blood loss. It can be performed under local or general anesthesia, in an outpatient hospital setting. The average cost of a liposuction procedure is $2500.
Average cost: $6000 to $15000
Technically known as a rhytidectomy, a facelift is designed to make the patient look younger. Facelifts have been performed since 1901, but revolutionized the cosmetic surgery industry as it really jump-started many of the other procedures developed around it (such as chin augmentation, nose jobs, and BotoxÂ® injections). Usually performed under general anesthesia, a facelift is serious surgery that can have complications such as excessive bleeding or damage to the facial nerves. Facelifts vary in cost by region but average from $6000 to $15000.
10. Breast Reduction
Average cost: $5000 to $7000
To the astonishment and horror of most men, some women actually feel their breasts are too large and opt to have them reduced in size surgically. Over 100,000 women each year have their breasts reduced, due to chronic pain in the back, neck, head, and shoulders, or simply because they don’t like the way their breasts look. Many times the areolas and nipples are removed and replaced as well. Breast reduction averages $5000 to $7000 and may be partially covered by health insurance if it can be proven that reducing the size of your breasts will improve your chronic pain.