You Might Be Paying More for Weekend Plastic Surgery
Scheduling plastic surgery for the weekend may be more convenient for work schedules, family life, and even finding helpers to drive you to and from the procedure— but it may cost you a pretty penny for the added convenience. The top five surgical procedures in 2015, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, were liposuction, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, eyelid surgery and breast lift— all of which are especially common for women of working age and child-bearing age. This means patients with inherently tight schedules are actively seeking the easiest time to take off work and family obligations to recover from their procedures, and weekends are usually the best time to do that. For the cash-conscious, however, that may be a bad move.
“It is typically uncommon for plastic surgeons to perform cosmetic surgery on the weekends. A surgeon’s demanding schedule during the week does not allow for the time over the weekend. If a procedure is taking place on a weekend, it’s likely an emergency situation that requires urgent reconstructive surgery,” explains Dr. Stephen U. Harris of Harris Plastic Surgery in West Islip, NY. “If a patient is undergoing weekend surgery that is not reconstructive or due to an emergency, their weekend procedure may be the result of being unable to take time off from work during the week.”
That’s where costs can start to add up— it’s not just the plastic surgeon’s time that is more valuable on the weekend, but his nurses, assistants, and other staff members. “Ultimately this comes down to staffing expenses. Staffing an operating room on a weekend is more expensive than staffing during the week because nurses are paid a higher hourly rate on weekends.”
“The general public thinks that hospitals are just working around-the-clock,” shares Dr. Devinder Singh, a plastic surgeon at the University of Maryland stated in this International Business Times article “As a physician, we know that hospitals really grind to almost a halt over the weekend. There are major inefficiencies -- resident coverage is thinned out, nurse coverage is thinned out, and the social workers don’t even work.”
While a patient may search high and low for the right doctor to perform his or her liposuction treatment at the right price, they may not devote much consciousness to how their scheduling can impact the ultimate price. Patients may simply be able to afford their goal doctor if they’re willing to trade a work day. For patients worried about a few hundred dollars one way or the other as is often the case with breast implants, taking one extra day off work can potentially still save money.
Dr. Harris suggests scheduling surgeries during holiday breaks instead, since many patients will have those work days off and often surgeries are in lower demand then.
“Certain days and times of the year are less expensive for cosmetic surgeries. People don’t want to be recovering from surgeries over the holidays. A patient should speak with their surgeon about the possibility of scheduling a procedure on the day before a holiday, as oftentimes this will be a less expensive option, should their surgery center permit.”