From Botox to a perkier pout: How to pay for cosmetic surgery

woman in cosmetic surgery consult with gloved hands thinking about personal loans

Cosmetic surgery is a major decision that can totally change your life, but it comes with another life altering choice: how do you pay?

From personal loans to credit cards, there are plenty of options that make it possible to support your choice to undergo cosmetic procedures. You may also be able to bring down the costs, depending on the type of procedure you’re looking at.

What does cosmetic surgery cost?

With Aussies spending roughly $1 billion on cosmetic surgeries and treatments each year, the industry is on the rise. Depending on what you’re looking for, these can run from $200 for a Botox session to upwards of $30,000 for more elaborate procedures. 

In fact, we’ve looked into some nip tuck figures and here are some approximate averages based of Sydney surgeons, per Costhetics:

  • Tummy tuck: $9,000 to $18,000
  • Rhinoplasty (nose job): $8,000 to $20,000
  • Breast lift or augmentation: $6,000 to $15,000, depending on whether you get implants and the chosen material
  • Breast reduction: Roughly $9,000
  • Facelift: $6,500 to $30,000, ranging from small scars to an extensive deep plane facelift
  • Eyelid surgery: $2,500 to $4,500 for either upper or lower and $4,500 to $8,000 for a combination surgery

While you might have the money on hand to pay for minor surgery, a $30,000 spend is a lot of money for anyone to drop all at once. During a consultation, your doctor will go through pricing and alternatives with you to explain exactly how these costs break down.

If you are considering any kind of cosmetic procedure or surgery, it’s important to look into whether any of the costs can be covered. Your private health insurance may reimburse you for some of the costs of inpatient hospital stays, as well as for plastic surgeries that are deemed medically necessary. Similarly, you may be able to get a small Medicare rebate for medically essential procedures like breast reductions and corrective rhinoplasty to improve breathing.

What are my payment options for cosmetic surgery?

You’ve thought long and hard about committing to cosmetic surgery and started making plans for the new, confidence-fuelled you - then there’s the less exciting side of things. Your main options for payment are:

  • Medical loans - One of the most common ways to pay for surgery is with a medical loan. Many lenders offer specific cosmetic surgery loans and your consultation may point you in the direction of specific providers. These operate in the same way as other personal loans do, but are often from specialist lenders who are more familiar with the ins and outs of medical financing.
  • Credit card - Depending on your credit limit and the cost of your procedure, you may be able to pay for cosmetic surgery on your credit card. It’s important to remember that you will be paying interest on anything you do not repay in the scheduled period, so it might be worth comparing low rate cards to the rates on medical loans.
  • Savings - If you have the savings to spare, this is a way to pay for a procedure without incurring interest. This keeps the cost at the price you agree on initially. That said, paying off a credit card or personal loan can be a great way to build up your credit score.

If your surgery is classed as life saving or medically necessary and you have no other means to pay for it, you may also be able to access an early release of your superannuation funds on compassionate grounds. The process for this is outlined by the Australian Taxation Office. As this money is intended for your retirement, it’s generally a last resort option.

Are there any other costs to keep in mind with plastic surgery?

Like with any surgery, there can be other costs to think about along with the upfront surgeon’s fees. 

Your surgeon will most likely try to include the majority of associated costs in their estimate, but medical procedures are unpredictable and can often exceed expectations.

Things to bear in mind include a bill from the anaesthesiologist, who can charge roughly $600 an hour, and the pricing of different implants. If there are any unexpected additional check-ups or extra dressings needed, you might incur extra costs.

There are also costs outside of the surgeon’s office. If you find yourself with a brand new bra size, for instance, that’s going to mean a fun new chance to spend up on lingerie. Likewise, a tummy tuck or liposuction might see you with a need for a whole new wardrobe.

The little costs of upkeep and enjoyment are always the ones that catch us out - so it’s more important than ever to create a budget and stick to it!

If you’re interested in a cosmetic surgery loan, take a look at some of Mozo’s best personal loans.

Compare cosmetic surgery loans - last updated 26 May 2024

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