February 29, 2024


American cosmetic surgeons are turning their field of medicine into a big-ticket consumer item by helping patients finance their operations with easy credit. According to the New York Times, brochures in waiting rooms advertise “Get the cosmetic procedure you want — today!”. “One of my patients said: ‘I financed my car. Why shouldn’t I finance my face?’ “Dr Lisa Cassileth, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California, told the Times. “Plastic surgery has become just like any other high-ticket item you put on credit and pay for later.”

Easy credit is allowing cosmetic surgeons to expand their market and women on low incomes to pay for nose jobs, breast implants, and so on. “What does it cost to amortise a nose over the useful life of it?” says a Beverley Hills surgeon. “It costs 30 cents a day, cheaper than a can of soda, and unlike a car, you get the benefit of a nose for the rest of your life.”

Not all doctors are happy about the “democratisation of cosmetic medicine”. They say some younger patients are forgoing health insurance because it is too expensive, even though they are paying for breast implants. Easy credit might also encourage some to sign up for procedures which they will regret later on.