American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Giving plastic surgery as a gift


As the holidays roll around, people sometimes call my plastic surgery office inquiring about giving the gift of plastic surgery. A wife may want to pay for her husband’s eyelid lift, or a husband might ask to surprise his wife with a breast augmentation.

The generosity of a gift comes down to motivation. If a loved one has been dreaming of having a procedure but can’t afford it or has always prioritized others’ need first, plastic surgery can be a life-changing gift. That oft-quoted cliché is right: it really is the thought that counts. For the man who has never been bothered by his upper eyelids or for the woman who is happy with her bra size, a gift of plastic surgery might be perceived as insulting.

If you’re thinking of giving that special person in your life a gift of plastic surgery, follow these six tips:

  1. Plastic surgery cuts deeper than skin. Never suggest a procedure that your loved one has never mentioned. Doing so may send the message you think he or she is inadequate.
  2. If your loved one can’t stop talking about how much he wants an eyelid lift, you have a green light to surprise him with a consult and a promise to pay.
  3. Don’t secretly arrange surgery for your loved one without a comprehensive consultation. The option you and she might have talked about may not be the best plan. Plastic surgery has benefits, but it also has risks and potential complications. An alternative you didn’t even know about might be a better choice.
  4. Do your homework. Find out who the board-certified plastic surgeons are in your area.
  5. Don’t choose your loved one’s surgeon for her. It might not be a match. Plastic surgery is deeply personal, and the patient should be in the driver’s seat when choosing her surgeon.
  6. If you really want to have a gift card ready under the Christmas tree, pre-paying for a treatment your loved one gets regularly, like Botox, can be a great choice.

Whether it’s a vacuum cleaner, a gym membership, or plastic surgery, the gift you give will be appreciated if it’s truly a gift for your loved one and not one for you.

Happy Holidays!

This blog was contributed to ASPS by Dr. Heather Furnas.

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