American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Dos and Don'ts When Gifting Plastic Surgery This Holiday Season
27 percent of women and 20 percent of men surveyed say they would want to receive a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure as a gift.


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – Winter holidays are a convenient time for plastic surgery procedures. We are inside more often, wear cozy layers and take time off from work. It makes sense that more people would offer a plastic surgery procedure as a gift to their significant other, friend or mother during the holiday season.

However, a surgical procedure isn't your typical stocking stuffer. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons created a short tip sheet of Dos and Don'ts when considering such a personal present.

"Gifting plastic surgery should really be the gift of a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon and a promise to purchase the appropriate procedure," said Heather Furnas, MD, an adjunct assistant professor of plastic surgery at Stanford University with a private practice in Santa Rosa, Calif. "Without a consultation, you can't create a rapport with your surgeon and you won't know your surgical options."

If you're thinking about gifting a plastic surgery procedure, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Don't suggest a procedure that the recipient has never mentioned.
  2. Give a consultation with a promise to pay for the surgery, if both patient and surgeon feel it is appropriate.
  3. Never secretly arrange surgery for someone else. Your loved one should have a comprehensive consultation with the board-certified plastic surgeon of her or his choice.
  4. If you really want to have a present ready, pre-paying for a treatment your loved one gets regularly, like Botox® injections, can be a great choice.
  5. The gift of plastic surgery doesn't end with surgery. You need to be a great caregiver during the recovery—both physically and emotionally.

Most popular procedures

According to the survey, the most commonly gifted procedures are liposuction (17 percent), tummy tuck (11 percent), facelift (11 percent) and Botox/fillers (11 percent).

How the sexes differ

Of surveyed women, 27 percent say they would want to receive a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure as a gift and 32 percent say they are open to the idea. Only 20 percent of surveyed men say they would want to receive a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure as a gift. Another 26 percent of men said they are open to the idea.

Millennials vs. Generation X vs. Baby Boomers

37 percent of surveyed Millennials and Generation Xers are "very willing" or "somewhat willing" to talk with someone about wanting a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure as a gift. Only 25 percent of Baby Boomers would be willing to discuss wanting cosmetic plastic surgery as a gift.

Who's on the nice list

If men were to gift a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, they'd most likely give it to their significant other (34 percent) – followed by giving to a friend (21 percent) and their mother (10 percent).

If women were to gift a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, they'd most likely give it to their friend (26 percent) – followed by giving to their mother (20 percent) and their significant other (11 percent).

"The generosity of a gift comes down to motivation," said Dr. Furnas. "If a loved one has been dreaming of having a procedure but can't afford it, plastic surgery can be a life-changing gift. If your husband has never mentioned blepharoplasty or your friend has never talked about breast augmentation, a plastic surgery gift can send the wrong message."

"The gift of plastic surgery—like any gift—should be from the heart," Dr. Furnas continued. "It should truly be a gift for the patient and not the giver."

About the survey

This survey was conducted online by an independent research company November 14 - 16, 2017. 2,003 U.S. office workers were polled. The survey has a margin of error for the entire sample of +/- 3%.

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