Our society prizes smooth skin. But many people have problems with their skin. For example, many have scars from severe acne that occurred during their teenage years. Others have small scars from accidents or facial surgery (such as a tumor removal from the face, which is a very common surgical procedure). Still others have developed wrinkles, especially around the mouth. While many people with these types of skin problems may attempt to get the appearance of smooth skin using makeup or face creams, these are often ineffective. These people may choose dermabrasion, a procedure in which a plastic surgeon uses a special burr containing diamond particles or a wire brush to scrape away the outer layers of skin around the scars or wrinkles, in order to make the skin more even.
If you’re choosing dermabrasion, make sure you’re choosing it because you really want it, not to please someone else or to fit an imagined ideal. No one else can make the choice for you; it’s your body, and you’re in charge of it. After you do your research and understand the procedure, if you believe that a dermabrasion is right for you, then proceed. You can learn more about the dermabrasion procedure, its risks and benefits, in our Education Wiki.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a dermabrasion is $1,151. Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual surgeon, so you should check with the surgeon(s) you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
Some patients are surprised to find out that the surgeon’s fee isn’t necessarily the only expense they’ll need to consider for their dermabrasion. There may be anesthesia costs and operating room or hospital fees that aren’t included in the surgeon’s fee. Medications (for example, pain medication, or antibiotics) may also be an extra cost. In some cases, you also have to pay separately for your postsurgical garments. If any medical testing is required, this could also be a separate cost. A few surgeons may not include your preoperative and postoperative appointments in their fee, although most do include these visits to ensure that you’re adequately cared for. You should ask what all of the fees will be before your procedure, so that you aren’t surprised when the bill comes.
It’s also important to make sure you have access to a little extra money, via financing or savings, in case you have medical complications from the surgery (for instance, if you develop an infection). Your insurance usually will not cover complications from an elective surgery. While complications from this surgery are not common, they do happen to a few people, and so you should be prepared in case that rare person is you.
Will Insurance Cover It?
In most cases, insurance will not cover your dermabrasion, though there may be very rare exceptions. You can call your insurance company to be sure. Usually, you’ll need to pay all of the costs above: the surgeon’s fee, any extra fees, and any postoperative complications that may arise.
What Are the Financing Options?
To many people, paying thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. Many physicians offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Facial Plastic Surgery Financing page.