The Cost of Rhinoplasty
The cost of rhinoplasty includes two main components: the surgery fee and a facility fee. The latter includes operating room and other associated expenses.
There are multiple factors that can vary the cost of surgery: First, the operating room or facility expenses, which include utilities, operating room staff, equipment, sterilization, and medications; Second, the extent and complexity of the surgery. More involved and intricate surgery requires more time and expertise on the part of the surgeon; Third, the cost is less when the surgery is performed under local anesthesia (see anesthesia).
Operating Room (Facility) Expenses
Operating rooms that are used for many different types of surgeries will be more expensive to set up. A surgeon who operates at a facility where other types of surgery (including breast, abdominal surgery and liposuction) are being carried out will have a more expensive facility fee because the facility has to purchase and maintain equipment for all types of surgery. A surgeon who specializes in facial surgery, such as Dr. Samaha and who performs a lot of rhinoplasty surgery in his own facility will have a more cost-efficient set-up with lower fees.
The Complexity of Surgery
The less extensive and complex the operation, the less time and skill it requires, and the less costly it should be. However, what may seem like a minor or subtle change to the patient may not necessarily be an easy or simple operation for the surgeon. Sometimes, achieving certain subtle refinements in a rhinoplasty will require more effort, time, and skill on the part of the surgeon. Therefore, the fee will reflect that complexity. Generally, refinement or reshaping of the tip portion of the nose is more complex than work done on the bridge. For example, removing a hump is less complex than repairing an asymmetric tip. Some surgeons will have a fee for a complete rhinoplasty where there are modifications to be made to both the tip and the bridge, and a lower fee for a partial rhinoplasty in which only a hump reduction or tip refinement is performed.
Skill, experience, and “brand name”
Generally, a “bargain” surgeon has lower fees because he performs the occasional rhinoplasty procedure, as opposed to a rhinoplasty expert who generally charges higher fees proportional to his skill and experience. However, as a general rule, price does not necessarily correlate with result. For example, a surgeon charging higher fees may need to do so to pay for his exorbitant facility expenses (see above). Additionally, some surgeons become “popular” among patients in the community and charge high fees because of the demand for their services. This is the “brand name” phenomenon. Although the surgeon may have an excellent reputation, make sure this reputation includes skill in rhinoplasty. If his reputation was developed because he obtains the best results for breast surgery or liposuction, he may not be an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon.
A recent trend that has developed in North America is referred to as “surgical tourism”. People seek to have their surgical procedures, including esthetic surgery in other countries where the cost is significantly less. While there may be a financial advantage, there are several risks. As in Canada, many surgeons in other countries are well trained, experienced and skilled, while some are not. However, patients living in Canada do not have the same opportunity to evaluate a foreign surgeon as they do a Canadian one (see Selecting a surgeon). In addition, should a complication occur after the surgery, the patient who is now back home does not have easy access to the operating surgeon practicing in another country.
The Bottom Line
Esthetic surgery, and rhinoplasty in particular, is not the time for bargain hunting. The choice should be made based on which surgeon is most likely to safely deliver the result you are seeking (see Selecting a surgeon). Understandably, finances present a reality of life for most people. If that is the case, it is best to wait until you can afford the fees of the surgeon who is likely to deliver the best result. Avoid choosing based on price and going for the bargain. Saving money, even a significant amount, will be meaningless if the result is poor. Your nasal surgery would then need to be revised by a more expert surgeon, with a new fee in addition to the bargain fee initially paid. The end result is paying for the procedure twice and having two surgeries, including a more complex revision (second) surgery whose outcome is less predictable.
Our Centre Minimizes Cost
Dr. Samaha performs only facial surgery, including a large number of rhinoplasties. This specialized approach makes our centre more cost-efficient. This benefit is passed on to the patient in the form of lesser fees with a more experienced surgeon. He performs all procedures with a minimally invasive type of anesthesia which, in addition to being less invasive, more comfortable and less risky for the patient, has the added benefit of being less costly.