The consultation is an indispensable preliminary for everything else. It establishes the framework for counseling and the exchange of medical information – the famous benefits, risks and alternatives for any treatment. Cosmetic surgery is mainly the change/enhancement of parts of the human body. This is highly individual and has to be analyzed at least by “look and feel”, sometimes in more depth. So the client really has to meet with me. The only exception I make to this rule is for my international clients, where a phone consultation with pictures of the area where correction is desired is conducted prior to the client coming to Trinidad. This minimizes the surprises and possible disappointments in our experience and to date I have not yet been forced to change the operative plan based on findings at the preoperative visit that were not apparent during the phone consultation. But I am sure there is going to be a first here, too.
“Before treatment the gods have put diagnosis” – I forgot who said that, but it is an immutable truth. Without making a correct diagnosis the correct treatment plan cannot be formulated. At the consultation the analysis of the problem results in a diagnosis. From the diagnosis the possible treatments follow logically. A popular example is breast augmentation – sagging of the breasts to the degree incompatible with the placement of implants (even very projecting ones) has to be diagnosed as the treatment then becomes a lift, possibly with an implant. A close runner up is liposuction of the torso – areas of skin laxity and overdistension or underlying muscular changes in the abdominal wall should be treated differently than mild excess adiposity in the belly with tight muscles and skin for optimal outcomes, no matter how much “research” or “reading online” is done or what the friends say. Consciously choosing a suboptimal procedure despite having been educated to the contrary is certainly an option for a variety of reasons (cost, convenience, scars etc.) and it is part of the counseling and education aspect of the consultation to ponder upon the various trade-offs. As I am a perfectionist I occasionally reject performing suboptimal procedures, particularly if the likely result and the understanding of trade-offs exhibited by the client are too far off for my taste.
Once the treatment/procedure are determined it makes sense to talk about cost. Neither my office staff nor myself can give information about cost over the phone prior to completing a consultation. For the hypothetical “average procedure” hypothetical “average surgical fees” are posted in the cosmetic surgery price list, regardless of the applicability of the procedure to an individual situation. Anything more specific or detailed can only be done during a consultation.
So the answer to “What is the cost of … ?” is “Initially, everything costs the same – the consultation fee”.