December 22, 2006, Newsletter Issue #44: Cost of an Extreme Makeover

Tip of the Week

A new you isn't cheap--of course, the old you was priceless! But how much does a new you cost and can you get financing? As we've mentioned, MediCredit and surgeon financing can help you pay for multiple procedures, and if you're a contestant on any "Extreme Makeover" show copycat, you won't have to pay for your transformation (or so you think.) But if you eschew cameras, the cost of a complete extreme makeover will probably be prohibitive for most patients, considering that facelifts and liposuction can cost thousands of dollars. Dr. Bruce Cunningham cautioned on the KARE-11 TV Today Show (Minnesota) that the cost of an extreme makeover can run $20,000-$40,000, which you probably won't be able to afford unless you're having reconstructive surgery, when insurance picks up the tab.

However, if you're determined to have an extreme makeover without applying to the "Extreme Makeover" show, consider just having a tummy tuck combined with liposuction, or a face and neck lift combined with a fitness regime makeover. Above all, if you're not in good condition, a plastic surgeon or a "Extreme Makeover" TV show copycat won't accept you, since the cost for you and for them could be more than anyone is willing to pay. If you're determined to get a "new you," check your financing options and set realistic goals--do you need a full-body makeover or will you look and feel better with a partial as well as diet and exercise? After all, you can't enjoy a "new you" if the power company has turned off the lights, or if you're not healthy in the first place. Sometimes being happpy and grateful is the best makeover.

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