Let's face it -- we live in an image driven society. There are many reasons why a person would want cosmetic surgery. Depending on your profession, career advancement can be tightly tied to appearances. This is particularly true if you are in public relations. Looking good can also improve your self confidence, and that's not to mention your love life.

The trouble is, cosmetic surgery is expensive, and very few health insurance plans are willing to cover anything related to plastic surgery. If the thought of spending tens of thousands of dollars doesn't appeal to you, here are a few things you can try to get more affordable – even cheap – cosmetic surgery.

Things You Will Need

You will need a computer with access to the internet, and a telephone.

Step 1

First and foremost, you need to speak with your health insurance provider. There are many reasons for doing this, but the primary reason is to see what they are willing to cover. If you have a history of medical problems related to your condition, such as a deviated septum, chronic rashes, backaches, or infections, you may meet criteria for coverage. This can be the case in reconstructive surgery.

Did you know that certain cosmetic procedures, like breast implants, can result in a loss of health insurance coverage? This is something you need to find out in advance.

Step 2

Speak with your family doctor before making any decisions. Your doctor may be aware of which surgeons have the best payment plans, and the best records. As tempting as it is to choose on price alone, this is your body, and you can't be too careful.

Step 3

Start speaking with plastic surgeons in your area, and see what sort of payment plans they offer, along with how much they charge. Consider the interest as well. Sometimes, it is easier than you'd think to negotiate a payment plan that fits your budget.

Step 4

You can always look into teaching hospitals. All surgeries are supervised by board certified practitioners, but the cosmetic surgery may be performed on you by a medical resident who is training to become a plastic surgeon. This can mean a nice discount.

Step 5

If an American plastic surgeon is still too expensive, you might want to think about traveling overseas. Surgical vacations are a growing trend as medical costs in the US rise. For example, in South Africa, you can get a full tummy tuck for $3,000, which is a third of what you'd pay in the US. The quality of care is just as good.

Some of the most popular locations include Costa Rica, China, Malaysia, and Singapore. All of these locations have good reputations for quality surgery.

Keep in mind that you will need to pay extra for your travel, and for hotel accommodations. The length of your stay depends on the procedure. This can limit the money you save, but you might still find the rates affordable.

Of course, safety is a priority. You should always check that the hospital is licensed, and that medical care meets world standards.

Remember, when it comes to plastic surgery, you don't necessarily get what you pay for. There is no reason not to be frugal, provided that you aim for high quality care.

Tips & Warnings

Whatever method you choose, always look at the doctor and facilities track record and reputation. Failing to do so can put you at serious risk.