The Cost of Cosmetic Surgery in Hawaii
Prices for the most popular cosmetic procedures in Hawaii
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Plastic surgery is a growing business in Hawaii, with thousands of local customers and others flying in from the mainland, Canada, Japan and South Korea for procedures, say two of Hawaii’s top specialists in the field.
Dr. Robert Peterson, chief of plastic surgery at Kapiolani Medical Center, says Kapiolani’s Athena Clinic performs about 100 surgical and nonsurgical procedures each week and has about 1,000 new clients every year, plus returning patients.
Dr. Todd Mirzai, like Peterson, is board certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He operates Hawaii Plastic Surgery Associates and, with thousands of clients and locations on all four major Hawaiian Islands, says he performs three to four major procedures a week.
“Repeat business and word of mouth are cornerstones of our practice,” Mirzai says.
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The Hawaii Medical Association’s Physicians Directory lists 30 doctors who do plastic surgery. Nationwide, men had 1.1 million cosmetic procedures done last year, up 2 percent from 2009, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But women still accounted for 91 percent of all cosmetic procedures in 2010 – 11.5 million.
Plastic surgery is expensive but rarely covered by insurance. The cost varies among physicians, often based on their experience, the procedure, materials and technology used, anesthesia needed and other factors.
“To stay abreast of the latest technology, we are often paying a small king’s ransom for new devices and equipment,” Mirzai says. “If patients want the latest and greatest like they would have access to in Manhattan, Beverly Hills or Miami, we need to charge what will make that delivery make sense financially.”
Though most patients recover from plastic surgery at home, Mirzai is also trying to cater to those who want a complete getaway – “a full-service model.” Here’s how it works:
• Clients fly into Maui and transportation is provided from the airport;
• They stay at a private bungalow provided by Hawaii Plastic Surgery Associates near the surgical facility;
• After the surgery, clients return to their bungalows, where the surgeons do after-care “house calls.” Mirzai says this is especially important during the critical first 12 to 24 hours after surgery.
This approach fosters more interaction and comfort between surgeon and patient, Mirzai says. “It gives them less to worry about,” he says. “We are looking to establish long-term relationships with our patients rather than a ‘churn and burn,’ factory-style approach.”
This package is offered with no additional cost to the patient, he says. “We foresee this being part of a medical-tourism model that Hawaii would be well-suited for. People come to a beautiful environment, with U.S. medical-care regulations and standards for care in a nurturing, healing place.”
Most Popular Nonsurgical Treatments in Hawaii Include:
Botox A drug injected into the face, relaxing the muscles to reduce wrinkles
Soft-Tissue Fillers Fat injectables that restore youthful contours to the face
Microdermabrasia/Chemical Peels Micro resurfacing of the skin
Skin-Tightening and Smoothing Treatments Laser Hair Removal/Reduction
Today’s patients are more frequently requesting:
Lip implants: Soft implants can be molded and shaped to specific lip measurements and can replace collagen implants. If problems occur later, the implants can be removed, whereas chemical injections cannot.
Fat Transfers: Instead of using synthetic materials for breast implants, surgeons can graft fat from elsewhere in the body. Mirzai says he has learned that a body’s response to foreign material is often unpredictable; using body fat results in minimal incision and reduces the chances of scarring, yet the fat can be shaped and sculpted like other synthetic implants.
Mommy Makeovers: A series of procedures that may combine a tummy tuck with a breast augmentation and possibly a breast lift. Mirzai says these are becoming more popular with women who have given birth, even though the procedures can cost $20,000 or more.
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