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My facial surgery costs (1997)

See also myĀ transition timetableĀ andĀ financingĀ sections for advice on how to schedule and pay for plastic surgery.

The 1997 information below is for historical purposes only.Please don’t comparison shop or figure a budget based on these prices. They are from the mid-1990s.


I’ve been deluged with questions about costs, so to save time, I gathered them all together.

Please don’t comparison shop or figure a budget based on these prices. They are several years old.Your costs will definitely be different for the following reasons:These prices are no longer in effect.You will need different types of procedures than I did. For instance, I had very severe brow bossing (which costs more).Prices change depending on what you have done together.Dr. Ousterhout can only give an accurate price based on a personal evaluation.That said, fixed costs are in red, variable costs are not.

Forehead recontouring, Scalp advancement, Brow lift, and trachea shave: $

Performed 12/12/96 by Douglas Ousterhout, MD, DDS at Davies Med. Ctr., San Francisco.

  • X-rays: $200.00 Required for the consultation. My dentist couldn’t do ’em.
  • Consultation: $0.00 I paid for my surgery at the end of the consultation, so I was not charged.
  • Travel: $0.00 Gotta love frequent flier miles!
  • Food/lodging: $10.00 Left Chicago in the morning and came back that afternoon.    
  • Forehead recontouring: $6,000.00 I had worst of 3 types, requiring more work and money.
  • Scalp advancement: $1,500.00 Moved my hair forward 1.5 inches!
  • Trachea shave: $800.00 Helped a lot in my case.
  • Anesthesia: $1,525.00 Worked like a charm.
  • Operating room: $1,400.00 Wasn’t awake to see what I paid for.
  • Recovery room: $150.00 Barely remember this one…
  • Overnight stay: $250.00 You’re required to stay in the hospital overnight.
  • Leibinger: $150.00 Permanent screws, etc. to hold all the work in place.
  • Prescriptions15.00 Antibiotics and painkillers (my insurance copayment only)
  • Travel: $0.00 Gotta love frequent flier miles again!
  • Hospital room: $450.00 Ten days at $45 a night. Great deal!
  • Food: $150.00 I was very frugal– ate groceries I bought before surgery
  • Drugstore: $20.00 Stuff for nausea and digestive problems
  • Staple removal: $0.00 

Fixed costs: $11,840.00 

Best money I’ve ever spent in my life. Period. End of story.

Total costs: $12,460.00 

Only way to save the difference is to sponge off friends.

Jaw, chin, and nose recontouring

Performed 12/12/97 by Douglas Ousterhout, MD, DDS at Davies Med. Ctr., San Francisco

  • Entire mandible: $8,500.00 Smoothed back corners and reshaped the chin, all from inside mouth.
  • Nasoseptal reconstruction: $3,500.00 Nose was OK, but I did it anyway.
  • Anesthesia: $1,400.00 Different anesthesiologist, same effect.
  • Operating room: $2,600.00 Slept through it again…
  • Recovery room: $150.00 Don’t remember this at all this time.
  • Overnight stay: $250.00 You’re required to stay in the hospital overnight. You’ll need it!
  • Leibinger screws: $600.00 Permanent screws, etc. to hold all the work in place.
  • Hospital guest room: $900.00 15 days at $60 a night. Still a good deal.
  • Prescriptions: $15.00 Antibiotics and painkillers (my insurance copayment only)
  • Travel: $0.00 Did I mention you gotta love frequent flier miles?
  • Groceries: $70.00 Get soft food! Jell-O cups rule!
  • Food: $175.00 Went out to eat with friends a few times.

Fixed costs: $17,015.00 Not as dramatic in my case as forehead, but still made a great difference!

Total costs: $18,160.00  

Dr. Ousterhout normally charges $200.00 for an office consultation.

Dr. Ousterhout requires a 20% deposit due at the time of booking. I would have saved about $1,000 if I had done both sets of bony work at the same time.Thank heaven we live in a credit drunk society- I charged the whole thing. It was well worth every penny, though. I looked at it as an investment, and the very best always costs more.

Hair transplants

Performed 6/11/97 and 12/9/97 by Douglas Ousterhout, MD, DDS at Davies Med. Ctr., San FranciscoI don’t think Dr. Ousterhout plans to do transplants any more, and even if he did, I’m not sure he’s the best person to get them from. Someone who performs the procedure more frequently is probably more efficient and less expensive.The surgical result was acceptable, but both times we did not do as many transplants as I had been sold on.

Hair grafts: $2,600.00 Performed June 11, 1997. Price was for 400 micrografts.

  • Refund: $250.00 Ended up doing 350 instead of 400.
  • Prescription: $23.72 
  • Antibiotic.
  • Hotel: $220.38 Stayed at the Metro near Davies. For more on this option, see below.
  • Rental car: $225.00 This was a waste of money. Only used it a few times.
  • Scarf: $7.00 Bought this to cover up my turban-style bandage.
  • Food: $80.00 Again, went fairly cheap.

Fixed costs: $2,373.72  

Total costs: $2,906.10      

Hair grafts: $1,900.00 Performed December 9, 1997. Did 195 grafts.I was not happy to get out there and find out he planned to do only 200 grafts on the second procedure. I was planning on double that, and I’m not sure it made my trip worthwhile. If I get any more, I’ll do them elsewhere.

My costly mistakes

Bad hair transplants

J. B. Pinski, MD, Chicago dermatologist

  • Consultation: $100.00 Supposedly refunded with surgery. Also required $1,000.00 deposit.
  • Blood work: $358.75 I’d just had hormonal bloodwork done, but he wouldn’t accept that.
  • Transplants2,150.00 Two honkin’ rows of macrografts, each the size of a pencil eraser.
  • Prescription: $27.64 Vitamin K for controlling bleeding.
  • Shampoo: $20.00 His receptionist confided that I didn’t need this.
  • Cab from doctor’s: $15.00 Skipped the bus since I had a giant bandage on my head.

Fixed costs: $2,636.39 Biggest waste of money in my life.

Total costs: $2,671.39  

Useless consultation

Anthony Geroulis, MD, Chicago plastic surgeon

  • Consultation: $75.00  

His scheduler told me on the phone he did bony forehead work. She lied.