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Perioral Pricing: Cost of Plastic Surgery Around the Mouth

By: Austin-Weston


Full, pouty and pink lips are associated with youth and beauty. But as people age, the skin on your face will start to sag and lose its elasticity and often times your lips will share some of the burdens. The pink part of your upper lip basically disappears and the distance between the arch of your upper lip and the base of your nose becomes visibly longer which can hide your teeth when you smile – making you appear older than you are.

According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the national average cost of around the mouth surgery can range from $1,000 to $3,000. However, it’s important to note that this cost does not factor in other surgery-related expenses and factors that make up the final bill.

It also does not include variables such as surgeon selection or geographic location, and these can vary dramatically. Generally, the major variables that affect total cost are adjunct procedures, the surgeon's experience, surgical facility fees and surgery-related expenses. After factoring in these variables, the overall cost of around the mouth surgery is typically around $4,000.

The cost of around the mouth surgery will vary widely per patient, so it’s important to make sure you are looking at the costs in the right light. Remember, this is your face; you want the best care possible, not the least expensive.

When determining the cost of Around the Mouth surgery, there are several factors to consider including:

Procedure Complexity

Surgery around the mouth often involves a lip lift, which is a procedure that elevates the position of the upper lip to create a more youthful and relaxed smile. Depending on the person, sometimes a lip lift, along with some lip rejuvenation using injectable fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm, can help.

However, there are two types of Lip Lifts:

  1. Upper Lip Lift
  2. Corner Mouth Lift

Upper Lip Lift Starting at: $4,700

An Upper Lip Lift shortens the distance of the amount of skin between the upper lip and the base of the nose. By doing so, this increases the amount of pink lip that is seen and exposes the teeth which give a fuller and more youthful appearance.

Upper Lip Lift corrections:

  • Teeth are not visible when smiling or talking
  • Long space (greater than 1.5 cm) between the nose and the upper lip
  • Thin or flattened lips
  • Lip fillers result in duck lips because the upper lip does not have room to expand vertically

Corner Mouth Lift Starting at: $4,700

A Corner Mouth Lift procedures involve only the edges of the mouth and best for patients whose lips are a downward shape, giving the appearance of a permanent frown.

Corner Mouth Lift corrections:

  • Permanent frown
  • Corner of mouth is turned down

Upper Lip Lift and Corner Mouth Lift Average Cost: $9,000

The Upper Lip Lift is more common than the Corner Mouth Lift, but if a patient is unhappy with both the fullness and excess distance between the nose and the upper lip, as well as a 'permanent frown' expression, the two procedures may be performed together.

Surgeon Selection

It’s safe to say that cost can greatly influence why a patient chooses to have a procedure done by one surgeon over another. All surgeons have their own approach to performing surgery around the mouth as each doctor has different amenities at their disposal and different levels of experience and accreditations.

A highly-experienced, US-trained, plastic surgeon may charge more than a less-knowledgeable or respected doctor in another country. With the added safety and quality of results that comes with a highly-specialized surgeon, comes a higher price tag.

At the Austin-Weston Center, our three plastic surgeons have a combined 75 years of experience, and with that have cultivated an excellent reputation in the DC Metropolitan Area. Each surgery is preceded by an extensive consultation involving computer analysis and imaging technology, as well as the master-eye of our surgeons to ensure that we deliver satisfying and life-changing results for our patients.

Geographic Location

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) website lists the national average of plastic surgery physician fees. However, the fly in the ointment is that total prices vary widely among regions, with plastic surgery hotspots like Manhattan, Beverly Hills, Miami, Dallas and Los Angeles at the higher end of the spectrum.

More lightly populated regions like North and South Dakota, Idaho, Mississippi and Arkansas charge much less. Mid-level costs are incurred in Phoenix, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, New Mexico and Illinois along with locations away from big cities within high-priced states.

The reason plastic surgery costs vary based on geographic locations, such as major urban centers, is usually due to higher overhead costs for surgeons in these areas. So, the first step in considering what you'll pay is looking at fees where you live, and how much the cost of living is in that area.

To find ballpark prices for procedures based on location try using the Healthcare Blue Book (it works the same way the famous Kelley Blue Book lists the prices of cars).

Surgery-Related Expenses

You should ask the surgeon directly if there are other patient costs not included in the estimate they provide. Since there can be significant costs associated with surgery-related expenses, you will want this information up front. It can be useful to explore multiple options by meeting with several surgeons and getting estimates for not only their surgeon fees but also the additional surgical-related expenses.

When estimating the cost for surgery around the mouth, make sure to account for the following surgery-related expenses:

Anesthesia Fees

The cost of anesthesia for around the mouth procedures can vary significantly for each patient. You want to make sure anesthesia is provided by a anesthesiologist or a CRNA (nurse anesthetist). If a surgeon uses a non-certified anesthetist nurse or a medical assistant to push the anesthetic drugs (and yes, unfortunately, this does happen), then your safety may be at risk.

Anesthesia costs are typically billed by the hour, and you should ask in advance what happens if the surgery goes longer than expected, and who will pay the extra anesthesia time.

Surgical Facility Fees

This is an important factor to consider not only because of overall cost but because it may put a price tag on the importance of your safety and satisfaction. The importance of having your procedure performed in an accredited surgical facility by qualified staff is critical in the decision-making process. Do not try to cut costs by sacrificing safety and having your procedure performed at a non-accredited practice or by a surgeon who is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

The Austin-Weston Center for Cosmetic Surgery includes five fully-equipped surgical suites. These operating rooms are fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), an association that certifies outpatient surgery centers. Our surgeons are board certified in plastic surgery and are fully insured, our Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are nationally certified by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists and all personnel is licensed and certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

After calculating the cost of surgeon's fees, anesthesia, surgical facility fees and all other expenses, the overall cost of around the mouth surgery typically costs $4,000, if not more. Many people don’t have this amount of money at their immediate disposal, but when the decision is made that it’s the right time to undergo the procedure, it becomes necessary to consider financing options. Practices almost always accept credit cards, but patients should carefully consider the associated interest rates of all available options. Also, several third-party financing companies deal exclusively with those who want or need treatments that are not covered by insurance.

Don’t Cut Quality Corners

While cost is obviously an important consideration when it comes to plastic surgery, it is not the most important one. Patients should remember that their health and cosmetic satisfaction are ultimately the top priorities. Choosing an inexperienced doctor to save some money could cost far more in the long run if they require a corrective procedure or if they develop serious health complications.

The three surgeons at Austin-Weston are dedicated to providing patients with the results they desire and the care and safety they deserve. To learn more about your plastic surgery options, please call (703) 893-6168 to schedule a consultation.

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