So today’s consult with Dr. Hartog went well. I was very glad to have my mom there, because she could ask questions he had answered for me already at the first consult–I didn’t want to ask again, but it did feel good to hear the answers clarified! She got no red flags from the doctor, facility, staff or anything else. Whew! Passed the mom test!
Since I had better questions this time, Dr. Hartog was able to explain more about the surgical techniques he’ll use to avoid things like flabby elbows and the like. He was honest that the arm and breast lifts probably won’t completely resolve my underarm skin (is that too much info for you?) but that he could do a second procedure under local anesthesia in the office if I needed it later. He explained that if I decide I want implants, they will be partially submuscular and partially over the muscle. His explanation made sense but I’m sure I couldn’t relay it properly.
After he left, I met again with the scheduler/financial person. I said, “as you know, I was meeting with a number of doctors. I have one more consultation tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure it will come down to a decision between Dr. Hartog and Dr. Marzek in Tavares. Your prices are almost exactly the same–$11,042 here. I don’t know if this is possible, but what I’m hoping for is to get the total price below $10,000.”
And she replied, “uhhh… let me see if there’s a way to do that. I’ll be back in a minute.”
I think I took her off guard. People must not ask these questions too often, and it’s probably because Dr. Hartog really did already have the lowest price. But she came back and guess what? She increased the multiple procedure discount from 10% to 15% and increased the prepayment discount from 15% to 20%, leaving me with a total price for arms, breast lift, and implants at $9,884. That’s a savings of $1,162 just for asking! So, bottom line, I think plastic surgery prices are absolutely up for negotiation.
Now. In reality, Marzek said he would match Hartog’s price. If he does, I have no idea what I’ll do. Given all things being equal… gosh, I really don’t know! I liked Hartog. Mom likes Hartog. Hartog operated on people I know. Seems reasonable, no?
Now tomorrow I have a consult scheduled with the University of South Florida’s medical residency program. I called and the will combine breasts and arms, they perform the surgery in an outpatient surgery center, etc. I have a feeling this is going to be a massive waste of time driving 7 hours tomorrow round trip, but I have a difficult time making decisions without all the relevant information. If I don’t go, I’ll wonder if I could have had my arms and boobs done for, say, $7,500 or something. So I’m going to keep this appointment and see what happens. If nothing else, it’s a day road trip with my mom!
On implants: now that my mom has seen my goods and heard the doctor talk about implants, I asked what she thinks I should do. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the idea of fake boobs that I know will eventually need to be replaced. But on the other hand, I’m worried about being completely small if I do a lift by itself. Plus, doing the implant now is a cost difference of only $1,237. If I didn’t get them now and wanted them later, it would cost four times that much! Plus, Lee’s definitely pulling for the implants–he never counted on smallish boobies when he married me! So with all that in mind, my mom said, “I worry that you won’t like the results if you don’t get implants. You’ve worked way too hard over the last couple years to do something halfway. I think you’d be happier if you just get it done now.” I didn’t really expect that answer from her, but I think she’s right! So, as of right now, I’m thinking implants.
We’re getting close. This is almost over. Decision day is right around the corner!