Where Can I Get Plastic Surgery For Free?

Q: I have always wanted plastic surgery but can’t afford it. I have not aged well and I think it would make me feel better about myself. Do you know where I can get it for free? I would be willing to be a guinea pig to let someone learn on me. I would be willing to let them use an extra skin removed from me for help in reconstruction of burn victims.

A: Interest in cosmetic surgery continues to increase. While there are some people who say they wouldn’t subject themselves to something as vain or as drastic as plastic surgery, most people do not feel that way. In a recent online surgery of over 2,000 people done on behalf of theWeb community RealSelf.com, they  reported that more than two-thirds (69 percent to be exact) said they would choose to undergo cosmetic surgery if they had the money. Perhaps to no surprise, a lot more people would have cosmetic surgery if money wasn’t the limiting step. I suspect in this group that some of those state opposition to plastic surgery would change their mind.

The bottom line is that there is no place where cosmetic surgery is done for free. There are costs involved, beyond the plastic surgeon’s time, that are incurred in surgery. In addition, there are medicolegal risks and exposure that one would not risk for no reimbursement. There was a time, years ago, when plastic surgery training programs did do cosmetic surgery for free for the educational experience of the residents and fellows. But that time has long passed and will not likely be seen again.

By the way, a patient can not use someone else’s skin for reconstruction. It would be rejected and cause infection. Skin can only be used from yourself.

Dr. Barry Eppley