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Dr. Barry Eppley

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Posts Tagged ‘cosmetassure’

Complication Rates in Cosmetic Surgery

Monday, January 18th, 2016


Cosmetic surgery, like all surgeries, has the risk of after surgery complications. But cosmetic surgery us unique is that it has two distinct types of complications…medical and  cosmetic. Medical complications are events like infection or DVT. Cosmetic complications are an undesired or unexpected appearance like an implant being too big or an out contour that is irregular or asymmetric What the exact type and risks of complications are varies for each type of cosmetic surgery.

CosmetAssure insurance for plastic surgery Dr Barry Eppley IndianapolisCosmetAssure is an insurance company that offers patients some financial protection against medical complications from approximately twenty of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures. Since this company provides such coverage they are in a position to have a unique insight into the rate of these complications. They have accumulated a large database from which the data has been statistically analyzed over a five year period. The data has shown the following top ten statistics.

The major or medical complication rates for cosmetic surgery is around 2%. Liposucton, which is often perceived by the public has having a relatively high risk, shows a major complication rate of less than 1%. That risk does increase considerably up to 4% when combined with a tummy tuck and at 12% when combined with multiple other body contouring procedures.

Medical complications rates in tummy tuck surgery were 3% and increased as high as 10% when combined with other body contouring procedures such as liposuction. Combining liposuction with a tummy tuck doubles the risk of a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) from 0.5% to 1%.

In breast surgery, placing breast implants had complication rates of 1.5% which was similar to that of a breast lift. However, when both implants and a lift are done are done at the same time, the complication rates increases to 2%.

While major complications in facelifts are rare, patients that were overweight (BMI greater than 25) have a higher rate of infection. (3%). Men are more prone to hematomas after a facelift than women at a rare of 4%.

There was no statistical difference between older vs. younger patients in complication rates from cosmetic surgery, supporting what has been believed for a long time. However, when looked at on the other end of the age spectrum, cosmetic surgery in teenagers (0.5%) was much lower than in in adults. (1.5%) This undoubtably is due to the more limited types of cosmetic procedure performed in young patients.

Sex did not make a difference in major complication rates with men and women being fairly equal at just over 2%. However, regardless of gender, being overweight increases the complication rates for both men and women.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Plastic Surgery Product Review: CosmetAssure Cosmetic Surgery Insurance

Friday, May 31st, 2013


The number of cosmetic procedures continues to increase every year. The latest statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) for 2012 show that over 14 million cosmetic procedures were performed. While less than one-third of them were major surgical procedures, every cosmetic procedure no matter how minor has some level of risk. While the enthusiasm of undergoing a cosmetic change puts blinders on the potential downsides, risks and complications  these procedures still do exist.

Major medical complications from plastic surgery are, fortunately, very uncommon. But if a complication developed that required a visit to the emergency room or even hospitalization, would your medical insurance cover the cost? That is a good question and the answer is far from certain. Some medical insurances specifically exclude any coverage for problems that arise from cosmetic surgery procedures. Even if covered, the often high deductibles that may people may carry today could expose one to thousands of dollars of unexpected expenses.

CosmetAssure is a company that offers an affordable option for cosmetic surgery patients to avoid the financial risks of unexpected after surgery complications. Endorsed by ASPS, it is risk insurance that is only offered through board-eligible and board-certified plastic surgeons to their patients. Patients may elect to purchase this option (enroll) prior to their elective cosmetic procedure. The following twenty-one major procedures are covered under the policy:

Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)

Arm Contouring (brachioplasty)

Body Lifts

Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation Revision

Breast Lift

Breast Reduction

Brow Lift

Buttock Lift

Cheek Implants

Chin Augmentation/Chin Reduction/Jaw Implants

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)


Gynecomastia Reduction

Hair Transplantation


Laser Resurfacing




Thigh Lift

One of the major restrictions of the policy is that it covers complications which occur only within a 30 day period from the onset of the anesthesia for the procedure(s). This is usually when most medical complications will occur anyway. It covers medically necessary expenses from an unscheduled admission to a hospital, emergency room or surgery center. Such complications may include such problems as bleeding/hematoma, infection, wound dehiscence/complications and DVT. (deep vein thrombosis) It does not cover aesthetic concerns or dissatisfaction from the procedure(s).

Somewhat similar to buying travel or trip insurance, this is low cost protection against the unlikely event of major medical problems from cosmetic surgery. Available now in all 50 states (and Puerto Rico), it is an option that prospective cosmetic surgery patients should be aware.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

Cosmetassure – Medical Insurance for Complications from Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Having a complication after an elective cosmetic surgery procedure is usually something no patient envisions…or even gives much thought about. While it may be explained before surgery that there are risks involved, most patients understandably are not focused on those issues. This potential problem is given no more thought than the risk of being in an accident when buying an automobile.

Yet they can and do occur. Fortunately most problems after surgery are not major and do not frequently require a return to the operating room or a hospital stay to solve them. But when they do occur, the experience combined with potential cost exposures can be significant. The type of complications I am referring to are really major ones that would require the use of a hospital facility, either for the use of the operating room and/or hospitalization.

While such complications occur, rare as they may be, they must be taken care of immediately. One is not initially concerned about cost nor should cost concerns prevent anyone from doing the proper medical treatment. The majority of major medical health insurance policies, however, now exclude treatment of medical complications if they are the result of an elective cosmetic surgical procedure. This would leave the patient with the responsibility of paying the accrued hospital or other facility costs.

In response to this very real patient concern, the Aesthetic Surgeons’ Financial Group (ASFG, a private insurance group) has developed a program called CosmetAssure. This insurance program addresses the lack of coverage for medical expenses complications arising from elective aesthetic surgical procedures. CosmetAssure is a very low cost insurance policy that patients can buy per surgery to cover certain cosmetic surgery complications. This plan is endorsed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and is only available to its Active and Candidate members.

To participate in the program, the patient must have surgery by a plastic surgeon that is enrolled in the CosmetAssure program. The policy covers 17 procedures only but these are all the major types of cosmetic surgery that are commonly performed. In order for patients to receive benefits in the event of a covered complication, not only must they be registered through their participating plastic surgeon, but they must be admitted to a hospital, emergency room, or an accredited surgical center within 30 days of the cover procedure. The 30 day period begins on the day of the patient’s surgery. While this seems fairly time limited, the reality is that almost all major complications (bleeding, infection, etc) will have occurred within days to weeks after surgery. Major complications from elective cosmetic surgery do not occur months or years later.

The Cosmetassure program is not new nor is it available in every state. The concept is a good one and, like most insurance policies, it is really great if you need to use it. Whether this is a good idea can only be determined on a patient by patient basis. For those patients that are concerned about risks and want financial piece of mind, then a few extra hundred dollars for your surgery are certainly worth it. Some may think that such a program is similar to purchasing an extended warranty on that new refrigerator or flat screen TV. But then again, one’s body has the potential to cost a lot more to repair than the ‘original purchase price’. Just look at any hospital bill.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana 


Dr. Barry EppleyDr. Barry Eppley

Dr. Barry Eppley is an extensively trained plastic and cosmetic surgeon with more than 20 years of surgical experience. He is both a licensed physician and dentist as well as double board-certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. This training allows him to perform the most complex surgical procedures from cosmetic changes to the face and body to craniofacial surgery. Dr. Eppley has made extensive contributions to plastic surgery starting with the development of several advanced surgical techniques. He is a revered author, lecturer and educator in the field of plastic and cosmetic surgery.

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