Facial plast Surg 2002; 18(2): 095-100
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-32199
Copyright © 2002 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662

Introduction to Cost Analysis in Facial Plastic Surgery

Eric James Kezirian1 , Bevan Yueh1, 2
  • 1Dept. of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • 2VA Puget Sound Health Care System, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
13 June 2002 (online)


Resource allocation in health care is increasingly guided by financial considerations. The cost of care influences treatment decisions not only for health care organizations but also for patients, especially in the fee-for-service marketplace that typifies cosmetic surgery. The purposes of this article are to improve the facial plastic surgeon's understanding of cost analyses and to facilitate critical reading of the literature. We describe basic concepts in economic analyses, such as perspective of analysis, the difference between costs and charges, and the importance of discounting. We also introduce the importance of assessing treatment effectiveness and quality of care. In a review of existing cost-based studies in facial plastic surgery, we found a paucity of rigorous treatment analyses. There are numerous opportunities to pursue economic analysis in facial plastic surgery. We discuss potentially rewarding directions for future research.