Are you scrambling for last-minute gift ideas for that special occasion? Don’t know what to get that person who’s already got it all? Has it ever crossed your mind to give a friend, family member, or loved one plastic surgery as a gift? Toronto is home to world-renowned cosmetic clinics. Let’s talk gift options.

You might be surprised to learn that it’s not all that uncommon to enjoy a spa day and realize what a great gift your luxurious experience would be for a dear friend or neighbour. All kinds of non-surgical skin-boosting and polishing therapies make wonderful presents. Even gifts of Botox or dermal filler have become more popular recently. However, what about facial cosmetic surgery? Is it considered polite to offer your mom a facelift? What about your husband? Along with the bow, we think there’s definitely some serious considerations tied up with these sorts of presents. Here we’ll outline a few options, how to go about gifting them, and reasons not to. The bottom line? This is really personal.

Last year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons published a study highlighting survey results among male and female Americans. A fairly significant percentage, 27%, of women stated that they would want to receive a gift of cosmetic surgery, and another 32% were open to it. Men sounded off at 20% for it, with another 26% curious enough to be “open to it”.

The society listed the following as the most popular procedures requested for gifts: liposuction, tummy tuck, facelift, and Botox cosmetic or dermal facial fillers.

In Toronto, plastic surgery gift certificates purchased online appear to be more in demand each year, so it does seem that people like to buy surgery and aesthetic procedures as gifts. Which leaves us to wonder, are there guidelines? What are the “rules” for purchasing an appearance-altering present for someone you care about?

In Toronto, plastic surgery trends show all procedures rising in public acceptance each year. What was once considered to be exclusively available for a wealthy select few is now seen as everyday beauty and self-care for millions of regular men and women. Greater affordability, improved safety, and advanced technology delivering better results than ever mean that more people are familiar with and happy about their cosmetic treatments. We tend to gift the things we like.

Beauty and skincare can make perfect gifts

Because many skin and body-reshaping treatments are still somewhat pricey, they can make an excellent present for someone who needs a little lux and lovely in their life, but won’t spend the money on themselves. We all know a sister, friend, or co-worker who feels guilty about doing something nice for themselves. It’s a great feeling to deliver a gift that you know will make someone feel great. However, how can you know for sure that it will? What treatments and services are sure to be liked by all, and which ones should be kept for the rarest of circumstances and relationships? Here’s a guide for treatments that are simple and “safe” to give in many situations by social standards, along with a list of questions to ask yourself before you make the purchase.

Ready to give a feel-good, look-better present? We think it will go well if you can answer yes to the following questions:

  • Is this person such a close BFF that you know absolutely everything they like and don’t like?
  • Has this person mentioned their interest in this treatment of procedure before, indicating that they are eager and ready to do it?
  • Have you been to this clinic or spa with this person before, so you know they’ll like this treatment?
  • Is this clinic your giftee’s usual place of pampering?

If you can answer “yes” to all of the questions above, we think you have a great chance of delighting someone with a spa treatment, facial, laser hair removal, SculpSure body fat reduction, or even Botox or fillers. It must be something they’ve discussed with you, and you know they’re either already a client at this clinic or they want to be. As an extra safety measure, it’s best to purchase a gift certificate that can be used toward any treatment they want. That way if they learn more about Botox and decide it’s not for them or if the SculpSure is calling them louder than the HydraFacial, they can do what they please and get what they want. Win-win!

Again, a note of caution: If this friend, family member, co-worker, or neighbour has not told you that they’re interested in these treatments and for all you know, they’ve never been to a cosmetic clinic or never plan to, stick with a basket of chocolate-covered fruit. It’s entirely possible to offend someone by offering beauty services, and you wouldn’t want to send the wrong message. What you feel fabulous about and consider necessary beauty care, someone else might not agree with or may find unappealing. It’s personal. Better to be safe than risk making things awkward.

Next, the big stuff. What time of year should you gift Toronto plastic surgery?

First, there are some great reasons besides gifting to schedule a cosmetic surgery during your holidays. For many people, accounts for health benefits run out at the end of each calendar year, and they may have some funds to put toward a treatment. If you must have some bandaging, swelling, or bruising present in a visible location for a week or two, what better time of year than the cold and grey months when people hibernate and you can recover incognito? This element of privacy is a leading motivator for holiday cosmetic surgery. However, people also take outstanding vacation time in the summer, so that graduation or birthday gift of plastic surgery could also be timed just right that your loved one could discreetly take a “surgery recovery” vacation unbeknownst to the people around them.

Who would be an ideal recipient of a cosmetic surgery gift?

The short answer is someone who has asked for it. It’s a reasonably low-stakes gamble to guess at a book purchase, music, or even a clothing item. The worst outcome from a bad choice in those situations is that the recipient won’t love it, it won’t suit them, or it perhaps won’t fit them. If they’re surprised by your assumption of their musical taste, they’ll politely hide their shock, and slippers that don’t fit will be discreetly re-gifted. Books always find a good home eventually. The stakes are much higher with the purchase of a procedure designed to change a person’s appearance, and the bottom line is you just cannot make that choice on someone else’s behalf. Not at all. Not ever.

There are only a few special types of relationships that seem to support this sort of bestowed beauty. They are married couples, close long-term romantic partners, very close family members such as siblings, and sometimes best friends. When the circumstances are ideal, two people who know each other very well have discussed the desired procedure in detail, and then the gifter either provides their financial information at the time of booking or the couple attends all appointments together and shares the entire process of shopping and purchasing. You might wonder if buying a facelift, for instance, could hurt a spouse or friend’s feelings. It’s quite possible, and that’s why communication is so essential here. As much as you might relish the idea of a fabulous, dramatic surprise, we would not recommend it when it comes to plastic surgery. We get it – you’re a generous person, and you want to make someone else feel as good as these rejuvenating treatments make you feel. We applaud you, but we recommend that you proceed with caution.

Aside from potential offence, there are other reasons not to make surgery a stealth-purchase. Just like Botox, PRP (platelet-rich plasma therapy) or dermal fillers, facial cosmetic surgery is not right for everyone. These are medical procedures with real considerations and important assessment information to be gathered for planning. A consultation is an integral first step, as it allows the surgeon to ask essential safety and health questions, to understand a patient’s goals, and to explain all the details of the treatment. It is both legally and ethically required that a physician or surgeon spend time in this pre-treatment assessment ensuring that the procedure is right for the patient. Because you can’t know until after the consultation which option will suit your giftee the best, purchases like that are best made the boring, transparent, and open way, following proper steps. The eventual results will bring plenty of excitement.

How can you be sure this is the right gift, at the right time, for the right person?

One sure-fire way to make your surgery payment a hit is by giving it to someone you know has already done the research, consultations, and initial decision-making. If they’ve chosen a reputable Royal College-certified plastic surgeon in Toronto and picked a date, your gift could be most welcome, and you won’t run the risk of giving an unwanted procedure.

An added benefit of this approach is that there’s no unhealthy external pressure on the person to proceed. High-pressure sales tactics are not okay when it comes to medical procedures, and influence from friends or family could have a significant pull as well. Anyone considering an aesthetic treatment or surgical procedure should feel completely free to decide without pressure or outside influence, so it’s best that you work with ideas that have already taken shape. A person has to live with their personal body choices, so they must always be in the driver’s seat.

Another reason not to select a particular clinic and pre-pay for anything is that the patient has to meet and feel perfectly comfortable with their surgeon. That’s a highly personal process and another one not to make under pressure. Each practice has their own financial policies and refund parameters, so you may end up losing part of your payment if the patient decides they are not comfortable, don’t wish to proceed, or aren’t a good candidate.

If you’ve read our Toronto plastic surgery gift guidelines and you’re still not sure what to do next because your gift idea may or may not be a hit, here are two safe options for you.

1. Invite your friend or loved one to the spa with you. If they’re interested, they’ll come, book a treatment that appeals to them, and you can wrestle them for the bill.

2. Give cash. Cash or a generic pre-paid credit card will be used however the recipient wants. Let them choose what makes them happy.

We hope this guide helps you decide how to go about giving the gift of a smoother complexion, reduced wrinkles, or a lifted brow. At the Torgerson clinic in beautiful Yorkville, we offer a wide variety of skincare services to pamper and beautify, minimally invasive options to smooth and plump, and a full assortment of facial surgery procedures in the expert hands of Dr. Cory Torgerson. We welcome you to visit us for a consultation or call to speak with one of our friendly professionals today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Dr. Cory Torgerson
Dr. Cory Torgerson
Dr. Cory Torgerson is one of Canada’s most talented and prominent facial plastic surgeons, focusing on head & neck facial surgery. Dr. Torgerson has been frequently invited to teach and lecture on these topics across North America. He has hospital privileges at Sunnybrook Hospital, one of the premier hospitals in the University of Toronto Health Network.
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