Give a Gift of Plastic Surgery: How to Do It Right

Dr. Sacha Obaid, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Dallas, Plano, Southlake, and Nearby Fort Worth, Texas


By Sacha Obaid

Plastic surgery used to be something that people were hesitant to say they had, let alone be willing to receive as a holiday or birthday gift. But now the taboo around plastic surgery is lifting, and cosmetic procedures are no longer something people feel they should hide.

As a result, such procedures are becoming popular gifts for people to give to their loved ones. While cosmetic work is more widely accepted these days, it’s still important to take care when giving a procedure as a gift, so you ensure the recipient is happy with the gift and the spirit in which it’s given.

How to Talk to a Loved One About Giving Surgery as a Gift

Plastic surgery can be a wonderful present, but it’s definitely important to give this special gift in the right way to ensure that it isn’t viewed in a negative light. There’s a real need for sensitivity in this situation, which means that the process of giving must start with listening, rather than talking.

Perhaps the most important thing is to only give a cosmetic procedure as a gift to someone who has already expressed a wish to have a procedure or who has had procedures before. There’s no right way to say to a loved one, “Have you ever thought about having plastic surgery?” Therefore, this is a gift that should be given when you already know that the person wants it.

For example, a gift certificate for BOTOX® is likely to be welcome to someone who regularly has BOTOX treatments. In fact, the most common way that cosmetic surgery and treatments are given as gifts is for a husband or wife to give their spouse a gift card for treatment at a clinic they’ve already been to.

On the other hand, gifting a girlfriend or wife a nose job or breast augmentation isn’t a good idea if they have never expressed a desire to have the surgery. In this case, it may seem like the gift-giver is being critical of the recipient’s face or body.

To give the gift of plastic surgery with sensitivity, listen to your loved one and find out what they really want. If they express a desire for surgery or cosmetic treatments, talk with them about why they want it and what they hope to gain from it. This is a good way to find out if it’s something they’re seriously considering or if it’s just a passing thought.

If they genuinely want the procedure, it’s a good time to offer to pay for it as something special for them. Alternatively, it’s something to mentally file away for a future birthday or holiday gift, if they still want it at that time.

When talking about this subject with your loved one, do it with love and kindness. Make sure they know that you love them just the way they are and that your offer is about making them happy and not about changing them.

Above all, avoid gifting plastic surgery out of the blue—for example, by making a surprise consultation appointment for someone who has never talked about having surgery. This is such a deeply personal decision that it’s always best made with plenty of thought, consideration, and conversation.

How to Give a Gift

There are several ways to give plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments as gifts, each with their own advantages.

Gift cards are perfect for giving cosmetic treatments such as BOTOX and microdermabrasion, or for when you’re making a contribution to someone’s surgery rather than paying for the entire procedure. A particular advantage of giving a gift card is that it’s an open-ended gift, so they’re free to change their mind about what procedure to have and when to have it.

Booking a consultation is a good way to proceed if your recipient isn’t sure about what procedure they want. This approach allows them to see a surgeon to find out what options are open to them and what kinds of changes they can expect from different procedures. It’s also ideal when your recipient is still in the planning stages, as they may need some time to decide on the best moment to have the procedure.

Planning the surgery date as part of the gift-giving process is ideal if you’ve already discussed the surgery with your loved one, and they’ve settled on the procedure they want and the time-frame in which they want to have it. This requires some forward planning because, depending on the procedure, they may need time off work afterwards.

Whichever method you choose, do everything on the recipient’s schedule, so they have time to plan and prepare for the surgery or treatment. Plastic surgery is a very personal decision; it’s important that the recipient of the gift have control over when and how they use it!

give a giftOffering Support During Planning and Recovery

Offering your help and support is a great way to show your loved one that you care, and it’s important for their physical and mental recovery and well-being. Surgery isn’t something that should be undertaken lightly. It has its own set of risks and possible complications, and it’s important that you and your loved one fully understand the risks and are prepared for the recovery period after the surgery.

During the planning stages, make sure your recipient knows you fully support them and that you love them unconditionally, whatever plastic surgery decisions they make. Offer whatever help they need when it comes to planning, whether it’s looking after children while they go to their consultation or helping them make choices about their procedure.

When it comes time for the surgery and recovery period, it’s even more important to be there to provide the support they need. Having surgery is mentally and physically exhausting, and for the first few days they may even be confined to bed rest. If you’re unable to be there in person 24/7, arrange for someone to act as a caretaker, and be there to provide the help and emotional support they need whenever possible.

Making Gift-Giving Fun

It’s hard to surprise someone with a gift when they know what they’re getting, but there are still lots of ways to turn a humble-looking gift card, or even an appointment card, into an unexpected pleasure.

  • Make or buy an inventive gift-card holder to spruce up the card.
  • Make your loved one breakfast on the morning of the special day, and hide the card on their breakfast tray.
  • Make them work for it (in a fun way) by wrapping the card in a series of layers of paper and boxes.
  • Hide the card in an unexpected place where your loved one will stumble upon it during the day—such as a bathroom cabinet or in the book they’re reading—and wait for them to find it. But have a backup plan in place just in case they don’t find it quickly!
  • Add a supplementary gift that’s related to the surgery that the recipient is having. For instance, if your loved one is having a breast augmentation, give them two gifts: a lingerie gift card followed by the “real” gift.
  • Hide the card inside a small jar of candy, so they find it as they work their way through the jar.
  • Tie the card to a long piece of ribbon, and hide the card. Lay out the ribbon in a maze pattern around furniture and other objects, even through multiple rooms of the house. The longer the ribbon, the longer the mystery will take to unravel, and the more anticipation will build!

Finally, remember that any offer to give a cosmetic treatment as a gift should include a phrase like, “I love you the way you are right now, but if you want to have this procedure, I’d like to help you get it.” And always be careful that you don’t accidentally give the impression that there’s something you want to change about your loved one—this gift is about them and what they want for themselves!