10 Years Later: Lessons Learned from an Academic Multidisciplinary Cosmetic Center

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In 2006, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-accredited multidisciplinary academic ambulatory surgery center was established with the goal of delivering high-quality, efficient reconstructive, and cosmetic services in an academic setting. We review our decade-long experience since its establishment.


Clinical and financial data from 2006 to 2016 are reviewed. All cosmetic procedures, including both minimally invasive and operative cases, are included. Data are compared to nationally published reports.


Nearly 3,500 cosmetic surgeries and 10,000 minimally invasive procedures were performed. Compared with national averages, surgical volume in abdominoplasty is high, whereas rhinoplasty and breast augmentation is low. Regarding trend data, breast augmentation volume has decreased by 25%, whereas minimally invasive procedural volume continues to grow and is comparable with national reports. Similarly, where surgical revenue remains steady, minimally invasive revenue has increased significantly. The majority of surgical cases (70%) are reconstructive in nature and insurance-based. Payer mix is 71% private insurance, 18% Medicare and Medicaid, and 11% self-pay. Despite year-over-year revenue increases, net profit in 2015 was $6,120. Rent and anesthesia costs exceed national averages, and employee salary and wages are the highest expenditure.


Although the creation of our academic cosmetic ambulatory surgery center has greatly increased the overall volume of cosmetic surgery performed at the University of Wisconsin, the majority of surgical volume and revenue is reconstructive. As is seen nationwide, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures represent our most rapidly expanding revenue stream.

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