Date: Wednesday Feb. 29, 2012 5:30 PM ET
If you’re a few thousand dollars short of a smaller waistline or larger bustline, a website launching Thursday may be able to help.
SociallySexyDeals.com is being billed as the world’s first deals site devoted to plastic surgery and other cosmetic enhancement services, from spray tanning to boob jobs.
The site negotiates discounts for a host of products and services, and then subscribers have a week to purchase a voucher.
The site goes live for Toronto customers on March 1, with expansions into Miami, new York and Los Angeles planned for later this year.
The site’s inaugural deals include 25 per cent off breast augmentation, 79 per cent off laser hair removal and 50 per cent off airbrush tanning.
The site’s president, Roberto De Angelo, who also founded cosmetic enhancement magazine Elevate, says subscribers are protected by several safeguards, including the ability to refund the voucher within 30 days if second thoughts start to settle in.
The number of vouchers per deal is also limited to 250.
Doctors who offer the services for which vouchers are sold are all board certified, and their qualifications are available for subscribers to read and verify, he says.
“Our look is fun but our platform puts education first,” De Angelo says. “We go to great lengths to ensure our subscribers make informed choices with the freedom to change their minds — no questions asked.”
Representatives for the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Canadian society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery were not available for comment.
The site is not the first to offer plastic surgery discounts. Mass coupon site Groupon has offered cosmetic enhancement deals for physicians’ offices across the United States.
Even though subscribers to SociallySexyDeals.com can purchase discounts for surgery, they should not expect that to mean they have a spot reserved in an operating room.
Subscribers must be 18 years of age or older, and doctors reserve the right to refuse treatment if their patient is deemed unsuitable for the procedure.
Kathryn Clarke, senior communications co-ordinator with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, said the regulatory body would not find a problem with a doctor offering surgical services on a group discount site unless the physician contravened its regulations surrounding advertising services.
“Secondly, if someone is offering a discount on a cosmetic procedure, the physician would have to stipulate that patient selection is still part of it,” Clarke said in a telephone interview. “Because obviously you can’t tell until you assess the patient whether they’re an appropriate candidate for whatever is being offered.”
When asked if there are potential problems with offering surgery and other procedures to a large number of people at one time, Clarke said it would be difficult to anticipate any issues in advance.
“I think what’s important is what happens with the patient once that appointment is made,” Clarke said.
“Are people being given appropriate information, are physicians appropriately selecting patients or eliminating them based on an underlying health issue? So once the patient walks into the room for the appointment, what is that exchange like? and I think that would lead, if not handled properly, to complaints.”
At the end of the day, Clarke said, it might not be every potential patient’s route to a new nose or smaller thighs.
“But some people would be delighted to have a discount,” she said.
Deals site devoted to discounts on boob jobs, tanning