Plastic surgery can be a life-changing experience. But covering the cost is a challenge for many patients.

Unless you’re getting reconstructive surgery to treat an injury or illness, it’s unlikely that your insurance will cover even a small portion of your procedure.

“Consumers should be aware that cosmetic surgery is not covered under insurance, so all of the expenses must be paid out of pocket,” says Kevin Kautzmann, a certified financial planner.

Fortunately, when you can’t technically pay out of pocket, there are options, as explained in this popular article by Fox News Business.

If you’re willing to shop around, a credit card can end up being a savvy choice. Health care or medical credit cards, which can only be used to cover medical expenses, have seen a recent surge in popularity for people getting plastic surgery.

Some cards have 0% interest promotions, as well as reasonable interest rates and payment plans. They also give lenders “a sense of control if they tend to overspend,” because they are limited to medical purchases, says Billy DeFrance, an El Paso financial planner.

You could also consider taking out a personal loan to cover the cost of plastic surgery. Bank loans often have fixed interest rates as well as fixed repayment periods. This can add up to less interest, and build your credit at the same time.

Though most plastic surgeons require full payment before the day of surgery, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can setup a payment plan. In some cases, the practice can provide you with repayment plans that offer more flexibility than other payment methods.

If all else fails, saving up the cash for your procedure is the smartest choice. “It may not be sexy, but the best answer for most people is to save each month until you have the bill covered?then get the procedure done,” says financial adviser Michael Masiello.

Photo credit: Personal finance by Alan Cleaver, on Flickr