Plastic Surgery Tourism: Is it worth it?

Plastic surgery, being less taboo and more common than ever, has seen a rise in international commutes – patients are not just shopping locally for the best surgeon, they’re looking all over the globe for the best price. ‘Deals’ include most notably, less expensive procedure costs, but also packages of sorts that offer all-inclusive experiences. The trend, categorized as “plastic surgery tourism,” is, unfortunately, bringing with it potentially dangerous downsides.

Searching the web for offices offering plastic surgery abroad should cause one a moment of hesitation. Many of the websites advertising great plastic surgery prices fall short in communicating relevant content such as the qualifications of the doctor. The all-inclusive gets blasted as a headline, but the details seem undiscoverable. The content isn’t robust, and security blocks pop-up. 

Of course, there are qualified surgeons, and perhaps you do find a reputable office with a great doctor, it still might be in your best interest to stay close to home. Our list below tells you why. 

  • Healing: Ongoing care after surgery is required. For common procedures such as breast augmentation, or tummy tucks, most patients return for follow-up care over the first year. Healing takes time. Follow-up care is an integral part of the surgical process. It’s ideal to have your surgeon located close enough to address any complications. Potential complications include infections, healing issues, pain, and hospitalization, which can occur after a patient has returned home. Having your procedure done internationally may mean that post-operative care is limited. 
  • Travel: International plastic surgery destinations require a significant amount of traveling. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), Brazil, Japan, Italy, and Mexico are among the top international destinations of choice for cosmetic surgery, with Russia, India, Turkey, Germany, and France rounding out the top ten. Traveling before the procedure is usually fine; however, it can cause serious to severe post-operative complications due to an increased risk of developing blood clots, swelling, and even infection. 
  • Finances and Standard of Care: A cheaper financial obligation is one of the top reasons people choose plastic surgery tourism. Even though patients may save money initially, healing issues and complications could lead to risks and a higher overall cost. Although it is possible to receive a high quality of care outside of the U.S., there may be vastly different malpractice laws, training, and medical standards. Patients may be financially responsible for the medical bills even if unsatisfactory results or negligence has occurred.

Patient safety is a crucial part of the surgical process, and it isn’t just for the doctors to consider. You help yourself by doing research, choosing a qualified surgeon who has met educational and training standards, and putting yourself in long-term proximity to his or her care. Being under close care puts the mind at ease. 

If plastic surgery tourism sounds interesting to you, then try for a long trip, stay awhile, and enjoy your new look at your chosen destination for as long as you can.