Why Going Abroad For Plastic Surgery Can Cost You More Than You May Think
Americans unhappy with what they see in the mirror are looking past borders—and oceans—to save money on face-lifts, breast augmentations, and other elective procedures not covered by insurance. The Internet is littered with companies offering cosmetic surgery vacation deals to exotic locales like Costa Rica, the Philippines, Mexico, and Brazil. But experts caution that so-called cosmetic surgery tourism can wind up costing patients more—both in health and money—than they expect.
Many overseas surgery practices use specialized travel agencies to package their cosmetic procedures with vacations. A typical offer includes your pick of operations—say, liposuction and a tummy tuck, for as little as half the U.S. cost—plus tour itineraries, resort stays, and pampering at posh spas during recovery.
But shopping around for the lowest fee or the best destination is not the way to choose a cosmetic surgeon. The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has vetted and certified about 1,500 surgeons in 73 countries who meet U.S. standards; isaps.org has a surgeon-finder tool. Surgeons who aren’t on that list may be good, but their credentials, training, and prior disciplinary record can be hard to verify, says John Canady, incoming president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
People go abroad thinking they are getting a better deal but when things go wrong stateside doctors are called on to pick up the pieces. The popularity of cosmetic surgery abroad isn’t surprising when you see the hundreds of websites boasting the advantages of having the procedure carried out this way, but with thousands of reported botched cases, is it really worth risking your health?
If you’re thinking about a procedure then why not see what’s offered in the U.S. before going for the budget (abroad) option. Private cosmetic surgery clinics have a wealth of experience and can offer you free help and advice about any surgery. They also have many other advantages over surgery in a foreign country, for example: no language barrier, reduced chance of infection and less distance to travel for a return visit if something goes wrong and you have to go back to hospital.
If you are considering any kind of surgical procedure, ensure that you are seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience. Contact Shapiro Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for more information about our qualified team and the procedures we offer.