medical-tourismFinding a plastic surgeon can be a daunting task. You want to find a surgeon who is professional, fantastic at their job and for many, affordable. You want someone with shining reviews and before and after pictures that give you that “wow” factor. So where are you going to find this                                                                                                             information? The internet, of course!
So, you begin your search for the perfect plastic surgeon using those all-important keywords: affordable, best price or cheapest. Your search results are most likely going to produce plastic surgeons that are not anywhere near your current location. The best price for a breast augmentation may be in the United Kingdom, and you live in Kansas, or the lowest cost for a facelift may be in China, Brazil or Poland. You start to wonder if traveling for your surgery is an option.
You evaluate the prices and see that these locations are offering a much lower cost than those practices closer to home. You envision yourself on this awesome vacation, exploring new horizons with all the money you will be saving. Recovery must be better when you are someplace new and exciting, RIGHT!!
Finding an affordable doctor is definitely okay as long as you are also examining their other qualifications. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should look at before deciding to travel overseas for your procedure:
Board Certified Surgeon:
Finding a board certified plastic surgeon should be your top priority. Surgeons in the U.S. are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery after an extensive training and vetting process. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, have their own certification board, but some do not require a surgeon to be certified. Read your prospective surgeon’s bio on their website to get a better idea of their education and training.
Health Risks:
If you are thinking of traveling out of the United States for your surgery, there are a few health risks to think about. Countries such as the Dominican Republic have been known to carry bacteria that is not common in America, so therefore travelers are more susceptible to developing a serious infection if they contract the bacteria during or after surgery. Infections are common due to lack of proper sanitation of medical equipment and surgical tools and poor surgical techniques.
While the price of the procedure itself may be a bargain, you also have to add in the cost of lodging, travel expenses such as gas or airfare and dining expenses. Most people will bring at least one companion for moral support, so that extra cost should be included in your final total as well. Your doctor is also going to want to see you a couple of times after your surgery to check on your progress. These added trips will jack up your costs exponentially.
The Truth About Recovery:
For the first week or two after surgery, you are going to be instructed to take it easy. Hiking the Alps, not recommended! Swimming in the ocean, not recommended! Sunbathing poolside, not recommended! I think you see where this is going. A comfortable hotel where you can lounge around and relax is great, but you may miss the comforts of your home. Flying after surgery is also risky. Long flights may cause blood clots that can travel to the lungs which can be fatal.
The Unknown:
When you choose to go out of the country for services, there are many unknowns. How clean is the surgical center? How capable is the anesthesiologist? Is my doctor as competent as his website claims? These are important questions and answers that make a huge difference in your results. Some people experience excellent quality when they travel for their procedures, while others are mortified at the outcome of their decision.
Travelling outside of the U.S. for surgery should be considered carefully. If you cannot find a surgeon in your area that meets the standards and affordability that you need, continue searching in the U.S. Although you may still have to travel several hours, you will have the comfort of knowing that the surgeon and the surgical center or hospital have met the requirements for board certification and are safe.
We offer travel assistance to our patients. Our staff will help you to determine the best schedule for your travel dates and will offer suggestions on hotels, restaurants and other amenities in our area. We will make your stay as comfortable as possible. Our board certified surgeons and professional staff are here to help you in your journey to a beautiful and confident you!