Cosmetic Surgeon

Should You Travel for Cosmetic Surgery?

Travel for Cosmetic Surgery

Medical tourism is the idea of combining a vacation with medical treatment. Or, more accurately, the vacation is taken specifically to undergo cosmetic procedures. Popular destinations for cosmetic surgery include Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Thailand, to name just a few. Travel packages may even bundle the medical care with travel and lodging, as well as perks like a tour or a safari. Is this really the right approach to take toward cosmetic surgery?

The Benefits of Medical Tourism

Quite often, the greatest benefit of traveling outside the U.S. for cosmetic surgery is the bargain price of medical care. Low prices are possible in less developed countries due to fewer regulations and less stringent legal protection for patients. This may also make it possible to undergo surgical procedures that are not available in the United States. As a bonus, medical tourists also get the chance to visit new and exotic locations.

The Risks of Medical Tourism

The same things that draw people to another country for medical care may also present very serious risks:

  • Concerns regarding the cosmetic surgeon performing the procedure. Is he or she as qualified or as experienced as cosmetic surgeons who practice in the United States?
  • Medical devices used in other countries may not meet U.S. standards.
  • If a patient experiences complications in a foreign country, it may be difficult to find quality follow-up care.
  • The increased possibility of complications that accompany not only travel itself, but also vacation-related activities like too much sun exposure, excessive alcohol consumption, and vigorous outdoor activities.

With the risks and benefits presented by medical tourism, I would encourage my patients to do their homework before their procedure and choose wisely before booking a trip overseas.

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November 22, 2013
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