Would you fly to another country for plastic surgery? More and more people are doing it. It's easy to understand why; in fact, a perfect storm of factors here in the U.S, including the dismal economy and the rising cost of medical care, has contributed to a booming market for cosmetic surgery in Asia, Latin America and other corners of the world.
Let's say you're just starting to get serious about breast augmentation or a tummy tuck, and one consideration you have is cost. Like most people, you go on the Web and start searching. Get ready to be bombarded with results like:
- Get cheap plastic surgery in Buenos Aires. Why not permanently alter your face? People on TV do it all the time. Besides, you’re a grown up, you can do whatever you want!
- …a surgeon…who has many years of experience in Cheap cosmetic surgery…is licensed and certified to perform such surgeries in the Czech Republic…
Not exactly confidence-inspiring. I'm sure there are many people who are satisfied with their experience outside the U.S. In my view, however, a journey to another country is a great idea for a vacation, but for plastic surgery? Not so great. Here's why:
- Research: It can be a challenge at first to understand what education, training, certifications and professional memberships mean for plastic surgeons in the U.S. It’s even more difficult to sort through what a foreign surgeon’s background really means. Not only that, but getting input from patients to supplement your view of a prospective surgeon can be impossible across borders and language barriers.
- Complications: Should you end up with an unforeseen complication, you’re in the care of the medical system of another country. This could be unsettling at a time when you feel particularly vulnerable. If you develop a problem after returning home, you will head to a local plastic surgeon and start up a new relationship that could be costly. Some patients see the money they’ve saved evaporate with surgical fine-tuning or even a reversal of the original procedure.