Plastic Surgery Tourism

It seems odd that plastic surgery would be combined with travel, but as the number of people seeking plastic surgery rises, companies have jumped on the bandwagon to market plastic surgery as a vacation.

This poses the question, Do these companies realize that plastic surgery is for real?! A facelift, rhinoplasty, or blepharoplasty are, in fact, considered major surgery. Of course, the lure to their marketing scheme is always money, and they capitalize on you receiving your new look for thousands of dollars cheaper than here in Canada. If you are considering plastic surgery, there are several things you need to carefully consider before booking a flight to a foreign land to save money.

Many Health Insurance Policies Are Not Valid For Situations Like This In Other Countries

Medical Screening And Pre-op Appointments

People who have undergone major plastic surgery will agree that they did not feel like running to the beach or riding around on a hop on-hop off bus tour after the operation. Time is necessary to heal properly, and complications can arise if post-operative instructions are not followed.

Many health insurance policies are not valid for situations like this in other countries, so if there were complications, you could be on the hook to pay for any carelessness on the part of the surgeon. You may not have any legal rights in another country to recoup those costs.

Plastic surgery also requires medical screening and some pre-op appointments for the surgeon to assess what you want to achieve. Does your “vacation” provide enough time for this vital aspect of surgery? It is important that your international surgeon as well as her/his staff are able to speak English fluently. Otherwise, they won’t understand your expectations or be able to assist if you experience complications after surgery.

Any major surgery requires post-op appointments as well to ensure that the patient is healing properly. Sometimes these are scheduled weeks after the surgery has taken place. It is not likely that your “vacation” would allow for an adequate post-op assessment. Another consideration is whether your travel arrangements provide a comfortable place for you to stay while you are recuperating.

Ensure That The Surgeon Is Actually Licensed

Education And Training Of International Surgeons

Anyone investigating plastic surgery tourism should do their due diligence to ensure that the surgeon is actually licenced. Often the education and training of international surgeons does not meet North American standards. If you are satisfied that they are legitimate, another important question is whether they have had adequate experience. Are references from previous patients available? Are before and after photos of previous patients also available? What about their facility? Is their operating room sterile? Another vital question to ask before proceeding is whether they follow the World Health Organization surgical safety checklist. The “WHO list” is comprised of 19 questions that can be compared with a pilot’s pre-flight checklist.

The final piece of advice prior to booking your facial cosmetic vacation is to sit down and total all the costs. Your airline fare, additional health insurance coverage, hotel charges, meals, and last but not least, the additional charges if you experience complications or require revision surgery. Often revision surgery is more expensive than the initial plastic surgery.

“You get what you pay for” is a saying that has been around for a long time, so make sure you really do!

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