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In Toronto, facial plastic surgery doesn’t carry a stigma as it used to, which means that there’s been an impressive surge in demand in recent years.

Visiting the facial surgeon has become as common as visiting a dermatologist or aesthetician for many. While the greater acceptance for a variety of cosmetic procedures opens the doors for many more people to pursue desired changes comfortably, the new phenomena of “plastic surgery tourism” isn’t always driven by good sense or awareness. Worse, it appears to prioritize profits over patient safety.

Facial Surgeon in Toronto

Toronto facial plastic surgeons will carry a higher price tag than general and “cosmetic” surgeons in many overseas locations, and the fee differences may be attractive, but they can represent a serious lack of quality. Numerous companies are popping up to take advantage of two things we all like: deals and exotic vacations.

Many of the best surgeons in Canada have real concerns about the marketing and subsequent disappointments these companies may provide. While GTA facial surgeons like beach vacations too, they will warn anyone thinking of travelling for plastic surgery to research in depth and think twice. We’ll list a few of the most pressing reasons for you to be a little wary.

Some destinations around the globe offer steep discounts of up to 80% less than what cosmetic surgery clinics in Toronto charge. Brazil, Italy, Korea, Japan, and Mexico are among the top international locations for cosmetic surgery. India, Turkey, France, and Germany are also in demand, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). Thailand remains a beautiful spot that is big on surgery, and some reality TV shows have even decided to highlight this destination and its patient travellers.

1. All-inclusive cosmetic surgery packages: Are they safe?

Cosmetic surgery tourism involves very real invasive and permanent operations. As such, there are always inherent health and safety risks, even here in Canada with reputable and professional treatment. In Canada, there are strict guidelines and medical protocols in place for this very reason. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada provides accreditation and a high level of accountability for Toronto facial surgeons like Dr. Cory Torgerson. Dr. Torgerson has well-established protocols for pre- and post-operative appointments as well as consistent access and communication provided for patients 24/7 after their surgery. Even weeks and months later, if there are questions or concerns about the progress of healing, there’s no barrier to access between the patient and the surgeon.

Compare this to travelling overseas for an operation. If suddenly a complication arises once a patient has left the country, talking to their surgeon and obtaining a proper assessment will be difficult. Also, their doctor at home may have trouble accessing detailed medical records.

Paying out of pocket for emergency medical treatment once home may end up costing much more, and leaving potential problems unchecked can be dangerous or create poor results at the least. Many people don’t realize that the care they receive after their cosmetic surgery can be just as critical as the planning before.

2. How soon can you travel after plastic surgery?

Some of the prettiest destinations in the world take many hours to get to from Toronto. While the flight there won’t pose an issue, there are good reasons why many facial surgeons stress the need to wait before flying after surgery. General risks like the potential to form blood clots could affect any cosmetic surgery patient after general anaesthesia, and those risks are elevated depending on health history, age, length of surgery, and other factors.

Aside from this central concern, facelift surgery or a nose job results in fairly dramatic swelling and temporary pressure due to the highly vascular nature of the face. Certain activities that raise blood pressure along with lifting or bending over are a no-no for at least a couple of weeks after the operation. Likewise, cabin pressure changes related to flying can affect swelling and lead to discomfort or potential bleeding issues if the flight is too soon post-op.

Though some people are so self-assured they don’t mind showing off bruises and bandages at all, many others still prefer total privacy when undergoing facial surgery. The idea of sipping tropical drinks on a private beach after surgery sounds nice, but unless you plan to stay for a significant period, you could be rushing off too soon to heal safely.

3. Plastic surgery recovery

Plastic surgery recovery retreats sometimes advertise glam-looking settings or adventurous activities to be mixed in with healing after a facial cosmetic procedure. We think it’s important for patients to understand that unless your treatment is relatively minor, such as facials or some injectables, you’ll not want to be zip-lining, going on safari, or out dancing the night away.

A temporary but realistic aspect of healing from face surgery is bruising, inflammation, some discomfort, and at times, significant swelling. Though the majority of this dissipates after the first week, there can also be feelings of nausea, dizziness, fatigue, or pain to contend with. Many people spend a few days napping and staying close to their room after their procedure. Most patients don’t want to be out socializing for the first 2 weeks.

There will be limitations for some activities because they pose a safety risk. Drinking alcohol or doing any physical activity that will elevate heart rate and blood pressure are off limits for a few weeks. Submerging in pools, hot tubs, or the ocean are also restricted for a time because they pose a high infection risk. In short, this is not the time to plan a dream vacay. In all probability, you’ll want a soft bed, assistance with eating/dressing/care, peace, and quiet. Don’t let the pictures fool you — recovery time is for recovering.

We recommend that you chat with a few real patients who’ve had the surgery you want. Ask them what they felt like in the days following surgery and what environment or support they needed.

4. Certification for plastic and cosmetic surgeons

There are excellent surgeons and hospitals around the world. However, terminology, licencing, accreditation, and education requirements vary significantly between countries. That means that when you seek a surgeon overseas, the credentials you see may be misleading.

It’s essential for you to do extra homework when looking into a potential surgeon. Anyone reputable, safe, and well trained should have a long, verifiable record, affiliation with local hospitals, and extensive surgical training in cosmetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgery. They’ll work with fully qualified staff as well, including licenced anesthesiologists and nurses. The facility should be accredited by the country’s highest governing body to ensure that it’s equipped and held to rigorous safety standards.

Dr. Cory Torgerson is a prominent Canadian facial plastic surgeon, focusing on the head and neck. He has hospital privileges at Sunnybrook Hospital, which is affiliated with the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.

5. Legal aspects of plastic surgery

Unfortunately, sometimes out-of-town patients have no legal recourse when complications or negligence are an issue. Malpractice laws for countries like the U.S. and Canada are typically extensive and stringent, yet they don’t have bearing outside the country. The paperwork you sign before your surgery may not be understood entirely by you if the laws differ in that nation or if consent forms are written in another language.

Depending on individual, private medical insurance, you may have some protection if things go wrong, but cosmetic surgery is elective, and it can be difficult to prove you “need” something corrected or revised. Many people assume that the laws and safeguards for them will be the same when they travel for cosmetic surgery, but it’s essential to research and understand the specifics for your destination.

How safe is cosmetic surgery at home?

If you live in Canada, you’ve got a few excellent benefits automatically. For patients in Toronto and the GTA, including Richmond Hill, facial surgeons are verifiably held to the same high standards, and there are easy ways to search potential medical professionals online, ensuring that they have no penalties or restrictions on their licence. The legal parameters for consent forms and liability are standard throughout the country, and you can have your consent forms explained in any language you need.

Dr. Cory Torgerson – The Clinic at Yorkville

Dr. Torgerson operates his own approved out-of-hospital surgical facility in Yorkville, downtown Toronto. As a facial surgeon, he’s fully licenced and accredited, and his state-of-the-art surgical facility is as well. He has hand-picked, experienced anaesthesiologists, registered nurses, and medical technicians who form an expert team dedicated to excellent patient experiences.

Our clients can return home after a facelift or other surgery the same day, but we offer the care of registered nurses if they desire. We give Dr. Torgerson’s personal phone number to all of our surgical patients so they can reach him day or night with a concern, and of course, we schedule a series of check-ups after the OR day to follow the recovery and results closely. We’re happy to accommodate out-of-town clients, and we can recommend nearby accommodations plus work cooperatively with their schedules.

The right facial surgeon and the correct procedure for you can be a life-changing combination. It’s essential to consider the safety, convenience, and costs involved with undergoing your procedure before you sign on for that all-inclusive vacation deal.

We welcome you to contact Dr.Torgerson for a free consultation. He’ll be happy to answer your questions, help you research, and consider your best options. We believe that well-informed patients are ultimately the most satisfied. We’ll walk you through the next steps in your transformation when you’re ready. See you soon!

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Dr. Cory Torgerson (MD, PhD, FRCSC)
Dr. Cory Torgerson (MD, PhD, FRCSC)
Dr. Cory Torgerson is one of Canada’s most talented and prominent facial plastic surgeons, focusing on head & neck facial surgery. Dr. Torgerson has been frequently invited to teach and lecture on these topics across North America. He has hospital privileges at Sunnybrook Hospital, one of the premier hospitals in the University of Toronto Health Network.
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