Tourism 101: Why the Best Plastic Surgeons Won’t Recommend Surgery Abroad

Low prices coupled with the draw of an exotic vacation just might be enough to get you thinking about plastic surgery abroad.

In the past several years, countries like Thailand, India and Malaysia have seen an increase in medical tourism, but that doesn’t mean it’s the smartest choice for your upcoming procedure. In fact, most of the best plastic surgeons in San Francisco would advise against it.


Here are four reasons why:

1) Total Cost – Sure, airfare might be cheaper than having surgery in the U.S., but will you actually end up saving money when airfare, lodging and other miscellaneous travel expenses are tallied up? And what if you experience a complication following surgery? Will you have enough cash to cover the costs of an extended stay plus additional medical care?

Most travel insurance companies won’t cover elective surgery abroad – so it’s something you should think long and hard about before booking that plastic surgery/travel package. When all is said and done, you could end up spending a lot more money than you originally intended.

2) Surgeon Qualifications – When booking plastic surgery abroad, it can be challenging to find out what type of credentials your surgeon will hold. It can also be difficult to determine what the surgical facility will be like or if it will be accredited.

These key details are essential to your safety. When choosing a surgeon, you want nothing short of a skilled, experienced perfectionist. If you aren’t able to confirm these details in advance through online research, it’s just a better idea to choose a surgeon locally.

3) Follow-Up Appointments – The best plastic surgeon will schedule follow up appointments with his or her patients to monitor progress and provide answers to lingering questions. If you hop on a plane home soon after surgery, you’ll be forfeiting important steps in the aftercare process. And if something goes wrong weeks, months or even years down the road, you’ll have to seek the care and advice of someone that didn’t perform your original surgery.

4) Revision Surgery – Unfortunately, not all surgeries will be successful the first time around – even with the best surgeon in the world. If you’re one of the unlucky patients that require revision surgery to correct an irregularity or complication, can you afford to take time off from work and fly abroad again? If not, you’ll have to factor in additional costs associated with finding a surgeon in the states.

Though plastic surgery abroad isn’t always a bad idea, it’s important to do your research in advance. If you don’t have the time or energy to spend researching and planning out the intricate details of coupling surgery and travel, it’s probably a better idea to just find a reputable surgeon locally.

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