We’re always looking for ways to save money on the things we want. Whether it’s a new couch, a new car, or even plastic surgery, finding a “bargain” can feel great. The tricky part is, when you’re dealing with medical and surgical procedures, you are putting your body — and possibly your life — at risk.
Recently some savings minded shoppers have opted to have cosmetic surgery done in other countries, often mixing it with a vacation-like trip – known as medical tourism. At first blush, it sounds like the perfect solution. You can unwind and have a getaway, and get a new look while you’re there. While there are trustworthy physicians and medical facilities in other countries, there are also far more people soliciting your business who are not properly trained, or worse, simply don’t make patient safety their priority. The trouble is, when you’re dealing with non-U.S. physicians, it can be difficult to know who is qualified, and who isn’t.
Keep in mind that plastic surgery is still SURGERY, with all the normal risks and success relies heavily upon the skill and care of your surgeon, as well as the cleanliness of the facility. If your surgeon isn’t properly trained in the specific procedure, or if certain standards of care are not followed, you could end up with a botched surgery or serious problems.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before you consider any procedure in another country:
- Not all doctors or their medical devices meet the strict standards followed in the America. Board-certified plastic surgeons must undergo years of training, and are held to stringent standards. This ensures that you will get the safest possible procedure and high quality results. Even though the physician might seem to be knowledgeable, if they aren’t board-certified in plastic surgery, you should find another doctor. Something to think about: you don’t have to leave the country to save money using medical tourism? The prices in Reno, including travel and hotel, are far less than most major cities.
- When planning a procedure away from home, remember to take into consideration the time you need before the procedure for a consultation, as well as adequate recovery time after. You should have a detailed discussion with your surgeon before moving forward with any plastic surgery. During your consultation, all risks and surgery preparation instructions will be covered. In addition, many procedures require several weeks of recovery and careful follow-up visits with your surgeon to ensure you are healing properly. Without these follow-up visits, you could risk getting an infection or other health problem — which would normally be addressed in a proper follow-up visit. Due to these risks, not all procedures are advised.
Bottom line: before embarking on a plastic surgery vacation, you should know who’s doing the surgery, and whether they are qualified to do it. Make sure you ask any surgeon the following questions before deciding to go forward with surgery:
- Are you board-certified in plastic surgery?
- What are the risks, and am I a good candidate for this type of surgery?
- What is involved before, during, and after the surgery? How much recovery time do I need?
- Where will the surgery be performed? (If the surgeon is board-certified, it should be an accredited facility)