Cosmetic surgery is chosen with the intent of enhancing a person’s appearance. Procedures could include breast augmentations, rhinoplasty and facelifts. The costs of plastic surgery can be expensive. Generally, most insurance plans consider cosmetic surgery as elective and will not cover the costs-leaving many patients to pay out of pocket and some exploring the option of plastic surgery tourism.
The costs of receiving surgery overseas can be relatively cheaper than in the United States and can be tempting; however, consumers should be aware of the dangerous and sometimes deadly situations they can encounter. It is highly important to keep in mind that many plastic surgery practices overseas do not uphold the rigid standards of qualified board-certified physicians in the U.S. There are no laws protecting patients who choose to do surgeries outside of the country, therefore if there is negligence it is unlikely the medical practice will be penalized.
Other complications that a consumer may encounter from plastic surgery tourism include:
- Travel- Long flights can increase the risk of developing pulmonary embolisms and blood clots.
- Lack of follow up care- Follow up care after surgery is extremely important. Physicians need to assess your recovery and ensure there are no abnormalities and infections. Many overseas facilities offer very limited or no follow up care.
- Botched surgeries and revisions- If the procedure is botched, it may cost twice as much money to make revisions than the initial surgery would with a domestic surgeon.
- Language barriers- A breakdown in comprehension and communication can be fatal.
- Sub-standard equipment-The facility may be ill-equipped.Facilities overseas may not use the same safety checklist that is standard in the U.S. and medical records may not be properly documented.
Every surgery, including plastic surgery has risks. Boards and organizations such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are in existence to regulate practices, set safety standards and help reduce these risks. While you may be saving money by going abroad, you are being exposed to medical institutions that may not have the same standards of the U.S. and increasing your risks for complications and potentially death.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.