Having a plastic surgery procedure abroad might sound like an attractive financial option – until you find out that bargain surgery was more than you bargained for.
More cosmetic surgeries and minimally invasive surgeries were done in the U.S. — 17.5 million in 2017 – than in any other country.
Still, some people are risking their lives and their financial security by looking for cheap alternatives overseas. An entire tourism industry has sprung up in recent years offering packages that pair holidays with cheap cosmetic surgeries. Medical tourism, which includes all types of surgeries, is growing as much as 25 percent each year.
But such deals should be approached with extreme caution.
While no surgery is risk-free, having surgery on vacation comes with some inherent risks that don’t otherwise exist.
For instance, the surgeon may not be readily available if something goes wrong. Meanwhile, some overseas clinics may not even provide aftercare or any type of follow-up treatments. They are also not required to meet U.S. standards, as was exemplified in a recent alert from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that warned people about a Mexico hospital performing weight-loss surgery infected patients with an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria.
Risks also exist post-procedure.
Many activities associated with vacation shouldn’t follow surgery to assure healing can occur properly and to avoid complications. Even air travel itself can increase potential risks post-surgery, such as deep vein thrombosis, when a blood clot forms in a vein, or pulmonary embolism, when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel supplying the lung.
It’s not just health risks. Going oversees to a non-credentialed plastic surgeon may also ultimately be financially risky.
There are no U.S. laws that protect patients or mandate the training and qualifications of doctors who perform surgeries outside the country. Depending on the site, there may not be legal protection if surgical negligence occurs.
Revision surgeries and complications also can easily total more than the cost of the initial procedure if it was handled in the U.S.
Ultimately, it makes more sense to go with someone with training and standards that you can trust and check. To get your search started in the Dallas area, consult the Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeon directory for a highly qualified candidate. https://www.dallassocietyplasticsurgeons.com/dspsmembers/