In April of 2005, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) issued a report that clearly contradicts traveling abroad for surgery. Without doing proper research, one would conclude that traveling overseas for plastic surgery is a bad choice. Perhaps the ASPS statements is only giving out info that could possibly weigh the risk or cost savings of pursuing medical tourism. Below is a context from the briefing paper.
“Cosmetic surgery tourism is a price-driven phenomenon that has experienced increased growth over the past decade. Numerous companies offering all-inclusive vacation packages that include cosmetic surgery are popping up all over the world and can be easily located via the internet. The offers generally include private hospital services and tout “highly trained” and “credentialed” medical staff. Since elective cosmetic surgery procedures are not covered by insurance, price is the major selling point of cosmetic surgery tourism, with entire vacation/surgical packages costing less than individual procedures in the United States.”
The context is clearly true, but ASPS strongly disfavored cosmetic surgery being a price driven phenomenon. Members of the society are working to solve the crisis on the cost of their medical procedures. Their goal is to devise lower cost and less invasive techniques, however, U.S. Cosmetic surgeons are unable to compete on price with their counterparts in Central and South America and Asia.
ASPS also urges the potential complications, unsatisfactory results and risks to general health that may occur. The society cautions that it may be difficult to assess the training and credentials of surgeons outside of the United States. Patients may take unnecessary risks, when choosing cosmetic surgery vacations, by unknowingly selecting unqualified physicians and having procedures performed in non-accredited surgical facilities.
According to Jeff Schult in his book Beauty from Afar, “A patient who has done sufficient research is very unlikely to end up in such a position, but one must be mentally prepared to not go through with surgery if one develops serious doubts even if it means cutting your losses on the expense of traveling there.“
It is advisable for patients to consult with their personal physician first before going overseas for plastic surgery. Extensive research followed by personal advices from other patients who have experienced medical treatment outside the country are also things to do. Patients should utilize the internet and look for medical tourism sites that offers their surgeon’s profile. Most medical tourism agencies provides a page for their surgeons for patients to view and verify via chat, email or voice call. Also, look for providers that offers clinics that have high standard surgical equipments and facilities. This way patients can rest assure with the outcome of their surgery.
What country offers the surgery I need?
Argentina – For plastic surgery, Argentina is one of the top choices. Plastic surgery in Argentina recently increased in demands these past few years. Tourist numbers have increased year on year by around 10% since 2003, with Argentina proving particularly popular with British visitors. The number of UK tourists is up by more than a quarter (27%) on last year, with an increasing number of Britons coming for plastic surgery in Argentina. The clinics of Buenos Aires’s surgeons began filling up with foreigners soon after the economy imploded and the currency devalued in 2002. As a result, plastic surgery in Argentina costs around a third of UK prices.
Mexico – Among the border line countries, plastic surgery in Mexico is undoubtedly a solid choice for patients who are looking for inexpensive but high quality make over. According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 15 million U.S. citizens head south of the border every year to acquire quality low cost plastic surgery in Mexico. Mexican surgeons have their own English web sites where they publish their credentials, years of training and accreditation. Another major advantage of plastic surgery in Mexico is proximity. With just a few hours of travel, U.S. patients can acquire quality service of Mexican surgeons.
Costa Rica – With medical communities that have been in the medical tourism business since 1970’s, any patient that seek for affordable plastic surgery in Costa Rica gives out positive testimonies about the country’s expertise in medicine. Prospective patients that are longing to get affordable plastic surgery in Costa Rica are convinced by word of mouth from former patients that took their medical procedures in the country. Plastic surgery in Costa Rica attracts patients because of its price, but patients come back again for its quality.
Brazil – Among the countries that are fast maturing in medical tourism business, Brazil has the most potential. Brazil is not the place for unqualified doctors, the country is firm with the repute of its surgeons. The quality of plastic surgery in Brazil is perfect for the average North American or European who wants quality medical procedures at a lower price than to what is offered locally. Plastic surgery in Brazil is one of the most considerable options for state of the art aesthetic make over.