An unknown number of Americans travel abroad for cosmetic surgeries each year, seeking lower cost alternatives for their procedures. American surgeons warn that the lower cost may be outweighed by the possibility for complications caused by inexperienced surgeons, lax regulations, and lack of follow-up care.
It’s important to remember that any surgery carries certain inherent risks to the body, such as scarring, asymmetry, nerve weakness, and other complications. Many traveling patients may assume that the cost of surgery abroad is low because of the low cost of living in other countries but the quality of care is the same. However, that may not always be the case, and the reduction in price may come from inferior materials or facilities, lack of certification, or lack of experience.
“Prospective patients are not aware that the licensing conditions for plastic surgery abroad differ vastly from those in the United States,” Dr. Oleh Slupchynskyj of New York told Epoch Times. “There is a consequent danger that customers will focus on the promised outcome and the apparent cost savings, rather than analyzing the medical facilities and surgical competence of the team conducting the procedure.”
Another key factor for a successful, safe cosmetic procedure is follow-up care. Most surgeons follow up with patients for weeks and months following the surgery to determine whether the patient needs any slight adjustments and is healing properly. If the surgeon is in another country, however, these follow-up visits require additional travel, must be conducted over the phone, or don’t occur at all, and minor problems can quickly become worse.
Some of the patients seeking a deal by having surgery outside of the U.S. end up having their procedures corrected by American surgeons. They end up spending as much or more than they would have spent by staying in the United States, plus the added discomfort or complications. Some health insurance also may not cover procedures, hospital stays, or other care outside of the United States.
It’s important to note that, just as in any country, the United States also has inexperienced or lax surgeons or surgical facilities. With that in mind, it’s always important to research the credentials and experience of any surgeon you go to.
Read more in The Amerejuve Insider Vol. 2. No. 1. Amerejuve offers free consultations with our board-certified plastic surgeons to ensure your goals, concerns, and questions are fully addressed. To schedule a free consultation, call (713) 960-6262.