Millions of people in the United States travel abroad for plastic surgery every year. In fact, it has become so popular that people dub it a “surgical vacation”. However, plastic surgery is no vacation in any country, and if you travel abroad to save money, you may just pay the price in other ways. Here are some reasons why you need to be very, very careful before leaving the country for plastic surgery.
#1 – The Hospitals Offer Travel Packages
Surprisingly to many, hospitals in other countries create a “travel package” complete with lodging, food, and other amenities in order to make their patients believe that they will enjoy a relaxing vacation before they go home with their new looks. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. While you may have a day or two prior to your surgery to enjoy a few sights, there are restrictions. Will you really be able to enjoy a day at the beach? Probably not when you consider the fact that you will need pain medications and plenty of recovery time. Before you travel abroad for plastic surgery, be sure to think realistically and do not get caught up in the glamor of a surgical travel package.
#2 – Post Operative Flight Concerns
As if recovering from plastic surgery did not come with enough risks, post-op travel only compounds them. Part of recovery involves repositioning your face or body often, which is difficult when restricted to a train, plane, or car seat. What’s more, standing in line for long periods or even lifting heavy bags may complicate things further. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons notes infection as the leading health problem among those who travel for surgeries. Travel also adds to the risk of blood clots and other potentially fatal effects.
#3 – When Something Goes Wrong
Although your hospital and surgeon of choice may have an outstanding record, things can and do go wrong. What happens if you have a reaction to the anesthesia or the surgery does not go as planned? Are you prepared for a life-threatening situation thousands of miles from your own healthcare team, friends, and family? What’s more, even if complications arise when you are back home, your doctor may not be familiar with the methods and tools used to perform your plastic surgery. Thus, he or she may not be able to produce the results you want.
#4 – A Lack of Governing Agencies
Here in the United States, multiple groups oversee medical and surgical facilities. These facilities must meet very stringent requirements in terms of safety, cleanliness, and the surgeon’s skill. Even your surgeon must have privileges in a specific hospital to work there. In other countries, things are not the same. For one, while most countries require their surgeons to undergo extensive training, many never attend a single class relating to plastic surgery. Hospitals in other countries are often privately owned and operated, which means they are not subject to certification.
This is not to say that you should never travel for plastic surgery. For example, if you need a very rare procedure and a physician in Europe is better equipped to handle it, then by all means, you should travel if it is in your budget to do so. However, when it comes to plastic surgery, it is better to avoid travel and spend the extra money for the results you want.