With the boom in plastic surgery procedures being performed all over the world, it’s no surprise that prices have also continued to go up. Between surgeons investing in new technologies and equipment, as well as continuing education and staff, the price of a plastic surgery procedure in the United States may seem a little out of reach when compared to other countries.
Because of this we’ve seen an uptick in patients considering traveling out of the United States to seek better prices on procedures. Plastic Surgery Tourism has become extremely popular as of late, but there are a few things to consider before buying that plane ticket.
Plastic Surgery Tourism
Countries like Mexico, India, Turkey, Thailand, and Brazil currently rank amongst the highest countries for plastic surgery tourism. These countries offer a variety of packages and price points that may seem hard to beat when it comes to plastic surgery, but it’s important to do your research before planning one of these trips.
One of the main reasons that people travel for plastic surgery procedures is due to the cost of certain procedures in the United States.
Because the cost of education, training, and equipment in the U.S., the surgical prices tend to reflect those costs which makes them a little more expensive. In addition to that, the cost of living is higher here, which means people are willing to spend a little more money, thus the doctors can charge more.
While you may be enticed by the cheapest pricing, you also need to be aware of what you’re getting for that price. The training that doctors receive in some of these countries may not be held to as high of standards as here in the United States, and they may not come out of fully accredited medical schools.
That’s not to say that all doctors performing these procedures in foreign countries are going to be bad, it just means that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Vetting your doctor and the practice is extremely important when considering traveling for plastic surgery. Knowing the doctor’s medical history, accreditations, as well as talking to previous patients, are all things you should do before considering traveling for plastic surgery.
If you find a doctor charging $1000 for something that a local doctor is charging $5000, that should be an immediate red flag, or at least a sign that you need to do your research.
Procedures Unavailable in the U.S.
One of the other reasons that patients travel out of the United States is to seek out procedures that doctors won’t perform here.
With celebrity culture these days we hear a lot about different types of plastic surgery procedures and people going under the knife all the time, but what a lot of people don’t know is that not all procedures are allowed to be performed in the United States.
Because of this, people will travel out of the country to find a doctor that is willing to perform the surgery since they may not be held to the same regulations and requirements as U.S. surgeons.
And while it may seem like a red flag if the United States won’t allow certain procedures to be performed, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad, or the surgeons performing them are bad, it just means that through our strict approval process, the medical boards here have deemed certain procedures, or methods by which to perform them, unsafe or not researched enough.
The same goes for medicinal drugs and other forms of treatments. Some countries are more relaxed when it comes to allowing certain treatments to be used on humans, whereas the United States has stated that they haven’t gone through enough testing or gotten the proper approvals to be put into practice here.
In some cases, purchasing or acquiring certain technology in the United States may be more expensive than acquiring it in a foreign country. This, again, can be due to the regulations that the U.S. places on medical equipment as well as the cost to import things here that were produced elsewhere.
For example, Turkey has a very high rate of surgical tourism for men’s hair transplants because most of the clinics in Turkey utilize a more modern technique than those in the United States. And while there are more and more U.S. clinics moving over to the robot assisted FUE method of hair transplant here, a lot of them still utilize the old FUT strip method since the technology is still rather expensive. And because the technology needed to perform that method of transplant is so expensive, it means that pricing here in the states is going to be higher as well.
Should You Travel to a Foreign Country for Plastic Surgery?
Since we are based in the United States we’re obviously going to try and convince you that staying stateside is a better option than traveling overseas, or down south, for a medical procedure of any kind, especially a non-life saving one. But of course we understand that people like to research all of their options.
Because of this, we can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research before committing to plastic surgery tourism. Make sure you research the doctor, the practice, and all of the costs associated with the entire process.
If you are really considering traveling for a procedure, consider branching out and looking into other doctors and practices within the United States before you venture out to a country you’ve never visited.
We have patients travel to our offices from all over the country for plastic surgery procedures. We offer discounts on hotel accommodations and can help with all the travel arrangements. Dr. Adams is board certified and an expert in his field. He’s developed the 24-hour fast track recovery process that can help you get back to your everyday life as soon as possible.
Traveling for plastic surgery may save you a few bucks in the long run, but be sure to do your research before making a final decision.