Summary: There are plenty of good reasons to travel. You get to experience new food, see new sights, live a new life. But one bad reason to travel is plastic surgery. We keep harping on this because it’s important. Plastic surgery tourism is, generally, a bad idea, and I’m not sure it helps save you money. Why is plastic surgery tourism bad? Well, there are fewer safety measures in place: not only do you put your life at greater risk, but you also risk having to have the work re-done by a more qualified surgeon once you return to the States.
Why is Plastic Surgery Tourism Bad?
Tourism can be a pretty thrilling endeavor. Indeed, there is an entire industry devoted simply to expressing just how awesome and awe-inspiring it is to travel. You’d be hard pressed to find somebody who hasn’t been bitten by the travel bug. But there are some good reasons to travel and some poor reasons to travel. Fitting snuggly in the latter category is plastic surgery. What plastic surgeons call “plastic surgery tourism” has grown in popularity recently, in part because of rising costs in the U.S. and falling costs abroad: but it’s difficult to overstate the dangers involved in such a tactic.
First, let’s take a peek at why some patients might pursue such a course of action, and then we can address what makes it a bad idea. The motivations behind plastic surgery tourism are almost entirely economical. If you want a breast augmentation procedure, it’s likely that your medical insurance will not cover that procedure, which means you’ll have to pay out of pocket. And, we can be honest, plastic surgery can be a pretty expensive undertaking. The temptation to cut costs—to cut how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket—can be pretty strong. But the reality is that you get what you pay for.
Cost Savings, but at a Price
In some cases, plastic surgery procedures abroad can be as much as fifty percent less expensive than those performed in the United States. That can translates into thousands of dollars. But the harsh reality is that you get what you pay for. In many cases, the safety requirements abroad are much less strict than those in the United States. This means that not only are you at a higher risk of complications but—not to be too alarmist—you’re at a higher risk of death. More commonly, however, you just end up with sub-par results. This means you might have a botched surgery and you’ll need to spend even more money to get it corrected once you get back to the states.
A California news channel featured the story of a woman who traveled to Mexico to get her plastic surgery. Unfortunately, there were problems with her anesthesia, and she ended up trapped in her body and unable to move during the procedure—but aware of the pain and sensations. For most patients, this represents a nightmare scenario. But add to that the fact that she didn’t even like the results. She had to go under the knife twice more once she got back to the states.
Now, this isn’t the most common result—but it is more common in plastic surgery abroad than it is in plastic surgery in the United States. And that’s because the U.S. has invested in more training and safer procedures—your surgery will be more expensive, but there is a smaller chance of complications as a result. That seems like a pretty worthy trade off. Especially when you consider the additional costs of having to have bad results corrected by a plastic surgeon in the United States.
Indeed, many plastic surgeons offer what is called breast implant revision surgery. This procedure is employed for many reasons, including for when patients simply want to change the sizes of their implants. According to the website of the Minneapolis breast surgery revision experts at Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, this procedure takes a course of action very similar to the initial augmentation: consultation, surgery, recovery and so on. But for many patients, it’s the correction of a trauma, especially for patients who have traveled abroad and received subpar results. These results could be asymmetrical breasts, large scars, or any number of other issues. In other words, they are issues that most patients will want resolved as quickly as possible.
Revision, Sure—Or Get it Done Right the First Time
But these revision procedures also come with a cost. Yes, there’s the money component, but there’s also the time it takes away from your life and your family and the things you want to do. There’s meetings with surgeons, there’s the surgery itself, there’s the long recovery process. All the while your life is on hold. Which means you can count out any traveling for fun.
It becomes easy to see, then, why plastic surgery tourism is generally seen to be a bad idea. It’s true that you can find highly qualified surgeons abroad and that there is a governing body to help you do such a thing. But the prices of those surgeons generally match their American counterparts. It makes more sense to have your surgery somewhere safe, comfortable, and familiar. That will help ensure the best results.