Overseas Plastic Surgey
The allure of saving money by having cosmetic surgery procedures done overseas is a growing one. Through advertisements on the internet this international trend is more prominent than ever. While the appeal of discount plastic surgery is tempting, patients should consider other non-economic issues.
I have seen several patients over the past few months that have had plastic surgery overseas. Each patient came to see me not for new procedures but to correct problems that had occurred with their previous surgery. While none of these were major problems, they all were issues that should have been take care of by their primary plastic surgeon. Such occurrences brings to light a disturbing trend that is far more prevalent in the southern United States than here in the Midwest, the flocking of patients south of the border for discount plastic surgery. The emergence of the internet has enabled the solicitation of potential plastic surgery patients across all borders.
In the past, going overseas for surgery was in the pursuit of expertise or treatments that were not available in the U.S. This new overseas trend is solely based on discounted price. There are many fine plasic surgeons on other countries that do great work. However, in the interest of saving money, I am amazed how many people would naively disregard some of the basic tenets of choosing a plastic surgeon and surgery center. Important criteria such as board-certification, professional reputation, and the quality and track record of the facility where surgery will be performed can not possibly be assessed without a prior visit or consultation.
But these issues aside, overseas surgery brings up several extremely relevant issues that most patients have not even thought of:
1) What happens in the event of a surgical complication? Who is going to take care of it? Fortunately, in elective plastic surgery, this is usually a postoperative problem so you would be home by then. Who would you go to locally? Complications from overseas surgery will not be taken care for free by plastic surgeons here.
2) In the event of a complication during or right after surgery overseas, will your health insurance provide coverage in a foreign country? Does your health insurance policy extend beyond the U.S. borders?
3) Will you really be saving a large amount of money by going overseas? When you factor in the cost of air travel and local accommodations before and after your surgery, you may not find it such a bargain. Don't proceed without knowing all costs. The 'sticker price' may not reflect all costs involved.
Surgery preformed by an unqualified plastic surgeon or in an environment that is not safe or clean is a poor trade-off for saving money on plastic surgery done overseas. In other countries where medicine is not as highly regulated, doing yiur research is more important than here in the U.S.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Barry Eppley operates a private plastic surgery practice at Clarian Health in Indianapolis. His daily blog, http://www.exploreplasticsurgery.com , comments on issues in plastic surgery, spa therapies, and medical skin care.