Is it worth travelling overseas to get plastic surgery done cheaply?
Recently, there have been a lot of articles in the papers and on TV on people who have made the decision to go overseas for their plastic surgery – a practice known as cosmetic surgery tourism. One of the main reasons they go this route is because of the lower cost of getting it done, and it’s true – a lot of countries offer very affordable rates for plastic surgery, especially in comparison to Australia. It’s now a booming business – but is it really worth it?
Of course, there are a lot of other things that you may want to consider before booking your plane ticket. The cost is generally lower, yes, but different countries have varying levels of standards and requirements for their cosmetic surgeons. There are actually a lot of people who go get their plastic surgery done overseas, only to go through several “repair” appointments once they get back home to touch up shoddy workmanship.
There’s also the danger of botched operations, which is not only monetarily draining but can be pretty damaging to your health as well. It depends where you go of course, and different clinics within the same country may have wholly different standards for cleanliness and safety.
Another issue you may run into is the fact that you’ll have a hard time scheduling follow up appointments with your surgeon if you’re both in different countries. A lot of plastic surgery requires multiple procedures, often spaced out over the course of several weeks, so you’re looking at either: a) staying overseas indefinitely, or b) getting the initial work done overseas and then trying to find a doctor in-country who can pick up where the first guy left off.
The reason that’s such a big deal is that while the price of the surgery itself may be cheaper, the airline tickets aren’t exactly free. By the second trip abroad for touch-up work, you may be pushing up to the normal price if you were just to get the procedure done at home.
So is it worth it? It all depends on what you want to get out of the surgery. As long as you do your research well and find a place that promotes high quality work with experienced surgeons, you really should have no problem.
However, what you don’t want to do is book a flight and then shop around once you’re there without knowing anything about the system or the procedure. When done right, cosmetic surgery tourism can really pay off, but it’s very easy to go wrong.
How to Find a Reputable Surgeon and Hospital
Have a look at the website for the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. They have a comprehensive list of accredited surgeons all over the world and also have loads of information you should be aware of before booking any surgery. Once you have found someone you like, do a search to find out any reviews. Most of the time you will schedule a Skype meeting with the surgeon to discuss what you want, how much it will cost and possible outcomes.
One good thing in favour of going overseas is that some of these hospitals are truly world-class. But again, do your homework before you go!
One country that is popular with cosmetic surgery tourism is Thailand. One of the world class hospitals there is Bumrungrad Hospital.
Consider Going in a Group
If you are scared to go overseas on your own, perhaps consider going in a group. There are now companies that offer ‘Plastic Surgery Tourism’. They organise everything, from your airline tickets, to booking the actual surgery. Of course, this service would be more a bit more expensive, but it does offer a bit more reassurance that the operators use well known hospitals and surgeons that use the best practices available.
Like anything else though, Google them and the reviews, and get all the information before making a decision. Some of the tourism operators include (and these are from Google, not my personal recommendations):
- Destination Beauty – offers surgery in Thailand
- Gorgeous Getaways – offers surgery in Thailand
- Restored Beauty Getaways – offers surgery in Thailand
- Medi Makeovers (Thailand)
Then there’s non-Australian based plastic surgery clinics such as:
- Stunning Makeovers (Based in Thailand)
- All About Me Makeovers (Based in Thailand)
- Lotus Medical (Based in Thailand)
How much can I save?
Although many of the websites claim you can save up to 70% on your surgery, there are other costs you need to factor in. They include:
- Airfares and Accommodation
- Your hospital Stay
- Pre and Post Operation Appointments
- Lab work
So make sure you ask your surgeon or travel company the exact costs you will be up for – before leaving home!
Things to consider:
- Do your homework – check if the surgeon has all the relevant credentials.
- Is the travel company organising this above board? Have you spoken to someone who has used them in the past?
- Shop around in Australia, talk to the local surgeons – at least if something goes wrong you’re not on the other side of the world.
- All surgery is dangerous. Seriously consider the possible consequences before going under the knife.
Have you had surgery done overseas? How did it go for you?
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