Medical Tourism: Approach Plastic Surgery Abroad with Caution
As plastic surgery becomes more popular, a trend of traveling outside the United States for surgery has also emerged and increased in popularity over recent years. Medical tourism is present in virtually all types of medicine, but especially popular in plastic surgery, with patients traveling to countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Thailand, and more for procedures. However, this trend is a cause for concern, with significant risks that patients should consider.
Why Do Some Patients Travel Outside the U.S. for Plastic Surgery?
The primary reason that motivates patients to travel outside the United States for plastic surgery cost. Plastic surgery tends to be more expensive in the U.S. compared to other countries as with many medical expenses. Surgeon’s or hospital fees and prescriptions tend to cost less in other countries, but these are not the only costs to consider when traveling for plastic surgery.
Is Plastic Surgery Less Expensive Outside of the U.S.?
While the estimated cost of your procedure alone will likely be lower outside of the U.S., there are other hidden expenses to factor in. Besides airfare being expensive, you can expect to remain close to your plastic surgeon for several weeks after your surgery, meaning you will need to include long hotel stays in your calculations. Costs are not just limited to the price of airfare or lodging for your trip. Patients should consider potential costs of complications or revision surgeries. If complications arise after you return home to the U.S., seeing a new plastic surgeon for treatment can quickly offset any savings you may have had. If you do experience a complication, most health insurances will not cover your care because the initial procedure was performed outside of the U.S.
Is Medical Tourism for Plastic Surgery Safe?
Travel creates additional risk for complications such as blood clots or infections, especially traveling long distances. In addition to risks associated with travel soon after your surgery, there are some risks of medical tourism for plastic surgery. In the United States, strict malpractice laws, facility certifications, and board certification regulation help keep procedures safe. Standards of care vary throughout the world; while there are countless excellent plastic surgeons and hospitals overseas, it can be difficult for patients in the U.S. to wade through foreign certification criteria and ensure they are choosing a qualified provider.
Schedule a Consultation
For most patients, it’s best to choose a plastic surgeon closer to home who will be there for you now and in the future, just a phone call away. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Janiga in Reno, Nevada, call our office or contact us online.