Cosmetic Surgery Overseas is Not Your Safest Choice

Many people have turned to medical tourism for cheaper cosmetic procedures and the chance to recover in an exotic locale away from prying eyes. As glamorous as it sounds, you need to know the facts before your pack your bag and book your flight.

Other than less expensive prices (sometimes up to 75 percent cheaper), one of the biggest draws for those seeking cosmetic services overseas is the short waiting period. You could have your operation performed as soon as the day after you arrive, while most surgeons in the United States, especially in large cities, are booked months in advance.

You might not have to wait to go under the knife, but you will have to wait before you hop back on the plane for home. It isn't wise to take a long plane flight until you're reasonably recovered. The high altitude can aggravate certain problems and depending on the surgery, could potentially cause breathing and heart problems.

Although the offer is alluring, some overseas surgeons practice without a license, often in poor conditions with improper tools and a lack of medical resources.

Two of the most popular destinations for Americans looking for a tropical makeover are Mexico and the Dominican Republic, both of which offer dramatically lower prices. Although there are many qualified and highly skilled cosmetic surgeons practicing in these countries, there is no board certification that can validate a plastic surgeon's credentials or a facility's accreditation.

In the United States, American Board of Plastic Surgery board-certification is granted only to those surgeons who have successfully completed in-depth training and education requirements. Always look for a United States plastic surgeon with ABPS board-certification status.

There is also the issue of contracting a disease that is foreign to your homeland. For example, a popular destination for cosmetic surgery is South Africa, which has high instances of influenza and tuberculosis. Someone who has never had exposure to these diseases might have a greater difficulty recovering if they contract it.

Even the most skilled surgeons make mistakes, so when traveling to another country, remember that access to quality emergency medical care is not always possible. While the facility and surgeon you choose may be sound decisions, they might be unable to acquire the proper equipment necessary if any complications do arise. There could also be problems during recovery that overseas surgeons are unable to attend to.

If your main reason for traveling abroad is saving some money, remember that malpractice laws vary across the world. Be aware of the country's and surgeon's malpractice and insurance laws, or else you might end up paying more than you bargained for. There are new insurance options cropping up for those seeking surgery abroad, so it might be wise to look into what is available.

Overall, the safest and wisest choice for United States citizens is choosing a local, board-certified plastic surgeon. Financing is almost always available to help with your budget, safety can be assured with medical facilities close at hand, and you will have the security of local laws and enforcement should a problem arise.

The Dallas cosmetic surgeon at USA Plastic Surgery is known in the DFW area and is sought after for his expertise. Safety, beautiful results, and a dedication to the best care are the hallmarks of this plastic surgery practice. They offer information, before and after photos, and financing options at

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