Travel and plastic surgery must only be attempted if the procedure is performed by a qualified surgeon on someone who has realistic goals and expectations. Meanwhile, it should not be combined with leisure activities or anything that will compromise healing.
Experts at the California Surgical Institute provide tips for patients who consider travelling long distances for plastic surgery.
- A prudent patient should have a sound reason for traveling for plastic surgery.
If the goal is to get cheap plastic surgery, medical tourism could rear its ugly head. Take note that a price that is way below the average is generally considered a dubious practice since it is necessary to cut cost on patient safety to make sure that the surgeon can still make a profit.
The only reason to combine travel and plastic surgery is when the patient feels that there is no qualified local doctor who can give her the best possible result.
- Ask for insurance program, if there is any.
Some surgeons participate in insurance programs, which cover the cost of revisions in the event that they are needed. Due to the strict membership requirements of issuers, it may be safe to assume that their “partner” doctors have good reputation and high patient rate satisfaction.
- Make sure that the surgical setting is certified or accredited.
The surgical setting should be a hospital or outpatient surgery center that is licensed or accredited by health authorities.
Accredited surgical facilities provide round-the-clock care by licensed staff members, practice proper sanitation, and provide the necessary equipment and drugs used in the event of complications.
- Make sure the surgeon is board certified and highly qualified.
The doctor who will perform the surgery should be “appropriately” board certified after completing his residency and fellowship program, instead of being just certified after his weeklong training.
Should the surgery is performed in the US, the general rule of thumb is to choose a plastic surgeon who is a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- A plastic surgery package that includes leisure activities and exotic places is a dubious practice.
With the growing popularity of medical tourism, some plastic surgery packages include trips to exotic places and tropical getaways. However, this is a trend that is frowned upon by board-certified plastic surgeons because of the increased risk of infection, poor healing and scarring, and botched results.
Sun exposure right after surgery is detrimental to healing since the UV rays break down the collagen, which is the skin’s main building block.