Pros and Cons of Cheap Cosmetic Surgery Abroad
Since cheap flights abroad became widely available, there has been an upsurge in the number of people opting to get cheap cosmetic surgery abroad. This trend towards medical tourism has been helped by the economic situation, with most people having less disposable income than before, and wanting to reduce debts, rather than increase them!
Many countries all over the world can offer prices for cosmetic surgery that are up to 70% cheaper than we are used to at home. Clinics in Eastern Europe, South America and South East Asia are all now actively promoting themselves as a better solution, with cheaper prices, more pleasant surroundings and an all-round better service.
But how safe is it, really, to go abroad to save money on elective surgery, such as cosmetic procedures?
If we are to take the comments from the media at face value, you may be inclined to believe that it’s really just not worth the risk. Horror stories of bad plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery gone wrong seem to be the order of the day in the mass-media. Is this a realistic representation of medical tourism?
There does seem to be some truth to the idea that you can be at higher risk going abroad for surgery. That there are clinics abroad with a very low respect for their patients’ safety is fact. But the same is true anywhere, and provided you apply the same criteria to overseas surgeons as you would in your home country, it is possible that the statistics would point in the opposite direction, especially if you are concerned with getting surgery on a limited budget.
The key, here, is to be looking for affordable cosmetic surgery. You should not be looking for the cheapest surgery available, without regard to the expertise of the cosmetic surgeon. If you do that, you are courting danger. The smartest of medical tourists use the disparities between different economies to make sure that they get the best possible treatment they can afford.
If your budget is $x, then it is likely that you will not be able to afford the best cosmetic surgeon in your own country. But that same budget may be able to get you treatment from one of the very best surgeons in another country. So as long as you are sensible about it, and do your research, the end result may be that you are getting treatment that is both safer and higher-quality.
Two factors, though, that are rarely discussed, but are very important when making that decision to get surgery abroad are these:
If something goes wrong, and there is always that possibility, how would you feel to be in a strange country, possibly with a different language and different culture, far away from your home, your family and friends? You should give this serious consideration, and you may feel that it is more appropriate to take someone with you for moral support.
There are many overseas clinics that promote what they term a “cosmetic surgery vacation”. This is misleading. Even when everything goes to plan, you need to be aware that the experience will not be a holiday. Surgery is painful, tiring and emotionally draining. You will need to take time to recover, you will need to avoid alcohol, you may with some surgeries even be on a liquid diet. The image of getting your cheap surgery performed, and then recovering by the pool-side, in the sun, sipping a margarita, is sadly nothing more than fantasy.
But if your expectations are realistic, and you make sure you understand the procedure, and check that the cosmetic surgeon and clinic are reputable, there’s no reason to consider cheap cosmetic surgery abroad as a more dangerous alternative than getting surgery in the US.