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.
Q. Who are the best candidates?
They are the men and women whose skin is still somewhat elastic and who have a strong, well-defined bone structure, but their face and neck have started to sag. Most people who opt for a facelift are between 40 and 60 years of age, although many older men and women have facelifts, too. That’s because it can make you look younger and more alive. It can uplift your spirits as well as your face. And it can cause you to smile instead of hide when a friend or relative wants to take your picture
Q. What are the risks?
Complications are few and far between when a facelift is performed by a highly qualified cosmetic surgeon like Dr. Florea. However, they might occur due to the patient’s physical condition, healing ability (e.g., smoking is detrimental to healing), uncontrolled high blood pressure, blood clotting problems, or other factors. Despite the utmost care during surgery, it’s sometimes possible to temporarily injure the motor nerves controlling facial muscles. Infections are rare. The patient may react poorly to the anesthesia. Hematoma which is bleeding under the facial skin, is the most common complication, and occurs 3-5% of the time. Although millions of people have had successful facelifts, results cannot be guaranteed.
Q. What’s the first step?
A consultation at Dr. Floreas office. You’ll be asked what you’d like a facelift to accomplish, what parts of your face or neck you’d like improved, whether you’re a smoker, and what medications, vitamins or recreational drugs you’re taking (if any). During your visit, the doctor will evaluate your face and neck, including the skin and bone structure. If you’ve ever had any surgery or medical problems, or bad reactions to drugs or anesthesia, he’ll want to know about it. Then he’ll explain what can and can’t be accomplished with a facelift, and what is realistic.
Not necessarily. Many surgeons perform face lifts under local anesthesia with sedation that has fewer side effects. Depending on the length of the procedure and the comfort of the patient, both are options.
Most patients report very mild discomfort after surgery. Swelling and feelings of tightness can be treated with prescribed medication or over-the-counter pain medicine.
Aerobic exercise and other activities that raise blood pressure could increase recovery time so it should be avoided for at least 3 weeks following surgery.
Some of the effects will be immediate but it will take 3 weeks for swelling to subside and show results. Patients will see improvements throughout the next several weeks.
A professional surgeon has the skills to leave few or no signs of surgery while giving a youthful appearance. Most people will remark how well-rested and rejuvenated you look.
Skilled surgeons make people look younger not tighter. However, dramatic weight loss after surgery can cause the eyes to look sunken. Be within 15-25 pounds of your ideal weight before surgery.
Immediately after surgery there will be swelling and redness around the sutures that many people cover with hairstyles during healing. Scars are rare but could possibly occur, especially by the ears. Avoid exposure to the sun to reduce the risk of scarring.
The procedure removes many wrinkles and sagging skin but it does not maintain the tension to remove acne scars.
Results of a face lift vary by the individual but many see results last between 5 and 10 years or longer.
The natural aging process can cause skin to sag again over time so some may opt for a second procedure a decade later.