Be careful about having your cosmetic surgery overseas!

So you have made the decision to have cosmetic surgery?  That is a great thing.  Now you have to figure out how to pay for it.  As you can imagine, the cost for cosmetic surgery typically isn’t cheap here in the U.S. Because of this, more Americans are contemplating going out of the country to have their procedures. Destination surgery is getting to be big business, and for the most part is fairly safe.

Here are some things that you must think about before you take the plunge:

1. While cheaper prices are attractive, it is important to factor in the cost of travel, hotel stays, care givers, “extras”, and return visits for check ups.  This can get quite pricey.  Video conferencing with sites like Skype can ease some of the postoperative burden.

2. Having a good support system to help you when you are recovering might be harder to find when you are far away from family and friends.  The cost of a plane ticket alone for a friend or family member could be enough to pay for another procedure.

3. Language barriers between you and your caregivers can leave you with a confusing picture of your surgical journey.

4. The training and credentials of the plastic surgeons in the foreign country may be difficult to reliably gauge and compare to the often superior training of surgeons in the U.S.

5. The state of surgical and perioperative facilities in these foreign countries may be less advanced than in the U.S., although international standards are being implemented in many countries as a way to level the playing field and ensure quality control.

6.  If you have a complication, it may be impossible to get back to the original surgeon to be evaluated and managed.  Patients with complications from surgery performed outside of the U.S. report finding it nearly impossible to get a U.S. surgeon to take up their continuing care.  If they do find such a surgeon, it tends to be very expensive.

With all the surgical talent here in the U.S. it is often hard to understand why a patient would want to go out of the country for their care.  If you are one of these patients, make sure you are armed with the necessary information to make the best decision you can prior to boarding that plane.  Cost should not be your sole motivating factor, no matter how much you think you are saving!