The Risks of Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

cosmetic (2)There’s no denying the fact that cosmetic surgery abroad can oftentimes mean a much more affordable procedure, even when you add in airfare and hotel costs. There are some countries known for top quality doctors, such as Costa Rica, where “medical tourism” is a bustling industry. There are other countries, such as the US and UK, where cosmetic surgery can easily cost a year’s salary. The big question: Is going abroad worth the risk?

The answer is it depends on a lot of factors, and it’s not a decision that should be made lightly. If you live in Baltimore and are considering a cosmetic procedure, there are dozens of benefits of choosing a reputable Baltimore surgeon or surgery center. You’ll be close to home and loved ones following the procedure, you can easily check in with your doctor with any concerns, and if an additional procedure is necessary, there’s no problem. But the appeal of money saved and an extra vacation might be too tempting to pass up.

Risks of going abroad

It’s nearly impossible to sue for malpractice in another country. While it’s not actually impossible, it requires so much work and oftentimes temporarily moving to the country where the surgery took place that it’s not worth the time and money spent. If something goes wrong abroad, you have very limited resources available to you. It’s a gamble.

cosmeticYou may not speak the language, likely won’t have the same support network with you, and there are big risks involved with flying post-procedure. Human bodies are more prone to clotting when bruised, this is exacerbated with flights, and even something as “minor” as liposuction can cause massive bruising for weeks. Any surgery is already putting your body through a lot, and the stress of being in an unfamiliar place and long flights make it worse.

When it’s worth it

There are countless horror stories about surgery abroad, but certainly many procedures go very well. You’re a good candidate if the procedure is relatively minor, if you’re in optimal health, and if someone is able to travel with you. It’s even better if you’ve visited the country/region before and are comfortable there and if you speak the native language. Plan for as much time in recovery as possible, ideally in a medical tourism hotel that specializes in these types of travels, and always meet with the doctor beforehand.

Being frugal is (almost) always a good idea. However, it’s not worth risking your health or life.