The Hidden Costs of Medical Tourism By Carmel Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons on March 18, 2024

The demand for plastic surgery has risen in recent years. As plastic surgery has become more common and accepted, patients have been known to shop internationally for deals and discounts. This has sparked a new category of travel dubbed "medical tourism."

The cost of cosmetic, plastic surgery procedures can vary wildly from one country to the next and some patients are choosing to take a "plastic surgery vacation" in order to travel abroad for cheaper deals.

Unfortunately, there are real risks associated with medical tourism. This doesn't mean that there are not many qualified plastic surgeons in other countries. Just be weary of any deal that seems too good to be true.

Listed below are some of the hidden costs of medical tourism:

1. Complications and revisions

Plastic surgery is invasive. This means that there are risks of complications arising. This is why board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S. give patients strict guidelines and require periodic check-ins during the recovery process. If you reside in another country far from where your surgery was performed, you may not have the luxury of returning for follow-up care. This can pose challenges for patients and doctors alike in managing proper care when you are home.

2. Travel safety

Some of the most popular plastic surgery destinations require long flights and significant amounts of travel. While this is fine before surgery, it's important to note that the risk of developing blood clots, infections and other serious complications can be significantly higher when you put yourself through the stress of long-distance travel immediately after surgery.

3. Postoperative recovery

Before opting to take a plastic surgery vacation, you should seriously consider how you will manage post-operative recovery. It can take many weeks for your body to fully heal requiring ongoing professional care.

4. Quality of care

It is possible to receive excellent medical treatment outside of the U.S., but anyone considering traveling abroad should understand that every country has different standards of care and varying levels of best practices.

5. No legal protections

One final consideration is the fact that U.S. patients in foreign countries generally have no legal recourse if major complications arise or negligence is suspected. In the U.S., there are malpractice laws and stringent rules in place to help keep patients safe, but these laws often hold no bearing outside of the country.

For many patients, it can be safer and more affordable in the long run to shop around within the United States.
Contact us to start your consult with one of our board certified plastic surgeons, Dr Grasee or Dr Bergman.



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Dr. Grasee and Dr. Bergman

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At Carmel Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeons, we are dedicated to excellence. We belong to several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • American Board of Surgery
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons

To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us at (317) 581-0001.

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