Travel and Cosmetic Surgery
Vacations to tropical locales that include breast augmentation, a facelift, or other similar procedures are becoming increasingly popular for consumers in the United States and Europe. The allure of these 2-in-1 bargains is that cosmetic procedures are often much cheaper in countries such as Mexico, Thailand, and parts of Eastern Europe. This fact along with the appeal of traveling to an exotic destination is fueling the demand for cosmetic surgery vacations. At first it may seem like an amazing deal, a desired cosmetic surgery procedure and much needed rest and relaxation in a beautiful foreign setting all wrapped into one, but there are actually many risks that one should consider before making the decision to participate in one of these travel packages.
Safety and Sanitation
One of the main concerns board certified plastic surgeons have expressed regarding this new phenomenon is that health standards observed by medical centers in the U.S. may not be adhered to in other countries around the world. In the U.S., a consumer can research the accreditation of a hospital, whereas it is much harder to ascertain the sanitation practices of a facility abroad. In an article by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the author outlines problems of safety abroad when stating, “In the U.S., patients may choose to have surgery in an accredited facility that meets accepted safety standards for equipment, personnel and emergency procedures. Many facilities both within and outside the U.S., may fail to meet even minimum safety standards.” Safety and sanitation are extremely important for any surgical procedure to ensure that no infections occur. In addition to the question of a facility’s accreditation, the surgeon’s credentials are also often in question when you are seeking a procedure in a foreign country.
Sand, Sun, and Surgery?
Another major concern plastic surgeons have with cosmetic surgery vacations is that typical vacation activities can be very dangerous for a person who has recently had surgery. It is not advisable for anyone recovering from cosmetic surgery to be basking in the sun or participating in physical activity. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “Vacation activities should be avoided after surgery. To properly heal and to reduce the possibility of complications, patients should not sunbath[e], drink alcohol, swim/snorkel, water ski/jet ski, parasail, take extensive tours (walking or bus), or exercise after surgery.” Without all these things, a trip to an exotic locale looks more like just that, a trip, not a vacation.
There are many qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeons in countries around the world, but unless you know that surgeon personally or have been referred by someone you trust, it is extremely hard to assess the quality of care you are going to receive. Cosmetic surgery is not a decision to make lightly, and this new trend of the cosmetic surgery vacation has many uncertainties that may not be worth the risk. In addition to problems of safety, follow-up care is not always available. Cosmetic surgery is like any other surgery, complete with possible side effects and complications. It is best to know that you are in good hands when going through with any surgical procedure. The deals that you can find abroad may not be worth the risk. Most plastic surgeons agree that it is better to get your cosmetic surgery done stateside and go on that great vacation once you’re healed and can enjoy all the perks of an exotic location. There are some great websites with a wealth of information that can help you make a decision about cosmetic surgery vacations and any other cosmetic surgery procedure you may be looking in to. If you really want to combine a vacation with cosmetic surgery, you should consider a board certified plastic surgeon with an office in a resort area. Some such plastic surgeons include Robert Mandraccia, M.D. in Fort Myers, Florida, Jeffrey Hartog, M.D. in Orlando, Florida or Dr. Martin O'Toole in Pasadena, California.