Plastic surgery can be expensive and prices will vary depending on what you want done and where you go to have the surgery. When you’re presented with a bargain price, it may be hard to pass up. But are you really saving money? Dr. Bruce Van Natta, a board certified plastic surgeon from Indianapolis, Indiana, discusses how patients getting a good deal may lead to bad results.
Skip the Medical Tourism Trip
To avoid the high cost of plastic surgery procedures, some patients will look into medical tourism as an option. Medical tourism has become popular for many who want certain procedures but don’t want to pay or don’t have the money for the traditionally higher prices you’ll find here in the U.S. Some will look to other areas of the world for medical care with a lower price. For example, a breast augmentation procedure that might cost $6,000 in the U.S. can be done for about $2,200 in India. Sadly, in many cases, the cheaper price could end up costing you more in the long run.
Dr. Van Natta recently had a patient who experienced a bad outcome with her medical tourism experience. After having bariatric surgery and losing weight, she decided to have plastic surgery outside of the U.S. because it was such a better deal. She ended up getting a tummy tuck, a breast lift with implants, and a thigh lift at a really good price. However, her results were not good. Sometimes the results can be good, but what happens when that’s not the case?
The problem is, many patients do not really know who is performing the surgeries. All they hear is the price and they’re not asking the plastic surgeon the important questions. Are they board certified? Are they qualified? In the case of Dr. Van Natta’s patient, they were not qualified. “Now she has come to me and is looking at spending, thousands and thousands of dollars to try to fix things. And quite honestly she has got some things that I may not be able to fix.”
Do the research, and know your doctor!
Countries that offer medical tourism are typically located in Africa, the Middle East, South America, Asia, and Europe. Although these destination countries promote a safe procedure and a relaxing vacation, patients need to be more careful. Van Natta says patients should think about the potential risks and follow-up care that come with medical tourism. Plastic surgery is still surgery!
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), “Before surgery, patients should research the potential plastic surgery risks and side effects for their particular procedure. Your surgeon should discuss what you can expect during recovery, and what you can do to minimize risk.” If you are going to travel out of the United States really do your homework. You might end-up saving more money by staying here and seeing a trusted, board certified plastic surgeon.