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Overseas for Plastic Surgery, is it worth it?

Plastic surgery.

As cost conscious consumers, we often find ourselves most willing to bargain for what we want rather than what we need. Aesthetic surgery certainly falls into the “what we want” category, and as the cost of plastic surgery in the United States continues to increase, Patients are turning to places like South and Central America and the Caribbean to find bargains on their procedures.


True Cost Savings: When factoring in costs of flights, lodging and travel time, the discount might not be as great as expected. When you take into account the risk of doing a surgery overseas (where medical safety regulations are far less stringent), you can be better off looking for cheaper options in the US: visit a new practice offering incentives to new patients, and seek out medical spas for promotions on  injectables like Botox and Bellafil.


Safety:  Foreign countries have various hospitals with exceptional safety records that are accredited by respected organizations such as JCAHO.  While going overseas can be risky, you can lower the possibility of complications by going to an accredited.  Seek out doctors that have published research in their area of expertise, and check online reviews from other patients in order to verify their credentials.


Follow-Up: Complications exist even in the hands of the best surgeons. In surgery, we have a saying: if you’re not getting complications, you’re not operating enough. Some of these can be soon after surgery and others can occur months later. An open dialogue is one of the most important aspects of choosing your surgeon and not being able to be personally see your surgeon can lead to serious issues which often lead to expensive problems down the line. Ensure that you and your surgeon have a plan should complications arise…better to have discussion upfront rather then have to scramble to find someone to help you.


Whatever decision you ultimately make, always remember that there are inherent risks with any procedure that cannot be eliminated. I recommend learning as much as you can. Visit surgeons in your home town who offer free consultations. Discuss the option of going overseas with your surgeon: perhaps he or she can provide further insight into the complexity of your case. While bargain hunting is fun, there is no return policy on a botched surgery.  Regardless of the place you choose for your procedure, it is important to identify a doctor whose expertise and credentials you can verify and that you can trust to do the best at achieving your goals.

Dr. Soto Norberto Soto, MD

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