Plastic Surgery Without Borders: What to Consider

When making a decision to get plastic surgery, it shouldn’t be a decision taken lightly. We’ve discussed before the dangers of getting plastic surgery operations done in foreign countries but we wanted to discuss the issue a little more in-depth so you can make the most informed decision when it comes to your body.

While it can sometimes be dangerous to get surgery done in other countries, if you decide it’s the best option for you, we urge you to research the background and training of the surgeon and their facility.

Before committing to anything, as we suggest above, research your surgeon. The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery provides some really great safety guidelines. Some things mentioned that you should consider when getting plastic surgery abroad are:

  • Do you fully understand the procedure and possible complications?
  • What is your surgeon’s training?
  • Verify that your surgeon is trained and experienced. Make sure they specialize in the procedure.
  • Is the surgeon a member of recognized national and international plastic surgery societies?
  • Does the surgeon and his staff speak your language fluently? If there is a language barrier, that can lead to major miscommunications and possible complications.
  • Check the surgeon’s references and ask as many questions as you need to.

“The World Health Organization developed a 19-question surgical safety checklist that, when implemented, can reduce surgical complications and surgical deaths. This simple checklist, much like a pilot’s pre-flight checklist, can be used in a variety of surgical settings without additional costs”(ISPAS.org).
The most popular countries in 2015 outside of the US to get plastic surgery include: Canada, the U.K, Israel, Singapore, and Costa Rica.

Even when following the safety check-list and following the guidelines above, there are several other important factors to keep in mind.

In the US, you can potentially sue your doctor for malpractice if something goes wrong with your surgery, but this may not be the same in every country. Also, the privacy laws we have established here in the US may also vary from country to country. There are no US laws that protect US patients who go to unlicensed doctors in foreign countries.

One of the main reasons people choose to travel for plastic surgery is the cost. It can be cheaper in other countries, but it is important to remember that sometimes you get what you pay for. Not all procedures are done the same, not all surgeons are the same. That’s not to say there aren’t satisfied patients, we just urge to you to really consider why you’re traveling for the procedure.

Plastic surgery shouldn’t have borders, but we do encourage you to thoroughly weigh your options before traveling abroad for procedures you can have performed here in the US.

If you’re thinking of having plastic surgery and have questions you can schedule a free consultation with our own Dr. McFate here in Austin, TX. We offer many great resources for those patients traveling from outside of the Austin area.