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Cosmetic surgery outside of the U.S.?

Q: Do you have any opinion on getting cosmetic surgery outside of the U.S.?

A: I've seen several articles recently on people traveling to foreign countries for a "cosmetic surgery vacation."

Most of the people in these reports decided to go outside the U.S. to receive less expensive treatment, or treatments not yet approved by the FDA. Predictably, the majority of these "vacations" did not have happy endings.

While there are certainly good cosmetic surgeons throughout the world, there is often little regulation, and researching qualified surgeons can be difficult.

Here in the U.S., the medical field is highly regulated. But even here, any licensed physician can perform plastic surgery. A surgeon's qualifications can be easily obtained and evaluated. You should carefully review these before considering a particular surgeon, regardless of location.

Some things to look for include:

  • Training
  • Board certification
  • What the certification is for (for instance, are you evaluating a facial surgeon to do a breast augmentation)
  • Fellowships and surgical society memberships
  • Where the surgery will be performed, and whether it is fully accredited
  • The qualifications of nurses and the support staff

The aftercare and recovery programs are other considerations, but in general, the risks outweigh the benefits when traveling outside the U.S. for cosmetic surgery.

Contact me by e-mail, or by calling me at The Adams Center in my Peabody office at 978-531-0550, or 617-262-2208 in my Boston office for more information on this post, or any other information in my Blog.

Dr. Bill Adams is a greater Boston area board certified plastic surgeon with over 25 years of experience in the field.


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