Q: Do you have any opinion on getting cosmetic surgery outside of the U.S.?
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:
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 program and plan
There are other considerations, but in general, the risks outweigh the benefits when traveling outside the U.S. for cosmetic surgery.