Things to Know Before Going Overseas for Plastic Surgery

As cost conscious consumers, we often find ourselves most willing to bargain for our desires rather than our needs. Cosmetic surgery certainly falls into the desire category, and as the cost of plastic surgery in the United States continues to increase dramatically, Americans are looking overseas to find bargains on their nips and tucks.

Countries like Mexico, India and Thailand offer surgeries ranging from breast augmentation to LASIK eye surgery at steep discounts. The quality of surgery overseas as well as various other matters need to be carefully considered prior to booking that risky trip:


True Cost Savings: When factoring in costs of flights, lodging and travel time, the discount might not be as great as your would expect. 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 promotions offered by medical spas for discounted injectables like Botox and Juvederm.

Safety:  Foreign countries have various hospitals with fantastic safety records that are accredited by respected organizations such as JCAHO. ( While going overseas can be risky, you can mitigate those dangers by going to accredited surgeons who often work with other medical professionals in the United States.  Seek out doctors that have published research in their area of expertise, and check online to read reviews from other patients in order to verify their reputation.

Follow-Up: Even the best surgeons experience complications. In surgery, we have a saying: if you’re not getting complications, you’re not operating. Some of these can be immediate and some can occur months down the road. Open communication is one of the most important aspects of choosing your surgeon and not being able to be seen in person can lead to risky and often expensive problems down the line. Ensure you have a plan and have discussed how issues that arise will be handled.

Secrecy: While surgeons in the United States can assist you in keeping your nips and tucks private, we do not commonly offer a recovery on a getaway resort island where your privacy is ensured  and all your needs are met. You can certainly recover in comfort at a cheaper price when opting for treatment overseas.  (

Procedure Availability: Just about any elective procedure you can think of is available somewhere overseas. Surgeons worldwide love accepting foreign payment for services ranging from hair transplants to bariatric surgery.

Bali, Indonesia: a popular plastic surgery destination

Whatever path you decide to take, always remember that there are inherent risks with any surgery that cannot be avoided. 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 location you choose for your procedure, it is important to choose a doctor whose expertise you can easily verify and that you can trust.

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  1. […] surgeons accept insurance. Another option that people often seek is getting the surgery done overseas. While there are some surgeries that can safely be performed at a discount overseas, the ability to […]

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