Dr. Kirby's Blog

Things to Consider Before Traveling Abroad for Plastic Surgery

November 18, 2015 by

kirby overseas plastic surgeryInternational medical tourism—patients traveling abroad for plastic surgery procedures—is growing in popularity as more and more patients seek out procedures at a lower cost in exotic locales. This trend particularly concerns board certified plastic surgeons, as they are well aware of the life safety risks patients are taking.

Though it may seem appealing to have a surgical enhancement while abroad, there are many drawbacks to medical tourism. Traveling for plastic surgery can lead to disastrous health results or cosmetic damage that cannot be undone.

Questionable Safety

“Budget” international plastic surgery is rarely a good deal in the end, particularly because budget-friendly surgery destinations most often do not have the medical safety standards we have in the United States. Other countries’ training standards for doctors are often inconsistent and verifying a surgeon’s training and credentials may be much more difficult.

Many surgery centers abroad also lack good sanitation standards, which is especially concerning as the risk of exposure to infectious diseases is higher during travel. It is essential to seek out a surgeon who offers a safe and clean surgical environment. The regulatory system in the United States is best equipped to help patients navigate this process.

The U.S. has stringent safety standards to help ensure that patients have access to safe, high quality care. You can also look to the American Board of Plastic Surgery for plastic surgeons that have superior, documented training.

No Legal Recourse Abroad

If a patient elects to have plastic surgery overseas and does not receive safe or proper care, there is often no legal recourse. Most often, negligent doctors abroad can not be forced to take responsibility for the financial or safety implications of a negative or unattractive plastic surgery outcome.

Patients should be aware that it is often very expensive to correct a “botched” surgery, and even the most skilled plastic surgeons can encounter difficulties when trying to improve function and appearance after a poorly performed surgery. Avoid risking a potentially irreversible situation by selecting a fully trained plastic surgeon that operates in an accredited surgical center in the U.S.

Safer Options Closer to Home

In the United States, patients can more easily discern a surgeon’s credentials. Look for physicians “certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery” (ABPS) during your research. You can also visit the ABPS website to find out if your surgeon is certified. By choosing a board certified plastic surgeon, you are choosing a doctor with extensive education, training, and experience.

But what if you cannot find the perfect fit in your area? You can still get the benefits of choosing a board certified plastic surgeon in the United States, even if they do not reside in your city. Many plastic surgeons will work with out-of-town patients who want to be under the care of a surgeon who specializes in the procedure they desire.

Quality Care, No Passport Required

Patients who need expertise that is not available locally, or want the discretion of recovering farther away from friends or colleagues, should look to options within the United States. Domestic medical tourism can be an excellent course of action when well-planned. Dr. Emily J. Kirby works with many out-of-town patients who desire a highly skilled, board certified plastic surgeon.

Traveling to Fort Worth for plastic surgery is a practical way to receive the best care while enjoying the benefits of being away from home during your surgery and recovery. We encourage patients both near and far to seek out a personalized consultation with Dr. Kirby, who is highly experienced in breast, body, and facial surgery.

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