The growing desire for a youthful and striking appearance that boosts self-confidence has made plastic surgery widely accepted all over the world. This is borne out by the recent findings of a survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, which collected data from close to a thousand plastic surgeons from across the world. The rankings provided by this survey confirm what many of us already knew — that the USA is still No. 1 when it comes to the number of procedures — tucks, nicks, lifts and implants — performed in a single year. Countries such as South Korea, Brazil, India, Italy and Greece are closing in on the gap, but they still have a long way to go before they match our numbers.
What Makes US the Capital of Plastic Surgery?
While Americans can buy a wide range of cosmetics to improve their appearance and nourish their skin and hair, many of them increasingly prefer to undergo a procedure that provides more lasting results. Whether it is a Botox injection, a chemical peel, or a complicated nose job or surgical tummy trim, the USA has facilities for all types of procedures.
Medical Tourism — A Growing Trend
All plastic surgery procedures are not necessarily covered under health insurance, unless there is an underlying medical reason. Say a woman, who has had a mastectomy and requires the breast to be reconstructed; her expenses may likely be covered by health insurance. However, if someone wants to have a breast reduction procedure for cosmetic reasons alone, there will be no such coverage.
This implies that the cosmetic surgery procedure expense has to be entirely borne by the patients. Against this background, the low costs of plastic surgery in other parts of the world combined with the opportunity to recuperate in an exotic destination makes medical tourism an attractive option.
Price versus Safety
Depending on the country one visits for a procedure, the quality of medical care may vary. This is important for many reasons. Health risks of even simple cosmetic procedures can range from infection to a deformity, or even death.
Additionally, hospitals around the world may not have the same standards as American hospitals. In some countries, hospitals lack cleanliness regulations. In addition, in some locations, you may find that you have difficulty communicating with the hospital staff.
Also, In the US, one can easily verify the education qualifications and certification of a surgeon. However, this may become a difficult task if one opts to have plastic surgery abroad. In many countries, loose regulations can allow anyone to set up shop and claim to be a qualified surgeon. This can prove costly and fatal if unsuspecting patients end up under the care of one of these “doctors.”