If you watch television in America, the media has probably scared the hell out of you about going overseas for cosmetic surgery. Indeed, things have gone wrong abroad (and so they do here at home as well) but experts believe that the there is a well-organized campaign by US surgeons to scare Americans to protect their business.
So it is with great relief that we are reporting that if you want to pay less for a procedure without worrying about safety, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) has not only started to provide certification to clinics abroad, it is also telling patients how to have plastic surgery safely overseas. Here are a few questions to ask when you pick your doctor in a developing or underdeveloped country:
- What is the surgeon’s training? A gynecologist performing a breast augmentation or a dermatologist doing a face lift are not appropriate choices.
- Is the plastic surgeon certified? The ISAPS website lists the names and addresses of nearly 1,500 certified plastic surgeons in 73 countries.
- Is the surgery center or clinic certified? Ask for certification information and who the certifying body is.
- Does your personal health insurance cover you outside your country? Most health insurance providers do not cover individuals for surgery performed outside their own country. Consider obtaining extra coverage.
- What about aftercare? Patients should stay in the area where the surgery was performed for at least one week, depending on the procedure. Find out in advance where you will stay and if this facility is prepared to care for your post operative needs.
- What about complications? What doctor will care for you at home if you have complications and, who will pay for secondary or revision
- Do the key personnel at the surgeon’s office speak your language fluently? If you cannot be understood fully, be prepared for complications.
- With whom are you communicating? You should be talking directly with the doctor’s staff and the doctor. A travel agent should only make
travel and accommodations arrangements.
- Is the surgeon a member of recognized national and international societies? ISAPS membership is by invitation and is granted only after
- Have you checked for references? Ask for names and contact information of patients who have recently had a similar procedure and contact them about their experience with the surgeon, their staff, aftercare facilities and post-operative follow up.