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Rise in Medical Tourism Impacting Cosmetic Surgery Market

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With men and women of all ages becoming more conscious about the way they look, the demand for plastic surgery is growing fast. Recent trends show that Americans are increasingly traveling abroad for plastic surgery procedures which are not covered by insurance. Rise in healthcare costs in developed countries coupled with the availability of high quality medical services at a low cost in developing countries have contributed to the growth of the medical tourism industry.

According to an article in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – the medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a growing number of Americans are traveling to Mexico, India, and other countries for less-expensive nose jobs and breast augmentation surgery. The development of medical tourism industry is fuelled by several factors such as reduced cost of procedures, long waiting times, and high demand for cosmetic surgeries in the home country.

Because cosmetic plastic surgery procedures are not covered by insurance, they make up a major part of the burgeoning medical tourism market. Prices for cosmetic surgery in these countries are typically much lower than at home. For example, a breast augmentation procedure that would cost $6,000 in the U.S. can be done for $2,200 in India. The article concludes that to retain patients and be competitive in a global market, U.S. plastic surgery must be vigilant of the changes in medical tourism and adapt accordingly.

Getting cosmetic treatments abroad come with risks and complications. People may be drawn by lower costs, but need to consider the potential risks of undergoing surgery in a foreign country, including traveling after surgery.

Here are some important things to consider while considering plastic surgery abroad:

  • Is your surgeon qualified and experienced?

In many cases, complications arise as a result of the surgeon not being qualified to perform the requested surgeries. Make sure the surgeon can successfully perform the procedure you want.

  • How will post-operative care and any complications be handled?

Before undertaking plastic surgery, you should research the potential risks and side effects of the procedure. Ensure that the chosen practice can provide customized post-operative care and effectively handle any complications that may occur.

  • Are travel and vacation activities compatible with surgery?

Vacation activities soon after the procedure may increase the risk of developing pulmonary embolism and blood clots. Most cosmetic surgery procedures require 2 to 3 days for the patient to resume daily activities. An ideal surgeon would discuss what you can expect during recovery and what you can do to minimize risks.

While many people generally perform thorough research before choosing their plastic surgeon – at home or abroad – there are still those who place priority on and look for good deals rather than qualified surgeons. Remember that your safety comes first.

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