Should You Go Overseas for Plastic Surgery?

You hear about it often, that people are planning ‘plastic surgery vacations’ as they bunker down in an overseas location to get a cosmetic procedure done and recover. While it may sound like a different way to spend your time post-surgery and may even sound appealing, going to Costa Rica, Korea or any other international destination when you’re an American citizen is not necessarily your wisest choice. It’s often believed that plastic surgery overseas will be lighter on your wallet and that the same caliber of doctor’s will perform your procedure. In many cases these are myths, and here are some reasons why plastic surgery overseas is not your best choice.

1. Medical standards may differ - American doctors have the highest caliber of medical training. While cosmetic surgeons overseas may claim to be qualified to perform your procedure, if their medical license is from another country, they may have a different approach or a lower-level of training than American surgeons.

2. Doctors in different countries aren’t better qualified to perform surgery on people of a local nationality – believe it or not, this is not an uncommon belief. Plastic surgeons are trained to work with facial features and are familiar with different structures and looks. The same applies when surgery is performed on other parts of the body. Just because a surgeon in Korea may have had more experience working with individuals that have Korean features, doesn’t mean that they are any more qualified to perform surgery on someone that is of Asian background.

3. Aftercare may differ - while no surgeon hopes for any complications, the reality is that they can happen after plastic surgery whether it takes place in the United States or overseas. Just because there are qualified plastic surgeons in the desired overseas location, doesn’t mean that there would be the same quality of care for standard treatment or aftercare.

4. You’re a long way from home – if there were any complications, keep in mind that you’re likely to be stuck in the country you’re visiting longer than planned. You can’t travel a long distance immediately after surgery and could find yourself away from home for an extended period of time without access to support from friends and family members.

5. The cost savings isn’t substantial enough - the statement “you get what you pay for” is true here. Yes, some plastic surgeons abroad do charge less than in the United States. But, you never want to go for the cosmetic surgeon with the lowest prices. Also, the cost of travel and medical overseas will counteract any savings and could lead to even more if problems arise!

Buffalo Tax Payers Funding Plastic Surgery?

This past week the Buffalo District School District in the state of New York released findings that there were $8 million in plastic surgery claims made during 2009. This news has been discussed nation-wide as many have been shocked that tax payers are forced to foot the bill for a school board that is already in debt. Employees of this Buffalo school board have been eligible to receive plastic surgery covered under their health care plan, and this is a benefit that was initially negotiated into the standard contract 30 years ago. The school board is currently revisiting this policy, in part due to the public interest, but has noted that plastic surgery procedures have only been covered when they’re under a doctor’s recommendation.

This circumstance brings up an interesting debate at a time when more people than ever are speaking up about getting plastic surgery. It’s becoming more mainstream and accepted whether it’s completed to correct a true malformation or simply enhance an individual’s appearance to suit their personal preference.

According to the information released, 500 employees took advantage of this benefit and many of these individuals received tissue procedures and chemical peels. Those speaking up have been split between supporting the right to these benefits, and opposing it due to the fact that such elective surgeries can be considered unnecessary. Remember, what’s being contested here is not whether school board members in Upstate New York should be allowed to get plastic surgery; but if it should be paid for, effectively by tax payers. We’d like to hear your thoughts on this controversial issue!