Plastic surgery are increasingly becoming popular, and men and women worldwide are undergoing these procedures due to different reasons. However, one of the challenges for people wanting to have a plastic surgery is the high cost. Most plastic surgeries are expensive procedures, and the elective cosmetic surgery are not covered by medical insurance companies. This has led to a bloom of medical tourism for cosmetic surgeries. A plastic surgery operation in countries such as the USA, Canada, UK, Germany and many other European countries is very costly and have a waiting list. People from these countries choose to travel overseas for plastic surgery where the cost is cheaper and the services of good quality. The best plastic surgery in Turkey and other top medical tourism destinations cost much lower than other countries and expedited treatment with excellent facilities. However, a person interested in going overseas for plastic surgery must keep some factors in mind:
- Choose an accredited or certified hospital: This is one of the most important considerations while selecting a good medical facility. A hospital certified by international accreditation organizations such as Joint Commission Internation or national bodies ensure a high standard of patient services. This provides patients assurance of good quality clinical care and reliable treatment facilities.
- Research the credentials of the plastic surgeon: The doctor must be qualified and board certified such as The Society of Plastic Surgeons or the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. It is best to learn about their experience, training, certification, continuing medical education (CMEs), and hospital they work for. One must look for a surgeon who are completed medical education from reputed institutions and have undergone training or fellowships in the latest techniques.
- Try getting a teleconsultation with the doctor and ask questions: Having doubts before a major surgery is normal. A consultation prior to travelling not only helps in gaining confidence to travel for the surgery. The patient can also use this time to ask questions and know about the risks involved. It is important to have the right attitude and realistic expectations from a cosmetic surgery.
- Confirm about the special services: There are many world-class hospitals in top medical travel destinations that offer a wide range of services for international patients. This may include airport pick-up and drop, visa assistance, aid in making accommodation arrangements, local transportation, hassle-free admission and payments, along with many more. Several hospitals offer language interpreters to ensure there is communication gap and the patient as well as their family completely understands the procedure and other details.
- Evaluate the potential risks: All surgeries carry certain risks and same goes with plastic surgery. The surgeon will evaluate the patient’s health and assess health risk from the surgery before the surgery. They will discuss and explain these risks and potential complications of the procedure. For instance, the doctors may advise patients to stop taking certain medications such as aspirin or others to lower the risk of developing a blood clot for some time before and after the operation. The blood thinner medications can increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery.
- Plan the vacation and book accommodation prior to travelling: Many people plan to combine their treatment with holidays to make the best use of travelling and save money at the same time. It is best to make accommodation arrangement near the hospital and also keep vacation activities in mind. Although there might be some restriction post surgery, the doctor will recommend the suitable activities. The patient must relax and rest during the recovery so that the surgical wound heals appropriately. It is important to follow all the pre- and post-op recommendations for the patient to have the best results from the surgery. Many procedures, especially for the face and skin, require patients to avoid exposure to direct sun, but appropriate measures such as wearing a hat or covering the face can be used, following doctor’s approval.
The recovery after a surgery may vary for different individuals depending on the type of procedure, technique used and the patient’s healing speed. Minimally invasive techniques are commonly used these days, and they offer the advantage of faster recovery, shorter hospitalization, and minimal scarring.
Another important factor is to have realistic expectations. A plastic surgeon will discuss the aim and scope of surgery after analyzing the person’s features. They suggest the most suitable option to achieve the desired outcomes that suits the personality. Also, one must assess the need for surgery. A person opting for a plastic surgery because they have a negative image of their body or due to psychological condition are not generally considered for cosmetic procedures. A plastic surgery can be performed for reconstruction of the face or other region of the body or to improve the aesthetic appearance (clubbed as cosmetic procedures). Usually, the reconstruction surgery is done to correct a defect or disfigurement due to congenital abnormality, injury or burns, while cosmetic surgeries are elective procedures that are not done to improve the functions or for medical reasons, but only to enhance the appearance.