When selecting the right surgeon to perform your plastic surgical procedure is very important to know the extent, quality and scope of their surgical training. When you select a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery you know that your surgeon has had appropriate training, has demonstrated competence in the performance of these procedures and has passed rigorous written and oral examinations. The facility in which your procedure is performed is also very important. If you are considering surgery outside of the United States is important to know whether or not the institution has met the accreditation standards of the International Joint Commission for Certification.
Medical tourism does not provide for the traditional doctor-patient relationship. Normally you first meet with your potential surgeon and express your concerns and objectives. Your surgeon then has the ability to examine you and determine whether or not your goals can be met and whether or not you are a satisfactory candidate both mentally and physically for the intended procedure. Your surgeon then makes a decision to operate or not operate. If your surgeon chooses to operate he or she then takes on the responsibility of not only performing the procedure but follow through on the treatment of any complications. Many times surgeons will waive fees associated with the treatment of postoperative complications. If a new surgeon is needed to care for these complications significant additional expense can be incurred.
Although there are many excellent plastic surgeons outside of the United States traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery has several potential problems. There will be expenses incurred during the travel back and forth, there may be a need for an extended stay with additional expense. There are risks associated with long flights. Normally long flights are discouraged in the postoperative period, has an increased risk for blood clot formation and the possible lethal occurrence of a pulmonary embolism. It is important to know whether or not a quality Hospital is nearby and arrangements are in place for transfer in the event of a severe complication. You should also consider how complications that arise after you have returned home will be handled. Normally the surgeon who performs the procedure takes responsibility for these eventualities. If there are complications or poor outcomes secondary to negligence what legal recourse will you have.