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The Dangers of Plastic Surgery Tourism

If you’re reading this, you probably aren’t considering getting your plastic surgery done abroad. But maybe it’s crossed your mind because you heard it could save you some money, or you heard a terrible story of someone getting a botched job overseas, or you found yourself on a plane surrounded by post-surgical Brazilian Butt Lift patients, just like this passenger did.

We aren’t here to knock getting plastic surgery outside of Canada. We have incredible colleagues all around the world who provide great results and fantastic patient care, including in Brazil, Turkey, India, the US, South Africa, Iran, Russia, and beyond. If you live or have family in one of these countries there are surely many surgeons in whom you can feel confident in trusting your care.

That being said, plastic surgery tourism is a thing, and it’s often related to cutting costs, and we can’t stress this point enough: never try to save money on your safety and well-being. Undergoing a cosmetic surgery is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make and you really want to ensure that you’re going to get the best results, in the safest way, and with the best care possible.

Here are a few key issues that make plastic surgery tourism a risky endeavour.

Plastic Surgery Credentials & Standards

Canada has pretty stringent medical standards as well as regulations for which types of surgeons can perform what types of surgery. While there are differences in quality and in price when it comes to different plastic surgeons and plastic surgery clinics in Canada, your quality of care is still going to be quite good, no matter who you choose.

The same cannot really be said for other countries, including the US, where regulatory bodies have not been able to keep pace with the explosion in the popularity of many surgeries like the BBL, liposuction or the tummy tuck for instance.

Post-Operative Care

Typically, you want to live in the same city, region or country as your surgeon or clinic. This is especially important in the first few weeks and months following your surgery. If you have a complication, you want it to be easy to see your plastic surgeon right away.

The plastic surgeon you carefully selected to do your surgery is the one that is going to have the most knowledge of your case from day one, and you want that person to follow you from your very first consultation to pretty much a year after your surgery. This is what will ultimately guarantee the best result possible, with the quickest recovery, and reduce any chance of complications.

It’s also important to keep in mind that most plastic surgeons won’t see you if you have a complication from a recent surgery performed by another surgeon. They will typically refer you back to the surgeon who originally performed your surgery.

Assessing Your Plastic Surgeon’s Qualifications

We always say that it’s really important to do your research before deciding on a plastic surgeon. You want to know how experienced this surgeon is in your particular surgery, you want to know how many surgeries they’ve performed, and what their results have looked like.

In short, you want to ask A LOT of questions and see before and after photos at that very first consultation that you have. You also want to be able to describe what you’re looking for in your result. You want to build trust and rapport with your surgeon. You’re putting your body in their hands, and you want to make sure those hands are skilled.

This can be really hard to do from afar, especially if you are unfamiliar with the language or the standard of care in the chosen destination. Standards vary widely even within the developed world.

For example, did you know that in the UK non-registered health professionals can perform Botox and filler injections and without the oversight of a medical director? Such nuances may be hard to understand without being fully immersed in that city or country.

Support During Your Recovery

You may need more support than anticipated by both friends and your medical provider.

For most surgeries you need to take at least one week off of work if not more, and you need someone around to care for you and help out 24/7 for at least the first 24-48 hours. It’s really quite important that you rest and recover in those first weeks following your surgery. It’s what will give you the speediest healing process and best results.

Again, support may be something that’s difficult to find if you’re at a distance where you don’t have friends and family. Last but not least, you really don’t want to be jumping on a flight right after a surgery. Especially after a BBL, where you’re literally not supposed to sit on your bum for long periods of time.

So our recommendation: have your surgery at home and save the travel for a fabulous vacation to show of your new bod after you’ve recovered 😉

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