Is it Safe to Have Rhinoplasty in India?

Hi! I live in US but in two weeks I'm going to India to get a rhinoplasty done. I'm scared to death! And not about pain but about the result. My nose is not super ugly and I'm afraid it might become worse after the surgery.

Everyone is trying to convince me not to go to India for that. But it's way cheaper and I heard medicine and doctors are pretty advanced there. How do you think is it safe enough to go there? Doctor's resume seems pretty good

Doctor Answers (18)

Rhinoplasty in India

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I am sure that there are good doctors in India but if you live in NYC who is going to take care of you if you have problems after surgery?  It is a very long way to India.  I would think twice about it.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Oversees Rhinoplasty

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Dear "Scared -to-Death!",

It sounds like you already have it figured out. Your instincts are broadcasting loud and clear.

When it comes to cosmetic surgery, price shopping should fall into place well after  your health and your safety.

Some people have had good experiences with surgery abroad, many have not. Do you really want to take that risk? 

It won't take too long before the money you've saved will be a memory, but a bad experience or outcome will stay forever.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

It may be best to keep your Rhinoplasty Surgeon close to home.

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I read your concern. In my practice, my nose job patients are followed closely for the first year after surgery. During the first year after Rhinoplasty Surgery, 5 or more visits are the norm. Your nose is the centerpiece of your face, and a primary rhinoplasty is the best time for you and your surgeon to achieve your goals.

Your surgeon in India may be wonderful, and you may get a great result. My advice would be to err on the side of caution: research a certified, experienced rhinoplasty specialist in your area. You could go to for a list of certified facial plastic surgeons. Check many photos of nose job results before moving forward.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Regards from NJ.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 292 reviews

Having rhinoplasty in India is like drinking the water in Mexico!

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You COULD "get away with it" or you could really get sick and wish you had never even thought of it.

I cant' see how a trip to India, hotel and food, and the travel risk of blood clots "saves" you anything. Maybe you get free airfare, or have lots of air-flight miles to use. Perhaps you were planning on a trip to exotic India anyway. And yes, there are excellent surgeons there. There are also scoundrels and just-plain-poorly-trained or inexperienced surgeons here! So do your homework and research surgeons close to home. Stay with friends or relatives, but also stay close to whom you will seek evaluation and advice from as you go through all the phases of healing.

Can't you see that there are plenty of problems that RealSelf patients ask about daily? And this occurs with the best-trained and most advanced medical/surgical environment on the planet. Why double or triple the variability and chance of unanticipated problems overseas where your only assistance is from a telephone? And if you really get a negligent result, is there any legal recourse in India? The threat of lawsuit keeps many a physician in line here in the US--but not in India!

Think long and hard--surgical tourism is Russian Roulette with a scalpel!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Why not Canada or Mexico

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You are taking to much effort for a procedure that is widely done in the US. If money is the issue, choose a closer country with a good health care and you can travel back and forth if needed!.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Rhinoplasty can be safe in India but is it worth it?

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There are a number of quality surgeons in India. You will need to do your research. The more difficult issue is to have proper follow up in the months of healing.

The costs of rhinoplasty like the costs most procedures vary significantly among regions and even within a county. The costs are higher in more expensive areas such as New York or Los Angeles, or in areas with fewer board certified plastic surgeons. We currently charge starting at $3500 + MD Anesthesia related costs for rhinoplasty. Because you can get quality work for less in South Florida, many patients will come from throughout the country and world to have surgery here.

To ensure quality work at most cost effective prices, consult with board certified plastic surgeons that own their own nationally accredited facilities. These surgeons must maintain the highest standards to keep accreditation. Moreover, the surgeons are motivated to ensure quality and properly trained staff (to minimize time and frustration in surgery), private and comfortable facilities (to ensure continued referrals), and less waste (to ensure that they can remain competitive financially with other centers).

Consult with 3 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons to understand your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

It's not worth the risk....

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It's your face and it's your life.  Can saving a few thousand dollars be worth that?   I think anyone who cares about you and  everyone giving you professional advice is telling you that you should have your rhinoplasty done close to home.  It does not guarantee a perfect result, but it will increase your chances for a safer procedure with qualified surgeons.   There' s a saying about being "penny-wise and pound-foolish."  Going to a foreign country to have complicated surgery done is definitely "pound-foolish."

Charles K. Lee, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Health tourism. Is it safe?

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Its cheaper. However the most important decision a patient has to make, the choice of their surgeon, is made more difficult by the distance. Furthermore distance plays a major role if there is a complication, if follow up is needed and if the patient wishes to pursue a complaint/legal regress. The question to be addressed is whether the money saved is worth the loss of these things.

Oakley Smith, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Rhinoplasty in India

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As other posters have correctly posted, you may have found an excellent Surgeon in India and your result may (or may not) turn out very nicely.  However, your follow up is likely to be inadequate more as a consequence of distance than anything else.  Rhinoplasty is definitely a procedure you want to have right the first time, because it is one of the most technically and aesthetically challenging procedures we do.  I would advise you against taking unnecessary risks.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Real Risks of Medical Tourism

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Dear Anadez,

The concept of medical tourism is not a new one, but dates back thousands of years to when Greek pilgrims traveled from all over the Mediterranean to the small territory in the Saronic Gulf called Epidauria, the territory of the healing god Asklepios. Epidauria became the original travel destination for medical tourism.  Subsequently, spa towns and sanitariums emerged. 

A large draw to current medical travel is accessibility, convenience, affordability and ease of international travel. In 2009, an estimated 600,000 Americans traveled abroad for plastic surgery.  But, medical tourism carries several risks.  Infectious disease may be acquired when there is exposure to pathogens without having built up natural immunity.  In addition, misdiagnoses in the homeland may be frequent because diseases acquired on foreign soil are perceived to be "rare." Hospitals and doctors may not be accredited to US, UK or Canadian standards. Long distance travel home soon after surgery can increase the risk of complications as can vacation activities such as strenuous exercise, sun exposure, alcohol consumption and lifting heavy luggage.  Surgical complications may not be adequately addressed in countries with unfamiliar legal systems and hospitals and/or doctors may be unable to pay for financial damages.  In an extreme situation, the cost of a medical air "ambulance" home can cost more than the list price of a new car.  So, consumer beware of a false surgical economy!  You may be lucky to get what you pay for!

When traveling abroad, consider purchasing medical travel insurance from MedJet Assist and "take trips, not chances".  1.800.527.7478

Best of luck in your decision!

Dr. Michelle Yagoda, NYC Facial Plastic Surgeon

Michelle R. Yagoda, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.