If you are doing a cosmetic procedure in the Dominican Republic what would be your recommendation to prepare for that?

Remember you are flying from a state within the United States to the Dominican Republic to do your procedure. You want the best care possible while you are in that country. For example.. you just had the procedure bbl and your staying in a hotel to heal properly.

Doctor Answers 4

Cosmetic Procedure in the DR

Prospective patients should be aware of the risks and downsides of medical tourism (traveling abroad to undergo elective surgery). There has been some recent deaths and severe infections from surgery performed in the Dominican Republic as well as many other countries around the world. 
Medical tourism has becoming increasingly popular in recent years; patients have been flying out of the U.S. for plastic surgery, lured by lower prices.
However, a parallel trend has also appeared: plastic surgeons in the United States are finding themselves treating an increasing number of patients who plastic surgery abroad, correcting complications and errors. A survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that 80% of the responding doctors had treated American medical tourists for complications including infection, contour abnormalities, and hematoma.
Medical tourists are often led to believe that they will receive the same quality of care for a lower price in a foreign clinic. But while it is true that the cost of plastic surgery in some foreign countries is lower, this is often because the quality of care and surgery is compromised. Such patients also seem to neglect the possibility of complications and the need for a follow-up visit.
In addition to the risks posed by sub-standard medical care abroad, medical tourists must consider the risks of injections and implants in other countries. The recent crisis with French breast implant maker Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) exemplifies this problem. PIP used industrial- rather than medical-grade silicone on their implants in an effort to reduce costs, a measure which probably increased the danger of rupture. PIP implants have not been used in the United States since 2000. Removal of these implants has been recommended by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
It is often the case that medical tourists end up spending more money because they have to pay to treat complications from their overseas surgery.
Source: The Cost of Medical Tourism – Medscape Medical News
Source: Official Statement on Faulty PIP and ROFIL breast implants – ISAPS

Preparing For Surgery Abroad

My "recommendation to prepare for that" - "that" being surgery abroad is: 

  1. Don't. Have your Brazilian Butt Lift done locally. There are many, many US plastic surgeons who get beautiful BBL results, many of them in New York. 
  2. If you disregard #1, "prepare for that" by saving enough money for one of two scenarios:  
    1. Airfare and hotel accommodations to go on at least 3 postoperative follow-ups in the year after your BBL. Having postoperative visits after plastic surgery is the norm and is included in your surgical fee, at least in the United States. Follow-ups are performed to make sure your recovery is going smoothly and to minimize complications and the need for revision surgery. Or...
    2. If you decide to have your surgery done in the DR, but choose to have your follow-ups done by a US/local plastic surgeon, remember that you will have to pay the plastic surgeon for his/her skills, time, and expertise. They will also likely want your medical records (including before photos and the operative report) from the DR surgeon. In this scenario, "prepare for that" by saving additional money for your local/US follow-ups.
  3. To further "prepare for that," not only should you allocate enough money for your surgery and for your normal follow-up visits (whether the follow-ups are in the DR or in the US), you should stash away some money in case there is an unexpected, serious complication that requires urgent treatment/surgery and precludes you from traveling back to your plastic surgeon in the DR. 


A lot of people choose to go abroad for plastic surgery because it is "cheaper," but the reality is that plastic surgery abroad can end up costing a great deal more than you counted on, even exceeding the cost of surgery in the US. Best of luck with your BBL, no matter where you decide to have it!

Millicent Odunze-Geers, MD, MPH
Sacramento Physician
4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

BBL out of town

I think that you are better off having the surgery done locally so that you can have the proper post-op care near your home. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Medical tourism

Hello and thank you for your question. This is a question that comes up often and the answers are going to be somewhat repetitive. However again I would caution you against medical tourism. Other than cost there are certain risks that you have to account for whenever having cosmetic surgery. Should you encounter any type of complication ( infection, bleeding, seroma, ischemia, open wound, blood clot, etc )  A surgeon who is 1000+ miles away is not going to be able to help you manage these issues. Having surgery in a country where the electricity only runs for part of the day is highly risky for your safety and well-being. 

Further, it will be difficult for you to obtain post operative care here by a plastic surgeon. Most plastic surgeons would prefer not to take on the risk and liability of someone else's mistakes. Any surgeon who takes on the after care will be in his or her right to charge for such services. These fees will likely erase the cost savings of traveling for surgery. 

A simple Google search will reveal multiple complications and deaths associated with cosmetic surgery done in the Dominican Republic. 

All surgery contains certain risks. Even when done in a state-of-the-art modern facility in this country you still encounter risks. Why would you want to increase those risks?

Even though surgery in this country is going to be more expensive, you will at least have the peace of mind knowing that your board certified plastic surgeon is fully trained and experienced and is a phone call away to help you should the need arise.  There are also multiple financing options to help make this more affordable for you.

Best to you. 

Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 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.