Medical services may be cheaper outside the USA but remember that you also are paying for the care after surgery, including dealing with complications. In Chicago, we see patients who went to Florida or elsewhere for surgery, then come back with complications (seromas, infections, wound healing problems, etc) and no one to take care of them. It may cost more to deal with the complications after than if you had it done locally. Also, have you researched the high infection and death rates in other countries?
It is my understanding that the cost is cheaper in places like the DR or Mexico because the cost of living is cheaper in these locations. Therefore, the cost of running a practice (practice overhead) is cheaper for the surgeon. The cost to rent or own space is cheaper so the operating room fees are lower. Because the cost of living is lower likely personnel are paid less. The surgeon and anesthesiologist don't charge as much for their fee because the cost of living in lower. For example, a plastic surgeon in NYC will have to charge more for a surgery because their cost of living is so much higher. The DR is a 3rd world country. If you have ever been there for vacation it is absolutely beautiful, but the poverty you witness as you drive from the airport to the resort is very sad. My biggest advice for you is to think about the cost of travel. If you have any complications post op or want to see your PS in post op to make sure you are healing ok, you have to fly back to the DR. Also, I am not sure the regulations for sterility etc. in the operating facilities is held to the same level as it is here in the United States. If price is your main concern, remember sometimes you get what you pay for.
The only thing that seems to be equivalent in price living in Third World countries is maintaining a US lifestyle.
The cost of why prices are lower in developing nations as well been described.
I would take advantage of living in a country that has what is perhaps arguably the highest quality medical care in the world.
Considering that this is the longest lasting investment you'll ever make, longer-lasting than any car or home you will ever have, It makes sense to not cut corners on cosmetic surgery.
I can also not over emphasize enough the importance of follow-up care and the fact that complications do happen including serious complications.
Patients who come back to the United states with complications after medical tourism find themselves abandoned, stranded and in desperate need for follow-up care without anyone to go to.
I have personally taken care of numerous patients with massive complications of come across the border from Mexico.
When I've called their doctors phone calls were not returned. I've heard stories of patients who refuse being admitted to hospital's or are not given blood transfusions unless they can pay cash upfront.
The following article may also shed some insight into the risk of traveling to certain countries for cosmetic surgery.
This is not to say they're not talented doctors in other countries. There certainly are some equally as talented as those in the United States.
Still no one has the same rigors and standards in regards to medical training and certification as the United States.
Dominican authorities have shut down a plastic surgery clinic as they
investigate the death of a U.S. woman who traveled to the Caribbean
country to undergo a liposuction procedure, officials said Sunday.
The prosecutor's office in Santo Domingo said the 23-year-old woman
traveled to the Dominican Republic two days before her April 23
procedure but did not disclose where she was from in the U.S.
The clinic is run by Dr. Edgar Contreras, who has been the subject of
three other probes by Dominican investigators over the years. He could
not be immediately contacted for comment.
The U.S. citizen is the fourth woman and the second American who has
died so far this year at Dominican plastic surgery clinics. They
include a 35-year-old from Hawaii identified who authorities say died
after a liposuction procedure and a 24-year-old woman who died from an
embolism in February after undergoing surgery to have implants removed
from her buttocks.
Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
reported that at least 19 women in five states had developed serious
mycobacterial wound infections following cosmetic procedures in the
Dominican Republic such as liposuction, tummy tucks and breast
The Caribbean country, like nations such as Thailand, Mexico and Costa
Rica, has promoted itself as a destination for medical tourism,
so-called because people will often tack on a few days at a resort
before or after undergoing surgery.
I appreciate your question.
Cost varies by geographic location, surgeon expertise, OR time, anesthesia, length of procedure etc. I would recommend that you see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery and who is also a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgery. You can call their offices in advance and ask for quotes prior to scheduling consultations.
The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.
Best of luck!
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon