Is traveling to Cali, Colombia safe for surgery?

So I was planning on traveling to Cali, Colombia for a BBL with either Dr. Luis Eduardo Plazas or Dr. William Jimenez. I was dead set on Plazas but he doesn't have as many reviews as Jimenez. My family has been telling me Colombia is very dangerous (which I know but would be staying at a recovery house.) I don't speak Spanish and am worried about the overall safety but I love their results. I don't care for a huge butt just the hourglass figure. Thoughts?

Doctor Answers 7

Surgery abroad?...

In recent years traveling abroad for plastic surgery has become a very popular alternative to surgery in the states. The main thing to keep in mind when having surgery in a foreign country is just because they offer cheaper prices doesn't mean you are getting the same quality and safety as in the United States. Some foreign clinics may have different standards when it comes to sterility. Second, a communication barrier is not good to have when you are having surgery. Ensure that someone that can translate will be there. And lastly, consider the fact that if you were to have post operative complications, many surgeons in the US don't like to see you for those problems. In general, if you have a gut feeling that you are worried about it, it might be better to stay at home for the procedure.

Traveling to Cali, Colombia for surgery

Im not sure why you want to travel to Colombia to do surgery ? Patients that leave the US for Plastic Surgery abroad usually do so for financial reasons, traveling outside the U.S. for plastic surgery it can be risky .There are no Laws that protect patients or mandate the training and qualifications of physicians who perform plastic surgery outside of the US . Good Luck 

Sergio Alvarez, MD
Miami Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 187 reviews


I was on vacation in Colombia this past Summer and felt safe in Medellin. Cali is however not as safe as other cities in Colombia. There are several American Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in the United States which can perform surgery safely and take care of you if any complications. I would continue to do more research before going to another Country.

You might also like...


I'm not sure why you need to go to South America to have a BBL when there are many in the region that can perform this procedure, and you can get adequate follow-up care.

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

Is traveling to Colombia for surgery safe?

Thank you for your question. The vast majority of patients who get plastic surgery abroad do so for financial reasons. They are often enticed by lower surgical fees, and think that they will be saving money. Unfortunately, people are often very short-sighted, and don't consider any other expenses (like traveling and lodging for an appropriate amount of time), and the cost of any potential complications. I've heard of and treated numerous complications from surgeries performed abroad, and it ALWAYS ended up costing much more than ever anticipated by the patient. In America we have a medicolegal system that let's any patient have proper recourse in case complications occur and are not addressed appropriately. In addition, the medical and institutional standards are on a different level than in other countries, and you actually know what you're getting. In other countries, however, all bets are off. That means that accountability for professional medical actions is just not there. It is hard to believe, with all the news in the media and our digital culture, that still so many go with the option of traveling for surgery without thinking the process all the way through. Medical tourism can, however, be done safely, if all aspects are well thought out. That means that you must have open lines of communication with the surgeon and surgical team, as well as immediate access to a responsible and knowledgeable physician in the postoperative period. The time to look for bargains is when shopping for shoes. Because, in plastic surgery, much like in many other fields in life, you get what you pay for. Hope this helps. Good luck and fare well. 

Medical Tourism

What will you do if you. Have a problem after the surgery? How long are you planning on staying there? If you need something after, who will take care of you here. Have you ever heard of the statement that you get what you pay for? 

In America there are standards and you can hold your doctor accountable. Out of the country, all bets are off. 

Your family is right.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Safety of surgery abroad

My greatest concern about your question is safety.  Not only of the actual geographic location that you are traveling to but of having surgery there.  The standards that are set for operating facilities are much more rigorous in the United States.  Also being so far from your operating surgeon concerns me for reasons of follow up and of taking care of you through any potential complications. While I understand the appeal that comes with health tourism, I do not recommend it.  There are many Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in your area.  If price is a concern feel free to see a few surgeons and compare not just the price but your comfort with each surgeon.  There are also many finance options available to help spread out your payments. Stay safe.

I hope this helps :)

John Paul Tutela, MD
Livingston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.