Is it safe to have major surgery in foreign countries ? Tips for surgery abroad ?

I have booked my surgery to what seems to be a great plastic surgeon in Mexico . I went to several Drs in Ny and I can not afford a CTT - BL - BA in the states. If you could give me one tip when having surgery abroad , what would it be ?

Doctor Answers 20

Be aware of having cosmetic surgery abroad.

Standards for surgeons in facilities are generally higher in the United States in any other country. Because of this it costs more to have operations done. Be very careful about surgery abroad.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Foreign plastic surgery

I strongly caution you on traveling outside the U.S for cosmetic surgery.  Safety issues have made headlines in recent news.

Selecting a Surgeon Out of the Country

Your procedures should be performed by a #PlasticSurgeon who is board-certified and has a great deal of experience specializing in cosmetic #surgery. You will then greatly improve your chances of getting the result you desire, and, without the need for a revision surgery. It is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision and decreases your chances of requiring any revision surgeries.In addition to a one-on-one consultations with a board certified Plastic Surgeon, patients always need to be seen by their primary care doctor prior to such procedures.  We screen every patient and their medical records for risks of blood clots (DVT) and then take appropriate measure.Therefore, it may be in your best interest to not #travel out of the country for such procedures. Unless, you know the doctor or facility where the procedures take place well or have a previous experience with them, there is an increased chance of problems, #complications, or #emergencies which may lack the necessary attention as you would acquire easier within the United States.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Medical Tourism - Mexico

Hello. There are excellent medical residency programs in Mexico for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, especially in Guadalajara. You must be sure to seek information from the training of the surgeon you choose either in Mexico or in any country you go. Good luck with your choice.

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Medical tourism

Thank you for your questions.  Please exercise caution when considering surgery abroad.  You want to keep your personal health and safety as your number one priority.  I always recommend that one see a surgeon that is board certified in plastic surgery to ensure excellent results and post-op care.

All the best, 

Dr. Results
Miami, FL

Is it safe to have major surgery in foreign countries ?

Thank you for your question- as it is an important one. While there are certainly many skilled surgeons abroad, the safety standards can vary greatly depending on where you are looking and usually are not up to the level that you will find in the US. This of course is part of why having surgery in the US can be more expensive than in foreign countries. The other thing is that if you have a complication after your return home, any surgeon who agrees to treat you will obviously require you to pay for their services rendered, which could ultimately end up costing you more in the long run. 

Patrick L. Basile, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

As a doctor who has international patients

Hello, i advise all my abroad patients to stay for at least 21 days after surgery. If i could give you the most practical advise, it would be that. That way if you present some sort of complication, you will have the doctor who practiced the surgery take care of it. Best wishes.

Luis Tactuk Simo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Major surgery abroad

As a Plastic Surgeon that performs surgeries in approximately 15 foreign patient per month, i must say that the must important think you need to do, is to make sure that your Plastic surgeon, really is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. He/she must be a member of their Local society of Plastic Surgery and/or the ISAPS. Remember that it needs to be Plastic Surgery, there are a lot of intruders that called themselves cosmetic surgeon, or aesthetic surgeons, this is not the same.  After this, make sure that you speak with your Doctor by phone at least once, to confirm that he/she actually speaks English. Also ask is the staff there also speaks your language. I would recommend you to not go alone, it will be much better if you have a familiar face with you. Investigate where your surgery is going to be done, google it. Do your homework, if you choose a good Board Certified Plastic Surgeon that performs his/her surgeries in a good hospital or private clinic, you should have a good experience. 

Best of Luck,

Dr. Luis Redondo

Luis Eduardo Redondo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Surgery in foreign countries

Thanks for your question about plastic surgery in another country. There are excellent physicians and plastic surgeons all over the world so my advice to you would be to have the procedure in a place where you speak the native language – communication is key in plastic surgery to ensure the results you desire are fully understood by your surgeon. Also it can be helpful if you have a family member or friend who is actually from that country to help you navigate things. I would also consider looking into how the plastic surgeon is credentialed and where they received their training. Should you decide to have surgery in the states consider working with a plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Best of luck to you. –Dr. Coan

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Foreign surgery

Thank you for asking about your foreign tummy tuck, breast lift and breast augmentation.

One tip on foreign surgery - don't have it done unless -
  • You speak the language fluently
  • You have friends or relatives in the country who know the surgeon and know her/his work is good.
  • your anesthesia is supervised by a Board Certified anesthesiologist in a certified surgery center.
  • You meet the surgeon the day before surgery - and can cancel surgery if you are not happy with her/him.
Otherwise, you put your health and lift in the hands of a stranger.
The Dominican Republic just shut down a surgeon doing foreign cosmetic surgery - after 4 people died.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you found this answer helpful. Best wishes.

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.