What Do You Think of Getting a Rhinoplasty Overseas?

Doctor Answers 21

Medical tourism is a bad idea

There are many well qualified plastic surgeons and ENT surgeons in the US who can do a nice rhinoplasty for you for a range of prices. Going overseas opens you up to a miriad of problems, not the least of which is finding a doctor who is equivalently talented and trained to an American doctor. What will you do if there are problems early or late with the result? How safe is the facility - is it accreditied like an American facility? Add in the costs of travel and lodging for proper follow-up. And finally, remember that very few doctors here will be willing to see you for complications without charging you as if you were a new patient.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Rhinoplasty Overseas - Do you feel lucky??

Getting a Rhinoplasty Overseas could be a great thing or the worse mistake of your lifetime. Do you really want to increase your odds of the latter happening? I sure would not.

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. If this is the only reason your are considering going overseas, then I recommend that you consider contacting a teaching  program at one of the major University Plastic Surgical Residency clinics. The surgeries are most often performed with University Faculty supervision at low cost to the patient.

Of interest, 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 these risks.

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

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Best to have it at home

It's always best to have your surgery performed by someone in your area, since you can then see them easily if a complication occurs. There's also less stress involved and medical standards are those that you're familiar with. I usually recommend patients stay at least 2 weeks after their surgery if they do come from out of town, then find a trusted PS in their area when they return to their town.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews


There are great plastic surgeon in U.S and other countries. If you know a specific surgeon and feel comfortable with him I don't see a problem with going overseee. The main concern with having surgeries in other countries is the fllow up, uyou right as a patient and also cost of multiple trips for follow up and revision. I see this problem even in U.S when patients travel to other states for surgery and then can not get proper after care. Please do your homework and the cost of the surgery should not be the deciding factor.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

You might get a great rhinoplasty result but if you don't, watch out

There are many skilled rhinoplasty surgeons outside the U.S. They can be certified by groups such as the International Federation of Facial Plastic Surgery Societies. However, if things don't go as expected or you need a revision it may be difficult to follow-up and get the comprehensive care necessary for this delicate procedure.

Once you travel abroad, there is no legal recourse if things don't go as expected. Given a revision rate of 5 to 15% quoted for revision rhinoplasty for even the most skilled surgeons, it is important to have a continuing dialog and follow-up with your surgeon. Sometimes you may need minor treatments such as steroid injections to assure a good result. So, if you research your surgeon well you may be happy, but if you have a problem it may not be easily treated.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Rhinoplasty overseas is a bad idea

Rhinopalsty is a complicated procedure and has a revision rate of about 10%. If you run into a complication during surgery, your best chance of getting excellent care and minimizing any problems is here in US in an accredited facility.

You might find a good surgeon overseas but the quality of the facility, operating room, ancillary staff, etc will not be the same.

Also, if you need a revision surgery, you might end up paying a lot more to someone in US.

You are better off saving a little longer and using a good rhinoplasty surgeon in US and an accredited surgical facility.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Rhinoplasty Overseas

Dear Thekp,

I believe that there are many excellent and qualified rhinoplasty surgeons in the US so that patients need not go overseas for their nose job. The post operative follow up is limited.

In select cases where you have a working relationship with a surgeon it is okay to have surgery away from home, but you must be willing to travel back for any problems, or be willing to see one of your surgeon's colleagues closer to your home.

Anytime that you base your rhinoplasty surgeon choice on "saving some money" you are asking for trouble. There is good reason for the saying "you get what you pay for".

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

May not be worth the risk

The problem with having a surgical procedure in another country is post operative care. If you have any problems during your recovery it may be very difficult to get it taken care of by a local physician. This is one of the risks that you take. I would believe that the money that you save is not worth the risk.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Rhinoplasty out of the country

All Plastic Surgeons have patients travelling from outside the immediate area to seek their services. If you have confidence in your surgeon, and there is a good understanding of the procedure, care, recovery procedure, and expected results over many months, there is no problem with this action. Followup can be an issue when a patient sustains some problems after they return home.

At least in the United States, we generally have a network of fine surgeons we may contact e when you do not have access to your primary surgeon. Contact by phone and email with the primary surgeon may be possible, and the transmission of photographs can help the primary surgeon address any questions or doubts you may have, when the convenience of going to the office is not possible. Having surgery for greatly discounted fees must be weighed as well, but fees vary considerably worldwide. Take the time to be fully informed, and do plan for a stress free recovery period

Donn Hickman, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Nosejob overseas?

As said before, there are many excellent doctors throughout the world, not only in the USA but in Canada, Europe, Israel, the Far East, and Australia. If you live there or will be there for an extended period of time and speak the language, then I see nothing wrong with it. If you are asking me about traveling abroad to have major surgery and returning to the USA I feel you might be making a mistake. This is referred to as medical tourism.

It sounds like a great idea: travel to Costa Rica, have a facelift, and vacation on the beach. But no doctor in his/her right mind would let you do this here. You are dealing with not only a different set of rules but laws and you may have no recourse should a problem occur. What happens if you have a problem, even a relatively minor one when you come home? Are you prepared to spend thousands to be treated by the doctor you didn't want to use because you could get it much cheaper abroad? He is now going to take over your care and it may cost you much more than he would have charged for the original surgery and the minor complications.

Weigh all the pros and cons before deciding on medical tourism as your option.

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.