I'm looking to get a Tummy Tuck and breast lift in Costa Rica. Any suggestions?

I am traveling there in the next few months. I lost 115 lbs 2 years ago (diet and exercise) I can only afford to be out of work for 1 month. I want to find out how to choose a doctor prior to traveling, what to expect on cost, if flying back a week after surgery is ok. A doctor here quoted me 15,000 for both TT &breastlift together. I can't afford that, and I've been self conscious for too long and I would like to be able to enjoy my hard earned weight loss by feeling comfortable in my own skin
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Doctor Answers 7

Selecting a Surgeon for a Mommy Makeover out of the Country

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This is a very good question. The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction. These combined 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.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Tummy Tuck in Costa Rica

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Personally I have seen patients who have had very poor results after having plastic surgery in Costa Rica. There are excellent surgeons there, but there are also surgeons who market to Americans who unsuspectingly think they'll get the same excellent results they would get in the States. Sadly not all patients can get their resulting deformities fixed, and those who can end up spending far more for the revision than had they stayed in the States in the first place. 

If you need follow up care, you'll find plastic surgeons in the States will be reluctant to take on your care. Unusual bacterial infections sometimes arise, along with unusual complications. Expect to return to your original surgeon for follow-up care.

Click on the link below to learn more about why cheap surgery can end up being very expensive. Consider saving up your money and having your surgery done by a good board-certified plastic surgeon in the States.

Good luck. 

Heather J. Furnas, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Wants advice for travelling out of country for surgery

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Thank you for asking about your mommy make-over in Costa Rica.

I understand your wanting surgery inexpensively but it is not advisable to travel out of the country.
You are smarter either waiting and saving for US surgery or splitting it into two operations, one now and one later.

Your surgical fee in the US includes post-operative care.
This is an essential part of your recovery.

Travelling abroad - you will not get that care.
You are more likely to have a complication and less likely to have the care you need.

Nor is it possible to choose a good doctor from a long distance - meeting the surgeon in advance is essential.

If you travel for the surgery, at least find a plastic surgeon near you who is willing to look after you after surgery.
Know in advance the cost per visit of any care - it will not be cheap.

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

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Medical tourism buyer beware.

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I agree with my colleagues.  Traveling out of the country for surgery is dangerous.  If you have complications when back in the states, surgeons here will not want to treat you.  If cost is an issue, consider waiting until you can afford a good Board Certified Plastic Surgeon here, or contact a teaching hospital to see if cost are lower.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Medical tourism buyer beware.

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A mommy makeover is a complex combination of operations. Convalescence will take a number of weeks. It's probably not wise to be far away from your surgeon in the first few weeks after the operation.

Medical Tourism

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Congratulations on your weight loss! I am sure that you feel much better and are looking forward to getting your surgery. That being said I would caution you about traveling abroad for surgery. While you may find a more than capable surgeon, the standards of care in many countries are not at the same level as the US. You must also factor in the cost of any post-op complications that may arise and how you will pay for that. I recommend finding a board certified plastic surgeon in your area that can work with your financial limitations. 

Patrick L. Basile, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

Cosmetic surgery and medical tourism

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It is not uncommon for patients to consider traveling to foreign countries for medical care (medical tourism).  In most cases this option is considered due to the belief that the treatment will be substantially less expensive.  For several reasons, I would suggest against traveling great distances for your surgery.  First, from a safety standpoint this is not a good idea.  A patient can have significant post operative complications which may not be obvious in the initial few days after a surgery.  If this problem occurs after you have left your surgeon, there is little he/she can do for you.  Even if you can find a doctor at home who will treat your problem, they will not be as familiar with you as your own surgeon.   Once you have calculated in travel expenses and expenses you may incur if you have to see a second surgeon at home, you may find that the cost savings medical tourism is minimal.  Ask your local surgeon if they can work with you on costs.  Occasionally, surgeons can offer a discount if a patient can fill an operating slot on short notice due to a cancellation.  Remember, you always better off if your surgeon is nearby, even several weeks after you have had your procedure.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 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.