MedRetreat – Medical Tourism

April 13, 2009

Safe, Affordable, Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

To be sure, cosmetic surgery is not for everybody.  That being said, our modern, technologically advanced society has increased our life expectancy tremendously over the past couple of decades, enabling Americans to live more active and healthier lives as never before.  As a result, many baby boomers have decided to seek out ways to turn back the clock on their physical appearances in an effort to match their more active lifestyles.

Cosmetic procedures like the face lift, neck lift, forehead lift, and eyelids, can easily make one appear 10 years younger.   However, these cosmetic procedures generally come with a hefty price tag.  The average price of a full face lift in the U.S. often runs between $12,000 and $14,000, if you include the surgeons fee, along with the anesthesiologist,  and operating theatre (OR).  

However, many Americans have discovered that there is a very safe and affordable alternative to the high cost in the U.S.  This alternative is referred to as “medical tourism,” or “surgery abroad.”   In many foreign destinations, you can obtain a full face lift  ranging in prices from $3,000 to $5,000, which includes the surgeons fee, anesthesiologist and OR.  Even after factoring in the flights and hotel accommodations, one can easily save thousands of dollars.

But before you jump online and schedule your appointment in a foreign destination, there are many safety factors that you must follow from the outset.

1.  Know the doctor.  If possible try to find a doctor that is U.S. Board Certified, so that you can back up their credentials with proof, instead of what they tell you or place on their website.

2.  Speak with at least two references about the doctor’s expertise, listening skills, bedside manner, etc.

3.  Make sure that the surgery will be performed at a full-service tertiary care hospital, or at least on the grounds of one so that a trauma team can arrive on scene within minutes in the unlikely event that something goes gravely wrong.  Many cosmetic surgeons abroad perform their surgeries at clinics that are miles away from an actual hospital.

4.  Consider having your surgery performed under local anesthesia with sedation, versus general.  For starters, local anesthesia is less expensive than general, and there is also less potential for severe adverse reactions.

5.  Allow yourself enough time to fully recuperate.  After any surgery there is a risk of infection.  You should plan on remaining at least 10 days in your destination after your surgery to insure that there is no sign of infection and you are safe to travel home.

6.  Always remember that surgery is very serious undertaking and should never be taken lightly.  Your medical retreat is not a vacation, and should never be taken as such.

7.  Follow the doctor’s orders. 

There are of course many other precautions that you must consider before traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery.  The purpose here is to simply highlight some of the more obvious ones.   For a very safe, stress-free, and proactive experience, you should consider working with a reputable medical tourism service agency like MedRetreat.  These companies have conducted significant due diligence of the doctors, hospitals, and destinations on their patients behalf.    As part of their service, they will guide you seamlessly through a structured process to best guarantee your safety.



  1. Excellent tips and things that everyone should consider.

    Comment by Apollo Health — May 13, 2009 @ 12:59 am | Reply

  2. I agree. Plastic surgery per se, involves risk. Whether you do it in the US or choose for an affordable plastic surgery abroad, the risk remains is still there. The factors listed above are very helpful to minimalize the risk. Also, patients should do a research about the surgeon, the hospital/clinic, and some background information about the surgery he/she is going to take.

    Comment by Medical Tourist — May 22, 2009 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

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