How to find a good cosmetic surgeon abroad? Choosing a plastic surgeon who performs your operation is one of the most important decisions in the process of preparation for surgery. If you plan to undergo a cosmetic surgery abroad, the choice becomes even more difficult because usually you do not have direct contact with the doctor. Planning to undergo plastic surgery abroad requires different preparation and is more complicated than planning to undergo plastic surgery in the country of residence. In this article I will focus on how to choose a good cosmetic surgeon abroad.
Medical tourists who are planning to obtain different types of procedures than plastic surgery will also find this tips useful. Fell free to comment.
1. Obtain the information on a procedure you are planning to do
You should search for the detailed information on the surgery on the Internet and you should talk to your friends who have already had this procedure. If you are searching on the Internet, you should become familiar with the information devoted to this issue. I suggest using professional sources of information like websites of plastic surgery societies eg. International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (www.isap.org), The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surery (http://www.surgery.org/consumers/procedures) or American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (http://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org). You should gain knowledge of eg. the types of surgery, the types of implants (if needed), the course of the surgery, anesthesia, recovery, and possible risks and complications, etc. This knowledge will help you talk to a surgeon (you will know what to ask) and choose the right doctor. You also need to know what result of the surgery you want to achieve.
2. Check the clinics reviews
Choose country /countries you take into consideration and search for plastic surgery clinics. Then check the opinions of individual plastic surgeons. It is essential you seek a good specialist in the type of procedure you want to undergo. If you want eg. breast augmentation, but you find opinions that this doctor is a very good plastic surgeron and he is a specialist in rhinoplasty and facelift- these opinions have little use for you. It would be good if your friends or family recommend you the specialists abroad. The opinions of friends, family are more reliable and you can directly ask them about every detail. Unfortunately, you cannot completely rely on reviews on the Internet. Some patients have, for example unrealistic expectations or do not follow the postoperative recommendations. Then they may suffer from the complications and have a negative opinion about the surgeon, but it is not necessarily his fault. People also have a different sense of aesthetics, so the effect of the surgery that they like you may not. I know from experience that it is hard to find a large number of opinions about plastic surgeons abroad, so I encourage you to share your opinions and thoughts on the forum.
3. Before and after photos
Doctors have photographs of their patients before and after surgery. If they are not available on the website ask for them. Look at them carefully and consider whether you like the effects of the surgeries. Pay particular attention to people with a similar problem as yours. If you want to do breast augmentation pay attention to effects of the surgery on people with similar baseline features like breast shape and size as yours. Ask the doctor if the effect you expect is feasible.
4. Check the qualifications of the surgeon
It is natural that you don’t trust a plastic surgeon abroad and you want to verify his education, experience and occupational activity. It is important that the doctor who will perform your surgery has a specialty in plastic surgery, not general surgery. Remember to ask about certificates, international internships, membership of national or international plastic surgeons societies (if he confirms membership you can verify it). Ask how the doctor learned to perform surgery you are planning to undergo and how many times (how often) has he performed it. It is best to seek the doctor who has at least 7 years of experience in performing the procedure that you want to do. You may also ask about the doctor’s experience in operating foreign patients.
5. Language skills
If you decide to do plastic surgery abroad and you will be served in a language other than native in the country eg. English, verify that the doctor (and not only him) sepaks fluent English. Usually the first consultation takes place by email or by videoconference. Sometimes pre-qualification is made by a nurse or someone else from the medical staff. However, it is very important to make direct contact with the surgeon.
6. Is the doctor trustworthy?
The patient must be convinced that the doctor will do everything possible to achieve the intended purpose. The surgeon during a consultation should listen what the patient wants to change and what he expects. The doctor should ask if the patient does not have hypertension, diabetes or other diseases that may affect the intraoperative, postoperative course, and the result of the surgery. The physician should fully inform the patient about the pre-operative assessment, course of the surgery, anesthesia, postoperative care, possible result of the surgery and possible risk and complications. Some specialists recommend consulting two surgeons to compare their aproach to the patient.
After the consultation you may ask yourself few questions which can help you decide if that doctor is a right specialist for you:
If you have any doubts I suggest you having a consultation with another surgeon.
In summary, undergoing surgery carries a risk of very serious complications. You have to realize that you do not buy a result of plastic surgery- bigger breasts, smaller nose- you buy a procedure. No doctor will give you a 100% guarantee of success. If you decide to undergo plastic surgery you should do your best to find the best surgeon. That gives you a good chance to avoid disappointment. I wish you a good decision!
See more: 43 questions to ask your plastic surgeon before the surgery, click here
1. International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Medical Travel Guide. http://www.isaps.org/medical-travel-guide/
2. Neil Lunt, Richard Smith, Mark Exworthy, Stephen T. Green, Daniel Horsfall and Russell Mannion. Medical Tourism: Treatments, Markets and Health System Implications: A scoping review. OECD http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/48723982.pdf
3. Thomas B. McNemar , John LoMonaco , Mitchel D. Krieger Bariatric Plastic Surgery: A Guide to Cosmetic Surgery After Weight Loss. Addicus Books, Inc. 2008, Nebraska
4. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Choosing a cosmetic surgeon. http://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/patient-resources/choosing-a-cosmetic-surgeon/
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