10 Questions You Should Ask about Cosmetic Surgery Abroad
When you have a cosmetic surgery procedure done, you trust the doctor doing it not only with your money, but also with your health, well-being and future look. That is a lot of trust to put in a stranger, which is why you have to have consultations not with one, but at least three different cosmetic surgeons before you decide what to do and where to go. Consultations can be done in person, but, since we are talking about cosmetic surgeries done abroad, they can also be done via Skype or some other form of long-distance communication.
When having a conversation with the potential doctor, it is vital to ask the following questions.
1. Is the doctor board-certified to work in his country?
A doctor certified by a respective medical board in the country of origin is a doctor who has undergone strict training and rigorous testing to obtain it. Also, these medical boards require strict adherence to a regulatory code of ethics for all its members and failure to follow those codes equals to a loss of certification. If the doctor is board-certified, then you can know that they are ethically sound, as well as well trained and knowledgeable about his field.
2. How many times has the doctor performed the procedure?
Experience is key for any type of medical procedure, but it is extremely important when it comes to cosmetic surgeries. The more times a doctor has performed the surgery, the surer they will be when perform it. Also, those reiterations of the same surgery enable the doctor to know what to expect and to be prepared to deal with any problems or complications that may arise.
3. Where will the surgery be performed and are there hospital privileges for recovery?
A cosmetic surgery can be done in a hospital or in an outpatient medical facility. What is important is that the facilities are certified for patient safety (here we would recommend to look for a local authorities certification to perform procedures in the facility). You also need to check whether you will have hospital privileges in case something goes wrong (you do not want to be stuck in emergency care in post-op), and whether those will be available for the post-op recovery, as well.
4. What’s the cost of the procedure?
Cosmetic surgeries are usually costly endeavors for the patients, especially because they are considered elective medical procedures. However, the price does differ significantly from one country to another. It is imperative that you establish what the exact cost of the package will be and what will be included in the surgery package. Packages should include things like anesthesia and medical facilities stay, but some of them can also include transportation and private stay, although those cases are rare. A treatment package should also contain a dedicated translator for your language, as it is vital that there are no mistakes due to miscommunication. It is important how much the procedure will cost and how much more you will need to cover living costs in another country so that you can plan your budget.
5. Are there any risks with the procedure?
Any cosmetic surgery (and any surgery in general) carries risks with it. A good, ethical surgeon will be up-front and honest about the risks going with the type of surgery that you want. Aside from general risks with any surgery, such as infection at the incision site, anesthesia complications, excessive bleeding and obvious scarring, some cosmetic procedures carry special risks, as well. If the surgeon claims that there are no risks or downplays them too much, then perhaps you should choose another one, as all ethical surgeons will warn you of all the risks before the procedure. After you know the risks, weigh them against the benefits and see whether you should really do the procedure if the risks are higher.
6. Do complications happen often and if they do, how will they be handled?
All surgeons have seen some kind of complication in reaction to their work. Sometimes, this has nothing to do with the surgeon’s skill, but instead with how the patient’s body heals. It is important to know how often the surgeon sees complications in their practice and how they handle it. Does the surgeon have admitting privileges at a local hospital, if the procedure is done in an outpatient facility? Once you know how often complications happen and how they are handled, you can know whether you should proceed with the surgery.
7. How long does recovery last and will I need help?
Post-op recovery for plastic and cosmetic surgeries can last a few weeks, up to a month or two, depending on the procedure. You should know how long it should take so that you can prepare and arrange things for that time period. Also, you should know whether to have someone (a relative, a significant other, or a nurse) available if you need help.
8. What if I’m not satisfied with the results?
Each surgeon has their own views and rules regarding the revision surgery should you now be satisfied. This is best fleshed out early, while discussing about the procedure, as no one can guarantee that the surgery will be done exactly the way you want it to. Depending on the surgeon, revision surgeries will usually be done at a reduced price, but you will still have to fully pay for the costs of anesthesia and the medical facilities. This is why choosing a surgeon you can trust and one who is truly an expert is so important – to avoid revision surgeries.
9. What kind of anesthesia can I expect and who will administer it?
There are three types of anesthesia usually involved in cosmetic surgeries: general anesthesia (where they put you asleep), local anesthesia (where only the part of the body that is under the procedure is numbed and you are otherwise conscious), and IV sedation (where your state of consciousness is altered). All of these carry risks with them, and it’s up to a skilled anesthesiologist to do their job properly by staying with you throughout the procedure and monitoring you when you wake up.
10. Are there any examples of the doctor’s past work?
Finally, it is important that you check former patients of the doctor and see what they’ve had to say about the procedure that you wish to do. If possible, contact them yourself. If not, look for reviews and testimonials online. Be sure to find more than just positive reviews about the doctor and see whether someone has had some negative feedback or any complications.
Cosmetic surgeries can have a profound effect on both your body and the mind. A botched cosmetic surgery can have even more effects. When choosing to have a cosmetic surgery, you have to be perfectly informed about risks, costs, benefits, and, most importantly, the surgeon and his staff. Asking the questions above is only the first step, so be sure to dig deeply in order to be sure you can place your trust in the surgeon that you’ve chosen.
If you wish to know more about the cosmetic surgery packages that are available on our website, or need our help deciding, feel free to contact us!