Is it a good idea to travel for breast augmentation surgery?
In general, having surgery out of the country or even far from your home is not a great idea. If you have family in the area who have had successful outcomes with the same surgeon so you know the plastic surgeon by reputation.
It sounds as though saline implants are being used – given the cost. So a few questions – will you have have a pre-operative visit at least the day before surgery to choose your implant, implant size and placement?
How long will you stay after surgery – 48 hours is a good idea. Will you be able to return to the surgeon for follow-up and for care of complications?
Follow up visits are usually 1 week after surgery, an optional visit at 2 weeks and again at 6 months. Are you happy with the plastic surgeon’s qualifications?
What is the surgeon’s policy if you have a complication, e.g. an infection that requires implant removal, a capsule, a need or desire to change the implant? If this is all planned, I see no reason not to use this surgeon.
The main issue with any type of surgery performed “far” from home is follow up and care for potential complications. Regardless of the surgery, no surgery is risk free. If you were to develop a complication that requires either antibiotics for infection, or surgery for bleeding, wound healing problems or implant issues, you will still have an added expense to take care of these issues when you are back at home in the U.S. Peace of mind is worth the added cost to have surgery close to home.
Surgery in Mexico
I am a board certified plastic surgeon in the U.S. with a practice on the Mexico border in El Paso, TX. I have many patients who have gone to Mexico to have surgery thinking that they will save some money.
Many need 2 or 3 surgeries to deal with a much higher complication rate after developing an infection, severe capsular contracture, malposition or asymmetry to name a few. When I remove the implants they are often different styles and sometimes even different companies.
Mexico does not have the sane safeguards and requirements that the U.S. does. Not all surgeons in Mexico are bad but you are taking a much higher risk by going outside of the U.S.
If you do have a complication, many U.S. surgeons will refuse to see you since you went elsewhere for your initial surgery. Is your body worth a little more investment to ensure great results with a low complication rate? Thats the real question. (Richard Dale Reynolds, MD, El Paso Plastic Surgeon)
Having a breast augmentation in Mexico? Good or bad idea?
I would strongly discourage you from traveling outside of the US for cosmetic surgery. Finding a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon assures you that your surgeon has gone through rigorous training and testing. If a seriouscomplication happens you are left with poor legal rights. Be smart and find somebody local you can trust. (Christian A. Prada, MD, FACS, Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon)
Travel for surgery good idea?
Your concern over the travel to another country for surgery is a personal red flag. Listen to yourself as you know the answer to your question. If all goes without a hitch great. If anything happens that was unforeseen your “cost savings” will be gone.
More importantly, I fear for the health of those that travel to unregulated locations for elective surgery. I quickly searched for an article on medical tourism in Mexico an found the following attachment. Please be careful (David Shifrin, MD, Chicago Plastic Surgeon)
With so many excellent Plastic Surgeons in the US it makes no sense to travel to Mexico for a breast augmentation (Frederic H. Corbin, MD, Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon)
I would STRONGLY advise against this. Sure you know folks who have had surgery without complications, but….what if you do? How are you and your doctor going to deal with this?
Also, in our community the physicians who have lost their licenses or are restricted by the board of medicine have been known to practice outside of the country where their privileges, ethics and talents may not be so carefully scrutinized. Are these the hands in which you want to put your life and looks ?
Then there are the issues of anesthesia, quality/type of implants, sterility, post-op care etc, etc. What if you have some problems – who is going to see you here? Call around to ask if any of your local (Board Certified) plastic surgeons will see you if you have surgery out of the country.
Need I say more? There are lots of highly qualified MDs and surgeons outside the US borders, but traveling away from your home base for procedures, unless the physician/facility (like an academic center) are unusually qualified and can provide care that cannot be obtained elsewhere (like specialized cancer treatment), is a BAD IDEA. (John Strausser, MD, Sarasota Plastic Surgeon)