Medical tourism is the latest trend in both cosmetic surgery and travel. Here’s the set up: patients can fly to an exotic location, such as Dubai, and get cosmetic plastic surgery performed for a fraction of the price they’d pay back at home. With the money they save, they can afford to splurge on a fancy hotel or resort, where they can recover in peace, quiet, and luxury.
It seems like a win-win situation. Patients get a vacation and a makeover all at once and can come back looking “refreshed” after recovering away from the prying eyes of neighbors and co-workers. Meanwhile, the local economies get a nice financial shot in the arm while they are there. It sounds too good to be true, and it just might be.
A language barrier between you and your cosmetic surgeon isn’t particularly conducive to getting bespoke results from your breast augmentation or facelift. But that’s not the biggest danger. In the United States, patients can recognize qualified doctors by their board certifications, from such recognized associations as the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Overseas, there is no such luxury and even less recourse – both medically and financially – if something goes wrong.
The worst case scenario was illustrated recently, when a woman from Chula Vista, California chose to visit a cosmetic surgeon just across the border in Tijuana. The woman went in for a liposuction treatment – a procedure which is very low risk when performed by qualified plastic surgeons – and tragically died from a heart attack, presumably related to medical complications during or after surgery. Investigations are still underway, but already, officials have found deficiencies in the clinic’s operating areas and record-keeping procedures.
While death is a rare and extreme consequence of visiting an under-qualified cosmetic surgeon, getting disappointing results or altogether botched procedures which must then be corrected back at home, happens all too often.
With this in mind, patients may want to re-evaluate the merits of medical tourism over visiting a Newport Beach liposuction clinic or an Orange County breast augmentation specialist closer to home. Destination plastic surgery is not a wholly bad idea if in the presence of a qualified doctor. It should not be just about getting a bargain discount.
Facial surgery is among the most popular procedures performed in the United States, especially in Beverly Hills; however, there has been a recent increase in nose surgery in Mansour, a suburb in Iraq. Dr. Abbas al-Sihn has reportedly seen his patient rate jump 50 percent in the past year, and has performed approximately 1,400 nasal procedures in recent years. Along with nose surgery, Dr. Sihn performs other facial procedures, including corrective surgery for individuals who have congenital deformities or war injuries.
Due to decreased violence in the area and low cost of the procedure, Dr. Sihn’s clinic is filled with many interested candidates every day. In addition, the summer season is likely to see an even further increase in patients as students are on vacation and will have the necessary time for recovery post-surgery. Many of the female patients who undergo rhinoplasty surgery do so in order to achieve a more attractive facial appearance, which they believe will lead to marriage at an earlier age than most. Others opt for nose surgery in order to look like the women they see in movies and magazines. Rhinoplasty has often helped women feel prettier and more confident in their facial appearance.
Many international patients will also seek doctors in outside countries. Beverly Hills rhinoplasty surgeon Dr. Jason B. Diamond is one of the most sought-after facial plastic surgeons attracting patients from all over the world. This increased interest in cosmetic surgery and medical tourism has influenced the overall demand for surgeons worldwide.
This raises a valid question among plastic surgeons, parents and teenagers: How young is too young to receive cosmetic surgery?
According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 209,553 procedures were performed last year on patients between ages 13 and 19, making up about two percent of all surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures performed in 2009. The most common surgical procedures included otoplasty (ear surgery), rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction and male breast reduction (gynecomastia). Granted, reconstructive surgeries – for example, to correct birth defects or a broken nose – account for some of these procedures. But others, such as liposuction, breast augmentation, and breast reduction were certainly elective.
There is, of course, no hard and fast rule for determining the right age to receive plastic surgery. Sometimes their insecurities will be outgrown once the teen matures physically and emotionally. Doctors, parents and teens must approach the question on a case-by-case basis. There are extenuating circumstances, such as a teenager who experiences back pain due to overly large breasts, as well as gray areas, such as the 18-year old Australian girl who received a vaginoplasty, tummy tuck, and breast augmentation two years after giving birth (such procedures are commonly referred to as part of a “Mommy Makeover”). Who plays which role in the judgment call—the doctor, the parent or a minor or adult teenager—will likely remain a topic of debate as cosmetic surgery patients trend younger and younger.
Dr. Delgado opened his cosmetic surgery centers with the vision of having the best-equipped, best-staffed, and patient-friendly surgery centers in the Bay Area. He is able to achieve this distinction due to the fact that he personally supervises all aspects of running the surgery center. He spends a great deal of time mastering the latest in surgical procedures, many times requiring new equipment. If it is of benefit to his patients, he will carry it.
Since he began practicing plastic surgery in 1988, Dr. Delgado has perfected many surgical techniques of the face, breast, and body that are unique to his practice. His patients have attested to his expertise based on their surgical outcome. Many of his San Francisco Bay Area breast augmentation patients state how natural their breasts look with hardly any visible scarring.
As Dr. Delgado celebrates his practice’s 10-year tenure in the Bay Area, he also reflects on years of achievement and innovation. Over the years, Dr. Delgado has been featured in several documentaries worldwide, including a documentary by English pop singer Louise Redkamp, who wanted to show the journey of a woman seeking a “mommy makeover.” He is also internationally recognized as an expert in gynecomastia surgery, which lead to the launch of his gynecomastia specialty site and inclusion on the informative industry site gynecomastia.org.
His strive for excellence and dedication to his patients and his practice have set him apart from other San Francisco area cosmetic surgeons and have made this milestone something to celebrate.