Medical Tourism: What’s More Important — Quality or Price?

The medical tourism industry has exploded in popularity over the past decade The US market size alone was valued at $448 billion in 2019 More and more people have been traveling further from home to get medical procedures done, as costs can be significantly lower in different areas For instance,... | Read More

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medical tourism quality or priceThe medical tourism industry has exploded in popularity over the past decade. The US market size alone was valued at $44.8 billion in 2019. More and more people have been traveling further from home to get medical procedures done, as costs can be significantly lower in different areas. For instance, the average cost of a facelift in the United States is estimated to be around $11,000, whereas the same procedure costs just $6,000 on average in South Korea.

The price differential makes medical tourism an attractive prospect for many individuals, especially for those who need outpatient procedures done. Dentistry, cosmetic surgery, and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are among the top reasons for medical tourism, all of which are available at significantly lower costs overseas.

However, there are concerns about whether or not procedures done abroad follow the same quality standards that hospitals in the United States do. Many individuals who consider medical tourism as an option often ask whether the savings are worth the risks of low-quality medical services.

This article will examine the pros and cons of medical tourism for plastic surgery procedures specifically, aiming to help you determine whether or not medical tourism is your best option.

Are Plastic Surgery Procedures Abroad of Lower Quality Compared to the United States?

When considering medical tourism for cosmetic surgery, it’s always worth your time to do meticulous research about the hospitals and clinics performing the procedures. You need to make sure that you will be working with an international board-certified plastic surgeon, which guarantees that your doctor follows globally recognized health and safety standards.

If you want to find out if your doctor is internally certified, organizations like the International Board for Certification in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery often have a list of certified plastic surgeons. You may also want to contact a medical consultant who can refer you to highly credentialed surgeons.

The medical tourism experience is also dependent on cultural and regional factors. The risks involved with overseas medical tourism include language barriers, poor-quality medication, and antibiotic resistance in foreign bacteria. Health standards in restaurants and accommodations may also differ from those in the United States, making the rest of your experience problematic.

When deciding on medical tourism for plastic surgery, remember to look beyond the hospital in terms of quality. It may be best to have your procedure done in a country that’s a little bit closer to home, at least in terms of culture.

choosing the right plastic surgeon

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What is the Real Cost of Medical Tourism?

Medical bills aren’t the only cost involved in medical tourism. You’ll need to factor in the cost of your travel tickets, accommodations, food, and other services. Needless to say, this all adds up, and you may find that your savings turn out to be minimal.

There is also the reality of regular check-ins to consider. Most board-certified plastic surgeons in the US will require you to undergo regular postoperative follow-up visits. This allows them to track the progress of your healing while at the same time allowing them to nip any rising complications in the bud.

Getting your procedure abroad has complicated post-operative follow-ups, as you would have to return overseas to undergo these. The same applies in case revisions are needed. Typically, a plastic surgeon would revise his or her work at very low or no cost. If the case is done abroad, the patient would have to return abroad for the revision. Having your revision surgery at a different practice or different surgeon can be challenging and costly.

Another potentially costly drawback to medical tourism is the lack of legal protection. If complications arise from suspected malpractice or negligence, US laws can help you hold your surgeon liable. These laws are often not applicable for procedures done abroad.

Why Should I Consider Domestic Medical Tourism?

For many individuals, medical tourism within their home country provides the best of both worlds. More and more Americans, for instance, have been traveling to Houston for cosmetic surgery, as the city has become a destination for medical tourism. World-class centers such as Memorial Plastic Surgery are often referred to prospective patients by medical consultants for quality and reasonable prices.

According to a survey conducted by the International Medical Travel Journal, patients are more likely to choose medical tourism destinations closer to home. Among the industry professionals who participated in the survey, 16 % responded that they have stopped accepting international patients, focusing on domestic traveling patients.

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The Myth of Balance Between Quality and Pricing

We live in a mobile world, making travel to the practice and surgeon of your choice way more convenient than in the past. You do not need to sacrifice quality in favor of lower cost.

By contrast, your goal should be to research and find the best plastic surgeon and practice for you, prioritizing quality and outcomes. The travel and cost aspects of your surgical journey are of lesser burden nowadays, and clinics such as Memorial Plastic Surgery have excellent setups, as well as financial plans and rates to ensure an exceptional experience.

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MPS Group

A group of diverse specialists from Memorial Plastic Surgery that encompasses Plastic Surgeons, Practice Managers, Physician Assistants, Insurance Specialists, Nurses, Marketers and Patient Coordinators.

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*This blog is created and maintained for informational purposes only. The images present may not accurately reflect actual cases per individual. Individual cases are unique, and the descriptions and solutions will vary per patient.

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