Medical, Legal and Financial Risks of Destination Surgery

I have noticed an increase in patients traveling to other cities and abroad in search of cheaper or “better” plastic surgery. The perceived “value” is in the eye of the patient, and although social media advertisements and promotions are pushing lower costs, patients should be aware of the risks –  which include possible complications (infection, etc),  but also failed expectations and significant additional costs  for corrective surgeries. Insurance coverage is often denied if a complication arises due to original cosmetic surgery.

It is often VERY difficult to find a local experienced plastic surgeon willing to  assume care for someone else’s surgical complication. After all,  if the local surgeon was not good enough to perform the surgery, why should they now be considered good enough for aftercare? If you end up in the ER a surgeon has a contractual obligation to see you and provide care , however, not for free. Insurance will usually deny coverage.  If considering surgery abroad, the patient has significant risks to consider in making that decision.

Dr William A Stefani

Board certified plastic surgeon