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So you want to save money on the breast augmentation that you have been dreaming of having?

Or maybe it’s a tummy tuck.

Or a facelift.

Whatever aesthetic enhancement that you are contemplating, you may have heard that by traveling to other countries where inexpensive cosmetic plastic surgery is advertised, you can save a lot of money. In many cases, this can amount to thousands and thousands of dollars. And, the marketing information promises well trained plastic surgeons, excellent care, modern or well-equipped facilities and recuperation in luxury hotels all for a fraction of the price that you would pay in the United States.

Practitioners in countries around us like Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia and Brazil seek to attract this lucrative business but realize that your best interests are not necessarily their number one priority. The top consideration of most is just to make a lot of money.

Gee, what a surprise!

Known as medical tourism, you can surely place your health and life at risk when having your cosmetic surgery performed in another country like Columbia or Mexico. Of course, there are some very reputable international centers renowned for plastic surgery but, as always, it should be buyer beware.

I have written about this in the past with the two most recent blogs being “South of the Border is Usually a Bad Choice When it Pertains to Plastic Surgery” and “Scar Revision for Hypertrophic Facelift Scars Resulting From Surgery Performed South of the Border” . In these, Mexico was prominently mentioned. Though problems can occur anywhere, Columbia has also been a major destination for Americans seeking plastic surgery procedures with around 75,000 visiting in 2016.

In Columbia as well as elsewhere, you generally don’t have anywhere near the same level of skill and protections there that we have in this country. Many of the practitioners that advertise and perform cosmetic surgery in Columbia are not plastic surgeons. Or even doctors. It is not rare for some of them to even have little to no medical training. Though their credentials may appear legit, they might have been obtained fraudulently through bribery or other means – not insignificant problems at least in the past. So, you can do your research and think that you are getting a well-trained, reputable plastic surgeon when in actuality he/she may just be a dentist or even a masseuse.

Surgery that is performed in a substandard fashion or worse may leave you with little or no recourse there including an inability to pursue corrective surgery. Of course, you may have little faith or desire to have it redone there no matter the cost. There are often challenges finding a plastic surgeon back home willing to assume your surgical care including considerations for revisions and even reconstruction.

Financial issues can be really problematic and there is often little recourse for legal action. It is not rare that the ultimate total financial costs to you by going through this medical tourism route including the subsequent care, corrective surgery, etc. far exceeds what you would have paid to be treated by your local plastic surgeon. Furthermore, you could have avoided all the extreme stress, aggravation, and time off from work, school or other activities.

And, you would probably not have had to deal with permanent, undesirable and unnecessary scars, deformities and other sequelae from your improperly performed surgery.

So if you are considering having your plastic surgery done outside of the United States such as in a country like Columbia, you really must think long and hard about this approach.

And then think again!

And again!

If you would like information on any plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a consultation, please call my office at (480) 451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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A Message Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19

In light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to let you know of some of the major precautions we are taking in our office to maximize cleanliness and keep the environment as sanitary and safe as possible. Our highest priority is always to ensure the safety of every individual who sees us and we are taking extreme infection-control measures to maintain cleanliness and “sterility” of surfaces and the overall environment.

We will be limiting dates and times for office appointments and consultations due to safety and other issues. Consequently, if you have already made an office appointment or consultation prior to March 18, 2020 to occur at a later time, this may need to be changed.

For anyone considering plastic surgery, we are now offering Virtual Consultations and Telemedicine through Skype. A great number of aesthetic or insurance-related issues can be evaluated via pictures and online video conferencing, making this an excellent way to find out more about particular procedures, determine candidacy for treatment, receive answers to questions and facilitate being able to move forward with care once the government lifts all restrictions.

In an abundance of caution, we are asking all current patients who are experiencing a fever, cough, chills, fatigue or any type of respiratory illness to please delay any upcoming appointments at our practice. We can talk with you by phone or email to establish a new date and time for the appointment.

We are all in this together. Our team urges everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by local health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include frequent handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, social distancing, staying home if you are feeling sick, and contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you are experiencing symptoms.

For more information, please read our blog – Coronavirus and You: Important Information

For further updates, please check our blog.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us by phone or email.