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6 Reasons You Shouldn’t Get Liposuction & Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

Table of Contents

Published on Nov 6, 2023 By: WIFH Staff

Why It’s a Bad Idea to Get Liposuction & Other Cosmetic Surgeries Abroad

Getting a liposuction and other surgical cosmetic procedures abroad has increased in popularity over the last decade. Some people may find flying out of the country to get liposuction enticing because of the potentially cheaper price tag – but many don’t understand the risks involved with liposuction abroad.

Because it’s crucial to put your health and safety first, below we’ll share the reasons why getting liposuction and other cosmetic procedures abroad is not such a great idea – despite the potential cost savings.

Reasons NOT to Get Liposuction & Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

1) It’s Difficult to Verify Credentials

In the United States, we have many accreditations and governing boards that license cosmetic surgery providers to ensure the provider is properly trained and credentialed to perform the procedure. Although there are accreditations available internationally, they are far less common and can be hard to verify if the provider does not explicitly disclose them. You will not see anything but a website or maybe have a zoom call before you are trusting your body to someone whose credentials you cannot verify and who you will not meet in person until you have already traveled for your procedure.

2) It’s Hard to Attend Follow Up Appointments

Attending post-procedure checkups can become challenging and expensive if you receive your procedure abroad. Every liposuction provider has different post-procedure protocols – but many will want to see you one to two months following the procedure and every couple of months after that. This is to ensure that your liposuction recovery is going well and to monitor your progress.

In addition, flying back and forth from the U.S. to a foreign country is expensive and time consuming. Many clinics out of the U.S. may not have specific mechanisms for follow-up because most patients don’t follow-up. If you do it will likely be online and while video calling is great, your physician cannot do a complete exam to assess your results or address problems in that format. This increases your risk as a patient for possible adverse events due to the physician not being available to you for questions and concerns. Also, if the results require an additional “touch-up” or “retouch” you will have considerable additional time and money spent to receive this care.

3) Flying After Liposuction Poses a Health Risk

Flying after a fat reduction procedure like liposuction can pose some severe health risks. Patients traveling by plane for a liposuction procedure abroad are at a greater risk of deep vein blood clots in the legs (KDVT) and as a result, pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) which can be deadly. The risk is highly variable and individual given the medical condition, length of flight, age, extent of surgery and other factors. Most doctors recommend patients wait at least 3 days up to 2 weeks after liposuction to fly.

If you do, you need to wear compression leg garments, stay well hydrated, and move about the cabin frequently to decrease risk of embolism. Post flight, any new onset swelling in the lower leg or legs, shortness of breath with exertion, shortness of breath at rest, cough or chest pain should be investigated immediately by a physician’s office or hospital.

4) No Legal Protection

When someone receives any procedure in the U.S., there are malpractice laws in place to protect them if any complications arise – or if there is negligence at play. Unfortunately, these laws do not protect people who decide to receive procedures outside of the U.S. The malpractice laws in our country could save you from expensive medical bills due to subpar work from your surgeon.

5) A Doctor in The U.S. May Not Assume Your Aftercare

If complications arise following your liposuction surgery, you will need to find care in the U.S., but this can be difficult. Who will you see? Most surgeons do not provide care for postoperative complications of surgeons out of the country. It is a legal and professional risk to the surgeon when they have no idea of the potential problems that another physician may have created for a patient. There is also significant legal risk to the surgeon assuming care because of medical liability laws in the United States.

There are many unexpected consequences of surgery that can occur several days after when patients are home that require hospitalization like DVT and PE, infections to the surgical site,  and other  complications. There is also a potential that health insurance may not cover treatments that are the result of a complication of cosmetic surgery done out of the country.

6) Navigating Foreign Health Systems After a Complication

If you have a severe unexpected complication and have to be hospitalized abroad, how can you be assured you have the same level of care a U.S. hospital would provide? Can you speak the language or will there be communication barriers? Who will pay for your care? If you are hospitalized and then face recovery at your destination before being able to come back to the U.S. who will assist you? Where will you stay and who will pay for your lodging? These are all very real possibilities you need to have answers for before you even consider having surgery elsewhere.

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Stay Safe and Look Amazing with WIFH

The medical spa staff at WIFH has dedicated themselves to offering their luxury services and high-quality care that produces great results. Our doctors are available for follow ups and consultations on a daily basis. Remember that the cheapest option is not always the safest or the best, and you deserve the best results possible. It’s your body, life and health. Don’t scrimp on any of those things by traveling abroad for cosmetic procedures based solely on a price and a few pictures on a website.

If you are interested in the Smartlipo procedure, book your complimentary consultation today by giving us a call at (404) 832-0300. Or you can fill out our contact form below.

Paul E. Cox, MD, MS

Dr. Paul Cox MD, MS is the Owner and Medical Director of WIFH, serving the Atlanta-area community as a physician for over 20 years. A 1999 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Dr. Cox completed his residency in Family Medicine in 2002 and is board certified in both Family Medicine and Anti-Aging Medicine. He has been licensed in Georgia since 2001. As one of the first physicians trained in Smartlipo in 2007, Dr. Cox has performed thousands of Smartlipo laser liposuction procedures without complication. He has been performing cosmetic injectables since 2003 and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the world of aesthetics.