Jet set plastic surgery tries to spread its wings in spite of risks

March 13, 2012

Can you imagine combining a facelift and a safari?
Can you imagine combining a facelift and a safari?

For reasons that are puzzling to those of us who adore the comfort of our own beds, rich and famous socialites and celebs have always headed to distant shores for plastic surgery. But now, Huffington Post.com, February 28, 2012, reports that new companies have raised the luxury bar and “jet set surgery” is a growing trend. “Jet set” not only means away from home it means someplace gorgeous, including extras like a personal escort and the promise of vacation.

Medical travel companies, like “Surgeon and Safari” are popping up all around the world. If you want to deal with lions, tigers and a face lift, you fill out an online questionnaire, undergo surgery in South Africa and recover while on safari or in a Cape Town hotel at a price that may be significantly less than what you would pay for just the facelift in the United States.

The Half Moon Club in Jamaica hosts “Botox weekends.” A plastic surgeon from New York is flown in to inject guests with Botox and perform eyelifts and liposuction at a nearby hospital.

According to ELLECanada.com, Venezuela’s International Surgery Center on Margarita Island has an all-inclusive package with a choice of accommodations, pre-travel medical evaluation, personal escort, interpreter services and unlimited email and phone support back home after the surgery.

People also travel abroad for surgery, points out the Huffington Post, to undergo procedures that may not be FDA-approved in the United States. For example, various breast implants sizes and materials may not be available in the US for safety reasons.

Clinics abroad may provide a lower price and privacy but a plastic surgery/vacation has built-in problems. Following surgery, you will be instructed to avoid the sun and physical activity, which are chief vacation ingredients. Some American plastic surgeons are working to educate consumers about the dangers of these travel deals. The Huffington Post quotes plastic surgeon Alan Matarasso, a spokesman for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), interviewed by Forbes.com, “The reality is you can’t sit in the sun after major surgery, and flying after surgery increases your chance of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).”

DVT is not the only problem. According to ASAPS, American plastic surgeons are seeing an increased number of medical tourism patients returning with complications, mostly infections, but also dehiscence (wound separation), contour abnormality and hematoma.

If you are still considering an exotic plastic surgery locale, at least discuss your plan, including where you will receive aftercare, with a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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