Domestic Medical Tourism: Is it Right for You?
Plastic surgery is usually considered an elective procedure that is not covered by insurance. Without insurance restrictions, patients may look outside the boundaries of their own communities to find the best surgeon for their specific needs. What has become known as “medical tourism” has its definite perks, but it also features some serious pitfalls. If you are considering travel as part of your plastic surgery plans, there are a few things you need to know. Choosing a Surgeon One advantage to traveling for your plastic surgery is cost. In some areas of the country, cost of procedures is much lower than in others. However, cost should not be the only driving factor in selecting a surgeon. To ensure your health, safety and a successful outcome, choose an experienced, board-certified surgeon that will take plenty of time with you to help you select the best procedure for your needs. There is plenty of information online today that allows you to carefully research surgeons before you even leave the comfort of home. Sharing Information Technology allows for the transfer of patient information from one practice to another nearly instantaneously. Electronic medical records (EMRs) can be shared between doctors so the plastic surgeon you choose will have full access to your medical history and current medications. The surgeon can also share your information about your plastic surgery with your primary care doctor, so you can receive the same level of care when you return home. Considering Travel Costs Even if you find a qualified plastic surgeon with lower rates in another area, travel costs may negate your potential savings. Airfare, hotel expenses and the cost of food during your stay can add up very quickly. For some patients, the ability to travel to a new area and see the sights prior to their procedure allow them to combine a vacation and surgery into a single trip. In this case, the travel costs may not be as important as the location of the plastic surgeon. Recovery and Follow-Up One of the biggest concerns with domestic medical tourism is the question of recovery and follow-up after your procedure. Most plastic surgeries involve at least a few days of recovery, during which time it might not be safe to travel. Once you can safely go home, you still may need a point of contact in case any complications arise after your trip. While these concerns don’t have to keep you from traveling for your surgery, they should be carefully factored into your plans to ensure your procedure is as safe as possible. Dr. Mashhadian sees patients from across the globe, due to his excellent reputation as a skilled and caring plastic surgeon. With an office in the heart of Beverly Hills, patients also enjoy the sights during their visit to his practice. To learn more about Dr. Mashhadian and the procedures he offers, contact Rodeo Surgical Art at 310-652-4500.