Cosmetic or plastic surgery is one of the more popular reasons patients seek medical travel. Most procedures are done on an outpatient basis meaning that there no overnight stay at the clinic or hospital. The costs of the treatments at overseas hospitals can be more affordable and the risk of complications during recovery are much less compared to major surgical operations.
There are now many dedicated clinics at international hospital hubs that cater to medical travelers seeking cosmetic surgery. Brazil is the top destination dubbed the ‘World Capital of Plastic Surgery’, but Thailand and Malaysia are popular as well. Because of the focus and experience these clinic have in this specialty, the quality of the treatment can be quite high. These locations also after comfortable resort style accommodations for recovery. Below are several of the most common procedures for which patients will travel.
The face lift procedure (rytidectomy) removes or reduces the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of the face caused by age and is an anti-aging treatment. The procedure addresses face issues such as sagging skin, droopy cheeks, neck bands, and deep lines and folds. Post operative conditions include bruising, swelling, and discomfort in the face for 10 to 14 days.
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is one of the more popular treatments since it solves a small but common problem of excessive and sagging skin on the lower and upper eyelids. This causes bags or bulges under the eyes and wrinkles. Eyelid surgery reduces bulges under the eyes and excess skin above the eye improving appearance. After surgery, eyes may be bandaged for a day and swelling and bruising around the eyes may occur for one to two weeks.
Advances in hair transplanting have resulted in fuller heads of hair without the scarring typically resulting from the removal of a strip of skin. The new method called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) takes individual hairs from the sides and back of the head and then they’re transplanted individually into the balding areas. The day after the procedure the patient may resume normal activities (except for washing the hair for 3 days or as advised by the physician).
Breast surgery is performed to enhance or correct the shape of a woman’s breasts. By using implants or fat transfers from the body, breast size and volume is increased as desired or restored due to age or weight loss. Discomfort from the surgery can last for two weeks and scarring from the incisions may take six months to soften or fade.
Enhancing the buttocks is done for two reasons – to provide a rounder shape or to remove excess and sagging skin to give a more tone appearance. The first is achieved with implants or fat transfer, but the second can be achieved with a laser assisted procedure that is minimally invasive and helps sculpt the muscles of the posterior and remove excess fat.
Nose Shaping (Rhinoplasty)
The nose knows. Nose shaping surgery is often chosen to enhance and to alter the size, shape and angle of your nose. It is also done to bring the nose into better proportion with the rest of one’s face. It can be done to correct structural problems with the nose that cause chronic congestion and breathing problems as well. Bruising and swelling from the procedure will usually disappear within 2 weeks.
Several international clinics focus only on plastic and reconstructive surgery including Yanhee Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, Beverly Wilshire Medical Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Hospital da Plastica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Advanced Hair Clinics in Athens, Greece.