The idea of visiting a foreign country to undergo a cosmetic procedure may seem alien to many. Surely travelling abroad to have such operations is dangerous and unadvisable? However, in recent years there has been a boom in so-called cosmetic holidays with thousands of US and UK citizens travelling all over the world to undergo treatment. So, why have cosmetic holidays become so popular and can it really be seen as a reliable and safe way to improve our bodies?
The Cost of Cosmetic Holidays
The cost of procedures abroad is a major attraction. Significant savings can be found in Eastern Europe, South America and the Far East. For example, the cost of nose jobs is in the region of $3,000 to $5,000 in the US and £3,000 to £4,000 in the UKhowever this procedure costs just under $1400 (£900) in Bolivia or Brazil. Similarly, a face lift in the US and UK costs around $9,000 and£6,750 respectively whereas in Cuba the cost is over 80% less at around $2000 (£1,300). A tummy tuck in the US and UK costs just under $8750 or £5000 but in Lithuania the price is just over $1,500 (£1,000). Of course there are additional costs to a cosmetic holiday such as flights and accommodation. However, in the vast majority of cases there are still huge savings to be made even with these extra costs.
Are there any other Advantages?
Whilst cost is a major incentive for most there are several other factors which have led to the boom in cosmetic holidays. Medical facilities overseas have improved dramatically and even poorer areas such as Eastern Europe and South America have medical facilities on par with those found in the UK and America. Indeed, many of the doctors overseas are trained in either America of the UK. Importantly, these doctors work privately in countries where there is no social healthcare system. Therefore, it is in their best interests to provide the best service as they need a good reputation to run a successful business. Cosmetic holidays also offer the opportunity to complete all the work in one job. For example, if you had a nose job you could fly to the country the day before, have the operation, recover in a holiday destination, return for a follow up appointment and then fly home. In essence, the nose job is a small part of a standard holiday.
What about the Risks?
Cosmetic procedures are supposed to improve our looks, not destroy them. Someone going for a nose job does not want to come back with a wonkier nose and breathing problems! However, as standards have improved so much there is no greater risk of this happening abroad as there is at home. Complications can obviously occur, as with any surgical procedures. If this does happen many would feel far away from their homes and families. It is also difficult to return for follow up surgery should problems arise longer down the line.
The rise in cosmetic procedures can be largely attributed to the massive savings that can be made compared to the US and UK and improvements in medical facilities abroad. Quite simply the practitioners back home cannot compete with the prices and care offered by some of these private clinics overseas. Unless we see a dramatic reduction in costs in the US and UK it seems the popularity of cosmetic holidays will continue to rise.