Medical tourism: It’s a fairly new idea, but it’s one that’s growing more and more popular every year—especially as U.S. healthcare costs continue to rise. People head down to Mexico, up to Canada or halfway across the world thinking they can get the same medical treatment elsewhere, only at a much lower cost.

However, while the numbers on the bill might be lower initially, the costs of traveling abroad for medical care typically end up being much higher in the end—both financially and physically. This is especially true for a practice as specialized as plastic surgery, which requires up-to-date training and education every year. If you’re thinking of heading down to Mexico instead of seeing a plastic surgeon in San Antonio, here’s why you might want to think again:

  • You need to stay close to home. The biggest problem with medical tourism is that you’re far from home. For one, that’s bad if you have complications. You don’t want to be hundreds of miles away from your family should something go awry—that’s both dangerous and emotionally distressing. Secondly, traveling long distances isn’t good when you’ve recently been on an operating table. Your body needs time to heal and rest, and that means staying at home in bed until your body is ready.
  • You want a surgeon who is board certified. Board certification is crucial when selecting a plastic surgeon. It shows the medical professional has gone above and beyond simple licensing requirements and has truly become an expert in the craft. Mexico doesn’t have a board certification program, so telling the difference between one surgeon and the next can be quite difficult.
  • Travel and hotel stays cost money, too. If saving money is your only goal, make sure to consider more than just the initial cost of the surgery. Take into account the costs of flights, hotel stays, accommodations for any friends or family members who join you, as well as food, drink, tips and care while you’re there. It can add up quickly—especially if you’re going to be staying awhile.

Your choice of a plastic surgeon shouldn’t only be decided in terms of cost savings. Remember, this person will be operating on your body and will have your life—and your physical appearance—in their hands. Make sure you choose your surgeon by skill and experience alone, and don’t let cost be the ultimate deciding factor.

Ready to forego the idea of a surgery in Mexico and stay close to home? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Elizabeth Harris today—the premier plastic surgeon in San Antonio.