Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery in the United States vs. Overseas
Medical tourism is booming, particularly in the areas of facial plastic surgery and other types of elective medical treatments. With lower prices, long white-sand beaches and beautiful weather, it’s easy to see why exotic locales such as Costa Rica, Brazil and Thailand attract thousands of cosmetic surgery patients each year.
However, the reality is that medical tourism can be quite dangerous. Each country has different laws and regulations pertaining to surgical safety and aftercare. It can be difficult to keep track of the differences and ensure that you receive proper care before, during and after your procedure. Should you encounter complications while having facial plastic surgery abroad, what will happen? In the end, there are simply too many potential scenarios and not enough predictability.
What many people don’t realize is that a reverse trend is taking place among savvy patients. Patients from outside the United States are traveling to see experts like Dr. Rizk due to their expertise, track record of safety and excellent results.
Don’t Have Surgery Overseas
While it’s true that facial plastic surgery can be cheaper in developing countries, the quality of care is often compromised. Locating a surgeon with the skill and experience necessary to successfully perform your procedure can be more difficult overseas. Other factors to consider include the facility in which your procedure will be performed, follow-up care, and logistical factors such as travel and lodging.
But perhaps the most important factor to consider is potential complications. Complications commonly associated with medical tourism include hematoma (pooling of blood beneath the skin), infection and, in rare cases, death. Also, pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) are commonly associated with long-distance travel, and therefore with having surgery abroad.
If you do end up having complications as a result of your surgery abroad, your surgery may end up costing you more than it would have in the United States, because revision surgery is often far more expensive than the original procedure.
Even the best facial plastic surgeons in the U.S. have revision rates of five to 15 percent. What do you think the rates are in the country you’re thinking of traveling to for your surgery?
Revising the Results of Procedures Performed Overseas
Performing revision surgery (e.g., revision rhinoplasty) is one of the most daunting tasks facial plastic surgeons face. But this is where Dr. Rizk shines; one of his primary specialties is revising unsatisfactory results from other surgeons — including surgeons in other countries. Dr. Rizk thrives on such cases.
Correcting a procedure performed overseas may be difficult or challenging for a number of reasons. As with any procedure, the consult must take place before the surgery. Unlike many overseas-based surgeons who are hampered by questionable Internet connections and other issues, Dr. Rizk is able to reliably conduct initial consultations using technologies such as iChat, FaceTime, Skype and others.
Dr. Rizk’s office also offers concierge services, which means that if you’re traveling to New York for surgery, his practice will take care of everything from lodging, transportation and private duty nursing to providing information on attractions and excursions in New York City. In addition, Dr. Rizk and his staff speak several languages, which helps them accommodate patients from abroad.
Why Patients Travel from Around the World to See Dr. Rizk
Dr. Rizk is known as one of the top facial plastic surgeons in the world. He is an expert in rhinoplasty, including revision rhinoplasty and ethnic rhinoplasty. Patients often travel to see him from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and other areas of the world.
Why choose Dr. Rizk for your procedure? First and foremost, because of his undeniable track record of excellent results and his commitment to care and safety.
Another reason people choose Dr. Rizk for their surgery is that he focuses exclusively on facial plastic surgery, with a particular focus on rhinoplasty (primary, revision, ethnic) and facelift.
People also travel to see Dr. Rizk due to his skill with unusual cases. For example, Dr. Rizk is an expert at treating functional issues such as breathing problems stemming from a deviated septum or other structural issue. Dr. Rizk has the surgical skill set and technical knowhow to correct everything from drooping eyelids to hypertrophic scars and failed facelifts. Dr. Rizk has vast experience with these and other facial plastic surgery cases.
Dr. Rizk is also known for his expertise with minimally invasive techniques aimed at ensuring that his patients experience a rapid recovery. When performing rhinoplasty, for example, Dr. Rizk uses special techniques and surgical technologies such as a 3D telescope and small incisions, which encourage greater precision and avoid disturbing blood vessels. His incisions usually self-seal within about five days.
Other patients turn to Dr. Rizk due to his facelift expertise. He performs several types of facelift, always selecting the appropriate procedure based on the patient’s individual needs. His facelift technique is distinguished from that of other surgeons by the fact that he typically treats tissue at a deeper level, sculpting beneath the muscle. This leads to less swelling and bruising, better healing and less scarring.
Another aspect of Dr. Rizk’s expertise to consider is the fact that he is double board certified. Achieving double board certification is a lengthy, rigorous process that few surgeons choose to undertake. It is a step beyond medical licensure that requires the surgeon to demonstrate additional expertise by earning board certification through two different boards. To maintain board certification, surgeons must participate in ongoing education and assessment, and keep up with the latest advancements in their specialty. They also must demonstrate best practices relating to ethics, patient safety and other factors.
Most facial plastic surgeons who achieve double board certification complete a residency in otolaryngology/head and neck surgery or plastic surgery. They achieve board certification in one of those areas from the American Board of Medical Specialties or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and then move on to seek board certification in facial plastic surgery.
To learn more about Dr. Rizk’s board certification and other qualifications, please contact our practice today.
Written by Dr. Sam Rizk