Medical tourism is expanding in popularity and utility at an alarming rate. The alluring nature of international travel to accommodate both the desire for affordable plastic surgery procedures and an exotic vacation is a dream within reach for many. Despite common misconceptions, top quality care is not a sacrifice in this industry. In fact, some destinations have become plastic surgery capitals for their specialized practices. Culture and demand shapes which trend will dominate a particular region and can serve as a guide for where to plan your next “plastic vacation”.
For instance consider the prevalence of Rhinoplasty procedures in Iran. Social norms in Iran promote modesty. The hijab is a religious veil/ headscarf worn by some Muslim women that blankets the head and neck but leaves the face uncovered. Because of this, facial features are more prominent, especially the nose. In efforts to achieve the Hollywood “look”, rhinoplasty procedures are conducted four times as much in Iran than any other country, making it the nose-job capital of the world. The post-op bandage is even regarded as a symbol of prestige!
“Rhinoplasty is around $2500 to $3000, but for an additional $3500 to $4000, you get a special package that includes all hotel and transportation fees, and additional pre- and post-surgery consultations.” (Yoon 2015)
In addition to your new smeller you can enjoy the ancient architecture and historical ruins that this getaway has to offer.
Brazil is known for their beautiful beaches filled with curvaceous women. A thin body shape has never been of preference there. Emphasis on a thick, lower body illustrates the peak physical aesthetic for Brazilians. Only recently has the request for a fuller body made its imprint into the cultural psyche. The hourglass figure is a prototype that many who aren’t naturally endowed can recreate through plastic surgery. Brazil is second only to the United States in breast augmentation but takes first place in buttock augmentation.
“Starting in the neighborhood of $4000 to $5000, a trip to Brazil for breast augmentation (including all fees associated with the surgery) comes with 4-8 nights in a luxurious hotel. They have similar packages for butt augmentation, which require a minimum seven days of recovery.” (Yoon 2015)
A trip filled with warm sun and cute buns would be hard for anyone to resist.
China is leisurely creeping its way towards western ideals and with that comes the assimilation into their standards of beauty. Eyelid surgeries among other facial reconstruction procedures are gaining way as facets in their developing tourist economy. The prices may not be as competitive as their western rivals, with double eyelid surgery ranging around $1500. The experience however and quality care make up for any financial concerns. CEO of the Medical Tourism Association Johnathan Edelheit says,
"There's a huge rise in investment in building high-quality resorts, like 7-star resort hotels, designed for the patient experience," Edelheit said. "A patient has the feeling that they're being pampered, being able to recover in that environment. If you're in a more natural, happier environment, you'll recover faster."(Terrero 2014)
But it does not stop there! How about a trip to Barbados! The Caribbean is a formidable addition to the medical tourism market. A growing demand for an all inclusive health care system has even influenced some partnerships with western based medical practitioners. New to the scene, Barbados offers a bevy of cosmetic service packages. A trip to the island in the sun for liposuction for example, includes 24hr concierge service from arrival to departure, 7 days stay at a luxury hotel, and a spa package for around $9,000 (surgical and operating room fees included). Take your time to recover and take in the sights or spend the time in one of the many luxurious hideaways on the island.
Your “plastic vacation” awaits you!
1. Terrero, N. (2014, August 25). Medical Tourism: Bargain Plastic Surgery on the Luxe. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
2. Yoon, A (2015,September 10). The Travel Makeover: Plastic Surgery Tourism is a Real Thing. Paste