Cosmetic surgery is surgery that is undertaken by an individual to enhance their appearance. The majority of recipients of cosmetic surgery are women; however there are a growing number of men also undergoing cosmetic procedures.
The list of procedures available is almost mind-boggling, with no part of the body immune from the potential for change. Some of the more common procedures include:
However, even though the word “surgery” in the term “cosmetic surgery” alludes to some form of cutting whilst usually under general anesthesia, there are other forms of cosmetic surgery such as dermabrasion, filler injections, and chemical peels that do not include invasive surgery.
Evolution of Medicine
It is not only the practice of medicine that has evolved and continues to evolve greatly over the years, so too has the doctor-patient relationship. In the past, the doctor was the all-seeing, all-knowing, not to be questioned arbiter of your health. These days, thanks in no small part to the proliferation of medical information in a format accessible to and understandable by laypeople over the Internet, individuals have become much more proactive with regard to their health. And the field of cosmetic surgery is no different.
Today, it is possible to check out the latest procedures on offer from all over the world from the comfort of your computer terminal. And given that the world is such a small place where information is exchanged quickly and freely, new cosmetic surgery techniques, assuming regulatory approval, are usually available in multiple countries simultaneously. However, the differential in pricing between countries for the same procedure can be quite dramatic.
Comparing Apples with Apples
Just as information flows across borders at warp speed, so too do qualifications. Gone are the days when a doctor from Thailand is considered inferior to an American doctor or an Indian doctor from an Australian doctor. Many of the doctors from the inferior aforementioned countries do their studies in first-world countries and then return home to practice private medicine in facilities that would not be out of place in the most highly rated first-world countries. The difference being that they provide the services at 30-50% of the cost of the same service in a more “established” country.
Medical tourism is the term used to describe tourists who travel to a foreign destination to undergo a medical procedure on foreign soil. Their reasoning is valid – why not undergo a procedure for a much cheaper price than what it would cost at home, from a well qualified and highly skilled medical practitioner, in a world-class medical facility, and enjoy a holiday for the same price that the procedure would cost me back home?
It is for this reason that medical tourism continues to grow. After all, the world only seems big until you get on a plane and see that, for the most, US culture permeates every corner of the universe and English is widely spoken and understood, especially by those in the medical establishment.
Written by Sharon from the Hadassah Medical Center,
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