Tag: Plastic Surgery TravelView All Tags
Thinking of coming home with a more permanent souvenir from your next vacation? It may be even more of a temptation in this economic climate, but the case of Tameka Raymond -- who was all smiles in the Sao Paulo airport yesterday -- is a valuable reminder that not all beauty bargains are created equal.
Usher's wife, who gave birth two months ago, headed to Brazil for liposuction a few weeks ago. Some consider the South American country the "plastic surgery capital of the world" for the amount its residents go under the knife, but Raymond had a heart attack while entering anesthesia and never ended up having the procedure done. Not a common occurrence, but she had to be placed in an induced coma and later moved to another hospital -- probably a better one than her doc had picked out.
The economic crisis won't even spare the real housewives of South Korea: After riding high on Botox and nose jobs, newly frugal plastic surgery aficionados are, ahem, cutting back on procedures as clinics are closing down for lack of business.
In Seoul, where The New York Times reports there are more than 600 plastic surgery clinics, 20 or so have already closed, with more posting "for sale" signs in the windows. Says one surgeon:
In hard times, people always cut back on luxuries like eating out, jewelry and plastic surgery. If this is a normal recession, then these desires will eventually get reignited, and our patients will come back.
If this downturn is like the Great Depression, then we are all going to get killed off.
The good news--for those of us spending dollars, anyway--is that South Korea has gotten about 25 percent cheaper in the last six months, as the financial crisis has shored up the value of a buck. And now that you can get more than 1,200 won for a dollar--and clinics are desperate for customers--now might be the time to check out a swanky destination hospital or clinic in Korea.
· Economy Blunts Korea’s Appetite for Plastic Surgery [NYT]
· Turns Out South Korea Is Just As Shallow As Thailand [Jaunted]
· Plastic Surgery Travel coverage [Jaunted]
This Saturday and Sunday, hundreds of doctors and sort-of doctors will convene at the exhibit hall in the Dallas Market Center for the Cosmetic Enhancement Expo 2007.
The second annual exhibition is expected to draw more than 2,000 attendees, many of whom are, er, weighing their options before going under the knife. Show patrons can get discounts on plastic surgery, hair restoration and cellulite treatments, among other incentives, according to the Star-Telegram. Does this mean suburban housewives no longer need to fly to Thailand to afford their tummy tucks? Flights to Dallas from within the U.S., after all, cost at least a grand less than a round-trip ticket to Bangkok.
We hear plenty about air travel, green travel and even plastic surgery travel around here, but the one thing that's been going on ever since Marco Polo strapped on his Eagle Creek pack is active travel. With summer winding down, it's time to start thinking beyond the hammock and the paper umbrella drink.
Besides the old-school go jogging, go hiking or hitting a national park, there's a lot to see and do out there. The latest are literally all over the map:
Many consider Southeast Asia the place to get the best nip-and-tuck for your buck. The region charges some of the lowest fees in the world for plastic surgery while many clinics maintain medical reputations that rival the West.
Of SE Asian countries, most foreigners seek surgery in Thailand. Many of the reputable spa/clinics, including Phuket Plastic Surgery and St. Carlos Cosmetic Surgery Clinic also offer holistic healing services so often mimicked by faux Asian-themed resorts in the U.S.
Though the prices are cheap, Thai plastic surgery opens a whole new ethical can of worms with an already touchy subject. In addition to breast implants, Thailand's doctors are known for specializing in gender reassignment surgeries. And more Asians themselves are making appointments to have blepharoplasty (a procedure that adds a crease to the eyelid) that many consider an attempt to look more "white." We're hoping the day comes when societal pressures no longer prompt such procedures, but until then, the option is there for only a few thousand bucks.
[Photo: Steve Klotz]
You would not believe the number of emails we are getting asking about plastic surgery travel, so to help you out, we've uncovered another hot, faraway place to both explore exotic lands and get one's neck fat sucked out: South Africa.
SA and India are often more popular in the States and Britain for medical tourism than their Latin American and Southeast Asian counterparts because English is the doctors' first language, according to Lorraine Melvill, founder of Surgeon and Safari. The travel agency arranges exactly what it sounds like -- a quick nip/tuck before sending you off to recuperate where only the rhinos and giraffes witness your puffy, bruised face slowly deflate. Some (smartasses) call these trips "beauty and the beast" tours.
Travelers/patients stay at luxury-but-remote spas and safari lodges, like Montello (pictured above). If you'd like to stay out of the bush, another agency, Mediscapes, coordinates travel to medical facilities in Cape Town, and includes a list of recommended top-tier hotels nearby.
Bourgeois housewives from flyover states across America are jetting down to Central America for some - excuse us - "cut-rate" plastic surgery. On Friday's 20/20, the furry-lipped John Stossel revealed Costa Rica's secret status as the budget-priced nip-and-tuck Mecca.
A booming niche travel industry coordinates transportation to and stays in countries that offer cheaper medical care. Costa Rica Health Escapes and Arriva Costa Rica are CR-specific agencies that send their clients to hospitals/spas like Rosenstock-Lieberman Center and Martino Resort & Spa (pictured above). Other agencies, such as MedRetreat, coordinate travel to other countries with respected but reduced-price surgery, such as Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, and India.
Instead of paying the local price of more than $35,000 for excess skin removal, Lori Brown, of Nashville, scored a thigh lift, a tummy tuck, an arm lift and implants for $7,000, 20/20 reported. When folks back at the office see how rejuvenated Lori looks after her tropical vacation, they're going to be frantically booking their stay at Martino.
[Photo via 20/20]
One story could be considered an anomaly, but two stories, now that makes plastic surgery travel an official trend.
Ok, maybe counting dental work under plastic surgery travel is a bit of a stretch, but the point is once again these
cheap bastards frugal tourists are willing to travel half way around the world to significantly trim their medical bills.
The 56-year-old Benicia man went more than 6,000 miles to Hungary in March to get his teeth fixed for less than a third of the $50,000 or more it would have cost in this country.
An opportunistic outfit in the UK (insert British teeth joke here) called Hungarian Dental Travel will take care of all the travel and medical details for you.
Hungary is considered to be the dental capital of the world. They've got the biggest dental universities.
So says a director at the HDT. However, the Hungarians better watch their back. India, Thailand, and Singapore are all beginning to market medical and dental services a rock bottom prices.
Did you know the Colombians are promoting "body alteration vacations"?
Yeah, CNN reports that one girl recently flew to Bogota for liposuction, a nose job, and a boob job. Total cost? $8,000. Estimated cost to have similar work done in the States. $25,000, or so.
"Of all those people coming to Colombia, at least 3 percent come to get medical treatment, said Antonio Crespo, head of the Colombia Tours Solutions travel agency.
Columbia Tour Solutions will take care of the travel details, you just decide what body part you want reconstructed.
Couple caveats--First, U.S. laws do not protect patients treated outside the country, so if your breasts come out looking like flapjacks, or your nose still has that annoying bump, don't count on the malpractice money to ease your shattered self image. Two, this whole come-to-Columbia-for-plastic-surgery phenomenon got started by Diego Maradona, the former soccer star, who had become obese, and ended up getting his stomach stapled in Cartagena.
We are sure, if you do your research, your time under the Colombian knife will go just fine, however, we are going to stick to the beaches in Cartagena instead of the hospitals, if that is ok with you.
[Image via Colombia Tour Solutions]
· Nip-tuck tourism growing [CNN]
· Cartagena Information [TripAdvisor]