Cosmetic Medical Tourism in the USA
Breast Lifts are gaining on Breast Implants for first place in the Plastic Surgery Derby. One reason is that the enormous cohort known as the baby boomers dislikes the reflection staring back at them in the mirror. Although it represents only one sagging area, women in particular identify a perky bust line with youth and beauty. The affordability of the lifting procedure varies according to geographical area. Actually, all procedures are priced according to where they are offered.
Everything in the universe can be bought in the Big Apple. If it exists; it is for sale in Manhattan and the surrounding Burroughs. Manhattan is the epicenter of the state’s surgeon Super Stars. These men and women though highly skilled, have large overhead costs baked into the fee.
Yes, they are the cream of the crop, but don’t expect a bargain rate anywhere in the New York area.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the cost averages $4,672 nationwide, and varies widely according to location. In New York City, the price ranges from $4000-$6000, depending on how complicated the lift is. Also, expect to pay more in a hospital setting, as OR prices are generally not in the surgeon’s package. To bring the cost down, look for a doctor who works out of a surgery center. Breast lifts are considered ambulatory surgery. For safety reasons, make sure that the surgeon you are researching has admitting privileges in a nearby hospital. One San Juan, Puerto Rico doctor I spoke to has not had any issues for the entire length of his fifteen year career, but does have admitting privileges at several hospitals.
However, he wanted all of his fee in cash, which gave me pause. It is possible, after filling out reams of paper, that a doctor will pay only 4% in Puerto Rican income tax, which is 33% on earned income. Why, I thought to myself, should I have to carry cash? I handled the payment for my last facelift with a credit card, which is a bonus for all frequent -flier hoarders like me. I would have expected the doctor in question to at least take a personal check confirmed by TeleCheck, or be using a Pay Pal account. In the case of a personal check, this could be paid a week before the surgery, allowing ample time for it to clear.
A better deal for cosmetic surgery patients is a surgeon who will take a credit cards.
While I totally understand the need to pay cash in a foreign country, it seems to me that in the good old US of A, men and women getting elective surgery should be able to avoid the inconvenience of schlepping to their bank, and further endangering their stack of cash by stuffing it in a pocketbook. NYC does have a few muggers about, at least last time I checked. Ditto Chicago and Miami and just about any large American city.
Here is a thriftier action to take: Go West patients! Or, any other direction that gets you out of the high cost areas.
Even leaving the Big Apple for Philadelphia may net the smart shopper a few hundred dollars. Or, stay on Route 95, until you reach Baltimore or the D.C area. Yes, you will need a follow-up appointment, but that is why American ingenuity invented Air bnb. Given the fact that lots of families leave their place of birth, you may even get access to a relative’s guest room. Best not to get on their bad side! I have relatives in Pittsburgh who still like me!
Consider a mid-sized city, such as Columbus, Ohio or Pittsburgh, Pa.
Many mid-sized cities offer expertise as well as service. You may be better off with the Super Star surgeon of Omaha, Nebraska rather than the reigning star of Los Angeles. Believe it or not, some humans who are American citizens choose to live in a mid-size city rather than a megalopolis.
Where Do You Live? Links You can Use Domestically
www.plasticsurgery.org. American Society of Plastic Surgery
www.asds.org. American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery
For the above board, surgeons will also be part of another discipline, such as ophthalmology, otolaryngology, or even gynecology. It is required that these board members have two years of a cosmetic surgery fellowship before being admitted. If a doctor had a residency in General Surgery, then for this board, only one year of fellowship is needed.
.www.aacd.com (Cosmetic Dentistry).
The Joint Commission will shed some sunshine on your hospital . There exists an international component. www.jointcommissioninternational.com
For ambulatory care centers, check out www.ascassociation.org. Certification of Ambulatory Surgical Centers
Also, for surgery centers, www.acfas.org.
www.abfprs.org American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery