There’s a growing trend in medical tourism where patients travel to exotic destinations for beauty-enhancing procedures. Bonus, it’s often significantly cheaper than having a lift, lipo or implants done back home. You go on a holiday, have a little nip and tuck elective surgery and recover in a spa-like environment, returning home looking refreshed and renewed. Talk about a transformative vacation. Of course, this is serious business not to be entered into lightly. All aesthetic procedures have associated risks and you have to do your homework to determine if your clinic/hospital and surgeon are suitably accredited, licenced, experienced and reputable. Here are a handful of countries where cosmetic tourism is flourishing.
Brazil is known as “the world capital of cosmetic surgery”. How else are you going to compete with all those Giselle Bundchen lookalikes on Rio’s Ipanema Beach? This is the place to go for such innovative procedures as the Brazilian Butt Lift and Abdominal Etching (to fake a six-pack), along with the usual body and facial makeover options. There are plenty of world renowned surgeons that operate out of high-caliber hospitals so generally speaking you’re in good, experienced hands here. The beauty is you get to rest in a nearby recovery resort with careful post-op consultations so you can enjoy a little vacay before the “new you” returns home. You probably won’t be up for caipirinhas and Carnival right after your procedure, but you can enjoy a relaxing getaway as you heal.
7. South Africa
How about a little rhino spotting after your rhinoplasty? Combining cosmetic surgery with a safari is a new big game in South Africa. Hunt around and you can find all-inclusive package deals that coordinate flights, accommodation, sightseeing and safaris along with various aesthetic procedures – call it a beauty and the beast tour. It’s a popular choice for American and UK patients who are more comfortable working with English speaking doctors. Cape Town and Johannesburg have reputable specialists operating out of private hospitals with first-world facilities serving familiar western food – and the favorable exchange rate doesn’t hurt either. Think of the side safari as a bonus incentive after a week or two’s recuperation, something to experience in the area since you’ve come all that way.