Cosmetic Tourism In A Post-Pandemic World: What You Should Consider Before Booking a Flight
Things to consider before booking a flight for a cosmetic procedure
Nearly 82% of people are in a “ready to travel” mindset in 2022, according to one survey of 1,200 American travelers by Destination Analysts. With many pandemic-related restrictions having since been lifted and the return of international travel, booking a cosmetic procedure abroad may sound appealing to many, especially when considering the low prices involved. From the reasons behind the spike in interest to the vast array of popular procedures and the risks involved, here’s what you should know before booking a flight.
The Rise in Post-Pandemic Cosmetic Surgery
Plastic surgery is on the rise in the United States, with more than three-quarters of US plastic surgeons saying that their services are more in demand now compared to before the pandemic, according to one survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The survey, which was conducted in June, involved 300 ASPS members. 40% said that patients would pay anything to feel good and more confident. The members also cited the amount of time people spent scrutinizing their own appearances during Zoom meetings as contributing to the business boom.
When it comes to the popularity of heading abroad, Healthline notes that the price is a major factor for many, pointing out that people can save 40 to 80 percent for plastic surgery by traveling abroad (depending on the procedure and country). With cosmetic procedures oftentimes coming with a hefty price tag in the U.S., the cheaper prices overseas can already be a driving factor behind wanting to book a flight elsewhere. And, when considering the current economic climate and the fact that many are struggling in the wake of inflation in a post-pandemic world, it’s not illogical to think that cheaper procedures elsewhere are likely to look even more appealing to many — not to mention the itch for travel that many have after pandemic-related restrictions.
A Variety of Options
When looking at the most popular cosmetic procedures in recent years, Allure notes that both 2020 and 2021 were pivotal years for facial plastic surgery, going on to note that “Despite the national pause on elective procedures in 2020, three of the top five most performed surgeries were on the face, according to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.” While rhinoplasties, eyelid surgeries, and face lifts topped the list, other plastic surgery options have also gained traction. While facial procedures are waning in favor of body procedures, the article explains that body-contouring procedures are surging, and ear-pinning is on the rise as well.
While breast augmentation has always been a popular cosmetic surgery, intimate cosmetic procedures are another option. Surgical vaginal tightening or vaginal rejuvenation is just one worth mentioning. The surgery, in which alterations are made to the lining of the vaginal canal, muscles of the vagina, and the perineum, aims to address vaginal laxity and a decrease in muscle tone that can be caused by childbirth, age, genetics, and various other medical conditions. For those seeking vaginoplasty for vaginal reconstruction after childbirth, note that benefits after surgery can include improved sexual satisfaction and boosted self-esteem.
Understanding the Risks
While all surgeries come with risks, additional considerations and risks are involved when choosing to get elective cosmetic surgery abroad. In fact, one recent audit from The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) found that the number of patients being treated for serious complications following cosmetic surgery abroad is a major problem, with “324 patients requiring surgery after returning to the UK in the past four years.” With the annual number has risen by 44% in 2021 compared to the previous year, having surgery done abroad isn’t something to take lightly. To further highlight the matter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that infectious disease, communication challenges, and continuity of care are just a few risks involved with medical tourism.
Going abroad for cosmetic surgery is nothing new, though a renewed sense of interest in cosmetic surgery on a nationwide level speaks volumes. For those considering making a trip abroad for a cosmetic procedure, it’s essential to consider the fact that there are additional risks involved, making it imperative to do extensive research well in advance.
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