Americans spend millions traveling to other countries for plastic surgery. Most do it to save money. Slick websites and social media campaigns convince them they can combine an enjoyable vacation with a high-quality, low-cost cosmetic procedure. Sometimes they can, although few feel up to going sightseeing after surgery. Unfortunately, some people experience serious, even severe complications either immediately after surgery or once they’ve come home. They didn’t know that they could get an outstanding facelift here in Inland Empire and across America from highly experienced, board certified plastic and facial plastic surgeons.
Author Kurt Vonnegut famously said, “In this world, you get what you pay for.” While every now and then a real bargain comes along, that usually isn’t the case. Most savings are a trade-off. If you get something for less, it’s usually because you’re giving up something in the process. That is certainly the case with plastic surgery abroad.
However, a growing number of board certified plastic and facial plastic surgeons have found ways to substantially reduce the cost of a facelift while actually making it safer. I’ll concentrate here on the methods I use to accomplish this here in Inland Empire. Having performed facelifts for years in Beverly Hills, I can tell you honestly that these techniques permit me to offer Beverly Hills results at nearly half the price you’d pay in Beverly Hills.
Isn’t an Affordable Facelift in Inland Empire a Better Option?
Plastic surgery, particularly facelift procedures, is generally quite safe, whether performed in Inland Empire, Beverly Hills, London, Berlin, Boston or New York. That cannot always be said of plastic surgery performed in developing nations. I don’t mean to single out the Dominican Republic and Mexico. But news media outlets from the London Daily Mail to ABC, Fox News and CBS have reported on serious complications and even deaths due to plastic surgery in third world countries, particularly the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
Dr. Dennis Orgill, Medical Director of the Wound Care Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues reported on a group of patients treated at their hospital for complications from plastic surgery in developing countries. Of the 78 patients in the study, 48 were covered by Medicaid. The cost of treating their post-surgical complications was covered by U.S. taxpayers.
The Dominican Republic was the location for surgery chosen by 58 of the 79 patients. Their post-surgical complications included pain, wound healing problems and surgical-site infections. Dr. Orgill and colleagues’ article in the April, 2018 edition of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery stated:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department have issued numerous alerts to U.S. citizens warning of travel to the Dominican Republic, in particular, to undergo plastic surgery. They note a high incidence of complications, rare types of infections, and high rates of death associated with plastic surgery procedures [in that country].”
Why do People Risk Plastic Surgery in Developing Countries?
Clearly, people engage in “medical tourism” to save money on facelifts and other plastic surgery. But the savings in medical fees have to come from somewhere. In most third-world countries, plastic surgery costs less because patients have much less protection under their strict malpractice laws. Less protection for patients equates to smaller malpractice insurance premiums for doctors and hospitals. Additionally, the strict patient care standards required by most industrialized countries are much more lax in developing countries. Many patients do not receive the post-operative care they would in the United States.
Less care, fewer malpractice protections for patients and less-stringent surgical standards means lower costs for doctors and hospitals. They can pass some of the savings along to attract more patients. But do you really want to have surgery in a place where you would hesitate to drink the water?
Some plastic and facial plastic surgeons use advanced methods that cut patient costs without compromising their safety. This permits us to provide natural-looking, attractive results at rates most people can afford. I can’t speak for other surgeons, but here are some of the ways I lower costs for facelift surgery in Inland Empire.
How We Provide a More Affordable, Yet Safer Facelift in Inland Empire
If you read my LookYounger.News article, “The Safest Facelift Provides Great, Natural-Looking Results,” you know that more facial plastic surgeons than ever before use the same method I do for all surgical procedures: safer local anesthesia. Studies, like a major review of in-office procedures in Florida, have found that local anesthesia plus oral sedation is substantially safer than either general anesthesia or I.V. sedation. Using general anesthesia requires surgeons to provide more costly staffing levels and equipment. My patients sleep through surgery and don’t feel a thing. But they wake up when prompted without the need for post-anesthesia recovery. And they pay less.
Another way like-minded surgeons and I cut patient costs is by avoiding the popular I.V. anesthesia drug Propofol. Propofol cannot be safely administered without the having an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist present during the procedure. Substituting safer local anesthetics plus oral sedation for Propofol eliminates the need for a trained anesthesia professional. This step increases safety and reduces the cost of the procedure. Patients reap both benefits.
How can I, along with a small group of surgeons across the country use safer local anesthesia? We worked for a large national facial plastic surgery practice. We performed a lot of surgeries. In contrast to most plastic surgeons, who operate on the entire body and perform 1 or 2 facelifts per month, many of us did 1-2 facelifts every day. Performing that many of the same procedures gave us an unusual level of experience. There’s not much that can happen during a facelift that we haven’t seen and successfully handled. With that much experience, we can work comfortably under the 1 ½ to 2 ½ hour time limit required by local anesthetics.
This not only provides our patients with a safer facelift, it drops their costs substantially. To illustrate, contrast what plastic and facial plastic surgeons in my area who use general anesthesia or Propofol must charge for a facelift with what we charge here at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario
Facelift in Newport Beach or Beverly Hills, CA $14,000
Facelift in Inland Empire by other plastic surgeons $9,500
Facelift at STC Plastic Surgery (my practice) $7,500
The attractive, natural-looking results we get in procedures costing significantly less last just as long as facelifts costing much more in Newport Beach or Beverly Hills. Our patients may go home sooner than they do in practices that use general anesthesia or Propofol. But they’re just as happy with their results.
Someday all facial plastic surgery may be done using local anesthetics and oral sedation. This method’s greater safety and lower cost may make it standard practice across the country. But until that day comes, isn’t it nice to know that there are highly experienced plastic and facial plastic surgeons offering high-quality, safer procedures for significantly less money? The higher standards and patient protections in America may force us to charge more than they do in developing nations like Mexico and the Dominican Republic. But isn’t a lot more safety worth a little more money?