Medical tourism is on the rise, and South Korea is the destination for thousands of international visitors each year seeking plastic surgery services. Visitors on medical tourism quests to the country jumped 22 percent last year. A proposed new plastic surgery center at Incheon International Airport means that many visitors can basically get off their planes and head to their appointments without ever leaving the airport. This is a far cry from the usual airport beauty offerings, such as hair stylists, manicurists and estheticians.
However, there’s are serious downsides to this proposal. Getting back on a plane soon after surgery is a really bad idea. Deciding to undergo a procedure because the plastic surgery center catches your eye and you have some time to kill or your flight is delay is another potential disaster.
Ideally, plastic surgery patients shouldn’t become airline passengers for at least 10 days after their procedures. Generally, patients are warned to wait two weeks before flying after a face lift. Altitude changes can greatly increase the risk of surgical complications. Exposure to pathogens brought onto the plane by other passengers is another serious risk factor. The overall stress of traveling is not conducive to healthy healing. The Korean Association of Plastic Surgeons and the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons have already condemned the idea of airport plastic surgery. Currently, no plastic surgeons or doctors are yet associated with the proposed airport plastic surgery center.
In the United States, by law plastic surgeons must consult with patients and give them at least 24 hours after the consultation to make a final decision regarding the procedure. American surgeons warn that allowing a patient to make such an important and potentially life-altering decision on a whim is unethical and could lead to serious complications, especially if a language barrier is involved. While there’s nothing wrong with booking plastic surgery in South Korea – there are many fine, board-certified practitioners there - it is crucial that patients do their research and intend to stay at least a week or two in the country post-procedure so they are monitored in case complications arise. Even though such surgeries are elective for most patients, they are still surgeries and require the patient to take them seriously. Figuring you can fly in and fly out for a plastic surgery procedure is a recipe for potential disaster.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!