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Surgery at a bargain price

Surgery at a bargain price


If you type on the Internet “cosmetic surgery”, “cheap”, “low cost” and the name of a country in South America or Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey or Lebanon, leisure-health packages appear at a bargain price, but beware: surgeons warn of the high risk of this type of medical tourism.

The president of the Spanish Association of Plastic Aesthetic Surgery (AECEP), Francisco Menéndez Graíño, and the member of the Spanish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (SECPRE) Ainhoa ​​Placer, spoke of this combination of high risk for the safety of patients

A combination that grows on vacation, because it is the time considered appropriate travel agencies and medical wholesalers that offer these packages online, which include liposuction, breast surgery, face lift or rhinoplasty, and stays in hotels Four or five stars and sometimes extra services such as spa sessions and excursions.

“If you search the Internet you can get incredible offers, such as a breast augmentation in Tunisia with prostheses for 2,400 euros, which includes the stay in a five-star hotel and the plane. A prosthesis of the best quality in Spain usually costs about 2,500 euros. Only the prosthesis. If they charge 2,400 and put hotel and plane, I do not know what prosthesis they are going to put on, “says Menéndez Graíño.

These prices “can not be justified” and often imply, according to specialists, a decrease in the quality and safety of the patient and that is “absolutely questionable”.


The experts want to make it clear that it is not about criticizing the surgery of the patient who is going to operate in another country, but the “low cost”. In this type of surgery, they usually have poorly trained staff, who have just specialized and do not have enough experience, so that people who, despite the sorrows, opt for these packages should find out if the professional who is going to perform it is properly trained and if the surgery will be developed in an accredited center.

In order to verify this, the patient can access the Medical Association of the country or enter the pages of the International Society of Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). “It’s the minimum because before deciding you have to know the credentials of the professional who is going to perform the operation, where it works, how it works …”, says the expert.

The operations have to be done in an accredited hospital, “with good means and good possibility of resuscitation and even intensive care if needed,” they insist.

But in addition, after the operation, the patient needs a treatment that exceeds the week of stay normally offered by these packages. “You have to do a series of tests before the intervention. It should take at least 48 or 72 hours of contact with the doctor before operating. During a month before, tests are done, the patient is spoken, informed consent is explained … “, Menéndez recalls.

With these practices, according to the surgeon, “times are being forced, because you can not remove all the points after seven days. Depending on the wound, it is best to leave part of the points for ten or twelve days, and then follow up. “


Ten days is the minimum time the doctor recommends to recover from resting surgery. This situation causes that some patients operated on the chest have their wounds opened during the plane trip because it does not heal. Ainhoa ​​Placer advises, in the event of a late complication, to return to the country where the surgery was performed, but this does not always happen and Spanish surgeons encounter cases that require a second intervention.


Breast augmentation is where you can see the most, according to Menéndez: “We have seen poor prosthetic or broken positions. For example, in Central and South America I have been told that there is a market for second-hand prosthetics: they remove, wash, sterilize and sell them again.

They are worn prostheses that are worn. Thus, it can be justified to charge such low prices. In Spain this does not exist “.

Spain also receives aesthetic surgery tourism but, surgeons, it is not “low cost” as in the previous cases: “Northern European tourists come to operate on the Costa del Sol or Marbella to accredited clinics” where they are not going to charge 20 euros. They come because they know they operate well and that the level of cosmetic surgery here is high. “

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  • Date: 4/12/2017
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