Safety Considerations for Cosmetic Surgery Abroad - ISAPS

Safety Considerations

Although it is elective, aesthetic cosmetic surgery is actual surgery that involves risks and possible side effects. The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) encourages patients who plan to travel outside their home countries for cosmetic plastic surgery to review these important safety considerations.

ISAPS is dedicated to patient safety above all. Find an ISAPS member.

Patient Safety Diamond

Patient Safey Diamond

The Patient Safety Diamond, developed by the 2010 ISAPS President Dr. Foad Nahai, designates four factors that are required for safe aesthetic plastic surgery:

  • Procedure: appropriate for the patient
  • Patient: a good candidate for the procedure
  • Surgeon: qualified and experienced in performing the procedure
  • Surgical setting: safe with trained personnel and emergency procedures in place

By ensuring that all four of these criteria are met, you will optimize your safety and the success of your aesthetic procedure.

Research Your Procedure

Because you plan to undergo surgery by choice instead of medical necessity, it is important to make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure you are considering. Review the possible risks, side effects and required recovery time in our procedures section.

If you want to have multiple procedures performed together, for example abdominoplasty and breast augmentation, make sure the surgery can be completed in a safe amount of time. Typical cosmetic procedures can be completed within one to three hours; to be safe a combination of procedures should take no longer than five to six hours.

Research Your Surgeon

Make sure you choose your surgeon carefully. The simplest way is to choose an ISAPS member. Important surgeon qualifications include:

  • Training in the procedure you are considering
  • Experience performing the procedure you are considering
  • An excellent safety record
  • Ethical practices

Research the Surgical Setting

Because standards vary among countries, you must carefully research the surgical setting your surgeon will use. If your surgery will be performed in a hospital, make sure that the hospital is certified or accredited. If an outpatient surgery center will be used, find out if it is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation for Ambulatory Surgery Facilities International (AAAASFI) (formerly called Surgery Facilities Resources).

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