Does your personal health insurance cover you outside your country? 

Most health insurance providers do not cover individuals for surgery performed outside their own country. With the rise in medical tourism, international medical coverage is becoming more common. Ask if coverage is available through your insurance agent. 

Fees and finance 

A common reason people have for traveling outside of their home countries for cosmetic surgery is to save money. It is important to evaluate the total cost of your procedure when performing your calculations to determine whether there actually is a financial benefit. In addition to the price of the procedure, be sure to account for the costs of: 

Where will you stay while you recover? 

Patients should stay in the area where the surgery was performed for at least one week, depending on the procedure. Traveling too soon after surgery increases the risk of pulmonary embolism and blood clots. Find out in advance where you will stay and if this facility is prepared to care for your post-operative needs. 

What about complications and follow-up care? 

Even when surgery is properly performed, complications are a possibility.  Check in advance if there are affiliated clinic in your country that you can go for follow-up care, what doctor will care for you when you return home if you have complications and who will pay for secondary or revision procedures. 

It's important you choose the right procedure. Check out the information on the different cosmetic procedures and consult with an ISAPS surgeon.

View Procedures

Planning Checklist 

Once you have determined that a procedure is appropriate and you have selected a qualified plastic surgeon, you are ready to begin planning your medical travel.

A qualified plastic surgeon can help you plan your medical travel.

  • Schedule a pre-consultation that may be conducted using one or a combination of the following: 
  • In person through a local associate or office in your home country
  • By telephone 
  • Using an online form 
  • Over the Internet using a service such as Skype™ 
  • Make sure the surgeon and the clinic or hospital staff who will care for you both before and after your surgery can speak your language. 
  • Obtain a price for your surgery and ensure that you have a clear understanding of what is included. See our Fees and Insurance page for more information. 
  • Determine how you will finance your procedure and travel needs. Find out which payment methods your surgeon accepts such as cash, traveler’s cheques or credit cards. Ask about available financing options. 
  • Schedule your surgery with the practice. Determine required lab work and vaccinations. Find out how far in advance you need to arrive to have your consultation. 
  • For continuity of care make sure your local doctor is informed about your surgery and provides any relevant medical records to your surgeon. Make sure your surgeon can send information about your procedure to your local doctor. 
  • Determine your potential recovery and aftercare needs. How long will it be before you can return home? What is the schedule for follow-up visits? 
  • Locate emergency care providers in the country you are traveling to and at home. 
  • Make your travel arrangements. Considerations include: 
  • Where will you stay the night before surgery and while you recover? 
  • Which airport is closest to the practice? 
  • Do you need a passport? Do you need a visa? 
  • Will you need foreign currency or traveler’s cheques? 
  • Who will drive you to your hotel and help care for you after surgery? 
  • Pack for your trip. In addition to typical travel supplies, helpful items after surgery may include: 
    • Sun protection such as a hat, scarf or sunscreen 
    • Clothing that is easy to put on/take off (shirts that button in front, pants with elastic waist) 
    • Special compression garments or a surgical bra 
    • Pillows for the neck, body or back to support specific areas after surgery