Fees, Financing and Insurance

When planning medical travel, financing is an important consideration. On this page, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) presents important considerations related to fees, financing and insurance that patients should think through carefully before traveling for cosmetic surgery abroad.

Aesthetic plastic surgery requires a highly trained and qualified plastic surgeon.

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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:

  • Surgeon’s fees
  • Pre and post-op consultations
  • Surgical facility
  • Anesthesia
  • Other surgical needs such as breast implants and compression garments
  • Lab work
  • Medication
  • Aftercare
  • Travel, including airplane tickets, accommodations, transportation on the ground, and time off from work for travel and recovery
  • Additional medical and travel costs if you have a complication

While a low fee for aesthetic plastic surgery is appealing, select your surgeon carefully. Research his or her qualifications, reputation, references and experience, especially when the fee is significantly lower than for other surgeons.


Financing considerations include:

  • What forms of payment does your surgeon accept?
  • Are financing options available at home or through your surgeon?
  • Will any fees be reimbursed if you need to cancel your surgery?


Most cosmetic surgery procedures are considered elective and therefore not covered under medical insurance. Some procedures such as reduction mammoplasty and rhinoplasty may be covered. Because complications may occur even with the most qualified surgeon, it can be helpful to explore insurance options ahead of time. Considerations include:

  • Will your medical insurance cover your procedure outside of your home country?
  • Will your medical insurance cover you back home if you have complications?
  • Does your procedure qualify for ISAPS complication insurance? If so, is your surgeon willing to purchase it?

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