Plastic surgery abroad
In may 2004 Poland joined the European Union. This event triggered many cultural and economical changes and processes which also reached the medical service. The increase in trust in Poland as a country covered by the regulations and standards of the Union, positive opinions about Polish doctors, of which at least hundreds already work in western countries, activation of many low cost airlines to Poland as well as significantly lower cost of the actual plastic surgery, caused that many citizens of the “old Union”, interested in cosmetic surgery, started seriously considering coming to Poland and here undergo plastic surgery.
The most important issue, which a patient that considers cosmetic surgery in Poland has to face, is answering the question, if usually a couple of times lower costs of surgery are worth the risk connected with treatment abroad. From my experience, in definitely most cases yes.
The Polish private medical sector (cause that is what we are talking about) offers very high quality service which is just as safe as in western countries. Although to minimize the risk of surgery abroad one needs to prepare sufficiently for this task. The key issue is the choice of the appropriate medical facility, adequate preparation for the actual trip and surgery as well as taking care of a few relevant issues connected to any journey, not only one identified with treatment. Basing on my own experiences and observation of patient behavior and problems that they face, I can define the “ten commandments” for the patients traveling to Poland. Here they are:
1) A well thought choice of a cosmetic surgery clinic
The choice of the medical facility is the key issue. One should above all pay attention to how comprehensive information and in which time the clinic provides. If the answers to questions are laconic and / or you receive them after a couple of days (in the case of questions sent by e-mail), it may mean that you will be treated in a similar way during your stay at the clinic.
It is worth clearing all doubts before arrival – using e-mail and telephone seems to be the best solution. I recommend asking about the following issues:
- who will perform the surgery (surname of the doctor, education, experience, certificates),
- which technique is the surgery going to be performed in (type of cuts, anesthetic, types of stitches),
- after care (how long you should stay at the clinic, after what time you can return to your country by plane, after what time you can return to work, etc.),
- a detailed calculation of surgery costs, so that you will not be surprised that you have to pay extra for every day spent at the clinic or additional after surgery uniform,
- if the clinic organizes transport to and from the airport.
2) Ask the clinic for a medical consultation before you arrive
Sending by e-mail photos of breasts, which are going to be operated, or thighs, that liposuction is going to be performed on, is not a problem nowadays. A proper clinic should consult these photos with the surgeon and send you the results with a more detailed calculation of costs. Of course nothing can replace direct contact with the doctor and one should always be prepared that during a direct consultation before the surgery some issues may appear, that could not be noticed from the photos.
3) Ask the clinic to organize transport and accommodation
A well organized clinic will take care of organizing transport to and from the airport. Usually you will pay extra for this transport but at least you will not need to worry about getting to the airport. It is especially important on the way back when you will be weak after the performed surgery. If, after you leave the clinic, you plan to stay in Poland for another day or two (which is not a bad idea considering safety) the clinic should help you find a hotel in a convenient location.
4) Purchase insurance before leaving
As before any trip abroad, it is a very good idea to purchase tourist insurance. This insurance will surely not cover possible complications which may arise after surgery, but if you spring an ankle or have a tooth ache you will be able to solve this problem calmly and without additional costs.
5) Leave information about how to contact you and the clinic with a close person
6) Pay with credit card when possible
Any self-respecting clinic will accept payment with credit card. Try to take advantage of that and if your credit limit allows it, pay with credit card. This way you will avoid the stress connected with carrying large amounts of cash. Poland is a safe country but like all over the world, it is best not to carry large sums of money. Before you go, make sure that you have enough money on your card – most clinics will demand payment before the surgery.
7) Carry light baggage
After surgery you will be slightly weakened and you will surely not be allowed to carry heavy items, therefore take only the most essential things. Even if you will need something you will, with all certainty, be able to buy it in Poland.
8) Do not exaggerate with the amount of plastic surgeries
Some patients want to take advantage of their stay in Poland and have as many surgeries as possible. In my opinion that is unnecessary risk. It is better to have one surgery, and if everything goes smoothly, come back for another after some time. The cost of flying is so low nowadays, that it usually comes out to 5% - 10% of the actual surgery costs.
9) Organize after care for yourself
When you return to your country a doctor will need to perform after surgery consultation. At least he will have to remove the outside stitches. Doctors in western countries frown upon performance of surgery abroad – they cause lower demand for their services and consequently lower income. Therefore, if it is possible, before your trip, find a doctor who will see you after the surgery.
10) Demand a description of the surgery from the clinic
Any self-respecting clinic should provide you with a detailed technical description of the performed surgery – in your language of course. This description should above all contain guidelines for your doctor about the after care. The very minimum is the description of method, type and number of stitches as well as advice regarding their removal.
If you follow the guidelines above, your treatment in Poland will be as safe as in your own country and you will surely be pleased with the results, which I honestly wish you.
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If you think of liposuction surgery abroad – consider Poland. Call us 0048 603 77 99 39 or contact us. We will present you our offer and prepare free surgeon's consultation.
Polish Independent Medical Advisor
0048 603 77 99 39