The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) cautions that medical tourism can make it difficult to assess the training and credentials of surgeons outside of the United States.

“It is a significant patient safety concern when consumers are having major surgical procedures performed by unqualified practitioners,” says Gregory Evans, MD, ASPS president, in a news release. “There are no US laws that protect patients or mandate the training and qualifications of physicians who perform plastic surgery outside of the US. There may be no legal recourse if surgical negligence by the physician or institution occurs.”

He continues: “All too often we see patients who think they will enjoy a vacation following plastic surgery abroad only to end up paying dearly for the surgeon’s lack of training and expertise. These patients end up paying more in revision surgeries and time off work than if they had paid a bit more to see someone who was qualified to perform the procedure.”