As any American who doesn't have health insurance — or heck, even some American who does — can tell you, medical care doesn't come cheap. That's why an increasing number of people are traveling abroad to have medical procedures done at a fraction of prices. That goes for cosmetic surgery, too; from Costa Rica to Thailand to India, a number of countries are encouraging visitors to have a boob job, face lift, or tummy tuck while on holiday. And as medical costs soar, enterprising businesses are figuring out how to draw visitors; just last month, Aero Mexico partnered with industry group Medical Tourism Association to create travel packages. Within eight years, as many as 23 million Americans could travel abroad for their medical needs; some will do so for elective procedures such as plastic surgery.
Advocates of medical tourism point out that traveling for surgery can save people thousands of dollars, that the physicians are licensed (and often trained within the United States), and that a luxury vacay can make surgery feel a little less awful. But critics argue that some facilities may not have the same resources as domestic hospitals do, and that flying for long distances places extra stress on a healing body. (Usher's wife, Tameka Raymond, was put in a medically induced coma after liposuction went bad in Brazil.) When it comes to cosmetic surgery, do you think people who travel for their procedures are making the smart choice?