Despite the slow economy in the United States, more Americans than ever are having plastic surgery. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) over 13 million procedures were performed last year. That’s up by 5%.

The most common surgeries are breast augmentation at 318,123, liposuction at 289,016, and blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery at 152,123.

So why is plastic and cosmetic surgery so much in demand and what risks are people taking to get it?

The most obvious reason is that people want to look good and looking younger always helps in looking good. Plastic surgery boosts self-confidence. Not only do a person’s looks improve but he or she improves their attitude about themselves. Employers are more likely to hire them and others to find them attractive. If a person is overweight as well, weight loss surgery can help regain their youthful slimness faster and more permanently than dieting alone.

In today’s culture aging has no credibility at all. When so many multi-millionaires in Silicon Valley are under 30, getting older doesn’t even mean getting wiser, or more prosperous. In a recent study published by ASAPS people who had cosmetic surgery had no problems being identified by college students as 10 years younger than their actual age.

However, even with today’s technological advances, plastic surgery is still no cake walk. It is surgery and that carries automatic risks, such as:

  • blood clots
  • excessive or unexpected bleeding
  • infection
  • tissue death
  • paralysis
  • loss or change of sensation
  • incomplete healing
  • anesthesia malfunction
  • pneumonia
  • secondary surgeries
  • no satisfaction with results
  • nerve damage
  • obsession with more surgeries
  • high debt or bankruptcy due to cost

The last one should not be discounted. Though cosmetic surgery may be popular, a typical face lift costs between $4,000-$10,000 and a breast lift, between $3,000-$6,000 in the U.S. Unless it is associated with an accident or illness most employer insurance does not cover plastic surgery. Even countries that have government health insurance do not cover plastic surgery that is for cosmetic reasons only.

Saving on plastic surgery costs in Mexico

One way to cut costs considerably is to travel to Mexico. Places like Tijuana, Mexicali, Ciudad Juarez and Puerto Vallarta are very easy to reach from the U.S. and welcome foreign patients.

Bad news has been reported about charlatans in Mexico promising miracle cures, or offering unbelievably low prices. However, Mexico also has very professional, highly competent hospitals and doctors that can match the quality and standards of any in the U.S. Many are affiliated with American hospitals.

Plastic surgery costs performed by highly proficient surgeons, in clean and modern hospitals, with the state-of-the-art equipment can still come to as much as 90% lower than the cost of cosmetic surgery in the U.S. In many cases the hospitals will arrange pickup and delivery of patients from and to the border as well as airports or other transportation sites. Comfortable resort areas for recovery — away from violent or dangerous areas — can also be part of the package deal.

For those who believe they deserve to look as good as they feel — and have checked out the risks with their own doctors — travel to Mexico can make plastic surgery financially worth the effort.

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