The 21st century is changing things. Top universities around the globe are teaching medical students from all over the world how to be at the top of their game. And people are moving more freely than ever. So your top-trained doctors who grew up and went to school in the States, Down Under, or England may decide to move to, and work in, places like South America, Africa, or Asia.
All of this means that you no longer have to feel forced to pay for an expensive procedure at home. Instead, the world is your oyster, and you can travel to a place where you can get the surgery you want without breaking the bank.
Where should you go when you’re hoping to fix a physical imperfection with the help of cosmetic surgery? There are a few countries that top the list, such as Malaysia and Brazil, but Thailand is also definitely worth considering.
Right about now, you might be thinking, “Thailand? I know it’s home to beautiful islands, yummy Thai food, and some amazing temples, but is it really a good choice for plastic surgery?” The answer is, yes!
- Medical tourism has been on the rise in Thailand, with hospitals like Bumrungrad International in Bangkok offering high-class service to patients at a more affordable price than they would pay at home.
- Thailand is known for offering a range of procedures and surgeries performed by doctors that have received their training in Western nations. Many doctors also speak English well, in addition to providing high quality care.
- The country has become known as a destination for affordable cosmetic surgeries. A patient could potentially save thousands by electing to have their surgery abroad.
- Cosmetic surgery isn’t new for patients in Thailand. The country has a history of offering these procedures at high quality facilities like Bangkok General Hospital. Even the island of Phuket has been known for its range of cosmetic procedures at specialty clinics and large hospitals.
- Thailand receives millions of visitors from around the world who go there purely for the medical tourism industry. For example, roughly 15,000 Australians alone travel there each year specifically for affordable plastic surgery options.1
- The health care system in Thailand is known for being both affordable and advanced, making it attractive to medical tourists.
What are the typical cosmetic surgery prices in Thailand?
As is the case in any other country around the world, not all medical facilities in Thailand will be created equal. So as you search for the right clinic and doctor, just remember that price should not be the only defining factor. Overall, Thailand can be much more affordable than other countries in the West, but different hospitals and different doctors throughout Thailand will charge varying prices, and paying a higher price might just mean that you get better care.
Prices are always changing, and what you pay for your cosmetic surgery in Thailand will also depend upon the exchange rates at the time that you make your payment(s). On the whole, however, you are likely to save quite a bit of cash when you opt to have your surgery in Thailand versus at home. Check forums, read reviews and compare prices so you get a much clearer picture of just how much you will be able to save.
Below is a breakdown of a few of the most common plastic surgery procedures and the average prices that patients will pay for those surgeries in Thailand:
- For a rhinoplasty, that’s a nose job, you could pay anywhere from just under $500 USD, to under $1,200 USD.2
- Breast augmentation surgery in Thailand could run anywhere from roughly $2,700 USD to just over $5,000 USD, depending upon the facility that you choose.3
- A facelift in Thailand could cost you anywhere from $2,000 USD to a little over $5,000 USD.4
- Liposuction could cost anywhere from under $500 USD to around $2,500 USD, again depending upon the facility that you choose to use.5
- A neck lift will probably start around $1,800 USD, but you could pay as much as $3,600 USD for this procedure in Thailand.6
What are some of the best medical facilities for cosmetic surgery in Thailand?
According to reviews on MEDIGO, a few of the top rated hospitals and facilities that offer a wide range of plastic surgery procedures include:7
- Sikarin Hospital in Bangkok
- Thainakarin Hospital in Bangkok
- Phi Beauty Clinic in Phuket
- B. Care Medical Center in Bangkok
- Radiant Medical Phuket
- Nirunda in Bangkok
- Absolute Care Clinic in Chiang Mai
- Chiangmai Ram Hospital in Chiang Mai
- Proderma in Bangkok
- Bangpakok 9 International Hospital in Bangkok
Here is another reason why Thailand is such a popular destination for plastic surgery abroad: many hospitals in the country are accredited by the Joint Commission International. This organization promotes strict standards of care in over 90 nations. And Bumrungrad International in Bangkok became the first Asian hospital to meet the standard in 2002.8;Nice!
How can you be sure that you are making the right decision?
So you’ve decided that you are indeed ready to go abroad to finally undergo that cosmetic procedure that you have been thinking about getting for a very long time. Great! But before you head off to any old hospital and any old doctor, experts highly recommend doing your research.
Putting the time in to find the top-notch facility for your procedure (you are going under the knife, after all), and the best team of medical professionals who can speak English well and communicate with you easily, will make your journey a lot safer, as well as a lot easier.
During your search for the right facility and the right doctor, keep the following in mind:
- You should ask for a tour of the facility before signing on to have your surgery there. Online photos might not be the most accurate representation of a clinic, and seeing it in person will let you see firsthand where you will be staying to prepare for your surgery, as well as where you will be recovering afterwards. During a tour, you will also have the opportunity to really get to know the staff and ask every question you could possibly think of about the care that you will be receiving. This is a great way to put your mind at ease when it comes to knowing whether or not you are choosing the right location and the right team for your surgery.
- To be sure that you will receive the highest quality care, check that the surgeon is fully qualified to practice. Just keep in mind that every country will have its own requirements for medical certifications. You can gain some clarity by asking the surgeon about his or her education and where he or she received training. There are many surgeons throughout the world, including in Thailand, who were educated in countries like the United States or the United Kingdom, as well as countries throughout Europe. Therefore, they should be able to show you certifications from the American Medical Association (AMA), the General Medical Council (GMC), and European accreditation bodies like the European Association of Plastic Surgeons.
- In addition to asking about country-specific accreditations and certifications, you can also ask a surgeon abroad if he or she is recognized by international bodies, such as the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) and the International Confederation for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (IPRAS). These qualifications will help you determine if you will be in good hands if you elect to have your surgery at that medical facility and with that staff.
How can you pay for your plastic surgery in Thailand?
When it comes down to paying for your plastic surgery abroad, keep the following in mind:
- If you elect to have one or more plastic surgery procedures abroad, especially in a country like Thailand where the prices are more affordable, don’t forget to factor in the travel costs associated with your surgery. You will need to book your flight to and from Thailand, as well as your transportation once you land. And you will also need to consider the cost of the hotel where you will stay when you are not staying in the medical facility you chose. These days, there are a number of travel companies who service this niche, so you should also check reviews for companies providing such services.
- Even though Thailand has a reputation for having doctors and nurses who can speak English well, you might want to cover your bases, just in case you run into any confusion during your stay. So if you decide to hire a translator to ensure you understand all of the instructions from your doctor and nurses, you should calculate how much that will cost you as well.
- On top of the cost of the actual surgery, it’s also recommended that you inquire about other fees that you may be charged. These include pre-op consultation fees, post-op consultation fees, anesthesia costs, medication costs, aftercare fees, surgeon fees, facility fees, and miscellaneous fees that might depend upon the type of procedure that you are undergoing.
- Once you know how much you will need to pay in total, you can determine if having the surgery abroad is truly within your budget. You can also check with your health insurance provider to find out if any of the costs will be covered, even though you will be having the procedure in another country. If your provider does not cover anything, you can ask about international medical coverage, which is actually becoming quite common, thanks to the popularity of medical tourism globally.
- Finally, when you are all set to pay, using a service like OFX to have your money transferred from your bank account to the medical facility can make submitting your payment a snap. Rather than going through your bank and being charged unnecessary bank fees and margins (no thanks!), OFX will take care of converting your funds and transferring them quickly. Plus, you can track your money every step of the way with a convenient mobile app.
Plastic surgery can be more affordable in Thailand!
Whether plastic surgeons at home are charging prices that are too high or you don’t want to deal with being placed on a long waiting list, going abroad could be the ideal solution. The key is to find the right doctor and facility that showcases the appropriate accreditation and the right price, and Thailand is one of the top destinations for medical tourists because it offers both.
Thai hospitals and other medical facilities offer a range of cosmetic surgery options, such as facelifts, chin augmentations, arm lifts, neck lifts, breast implants, hair transplants, brow lifts, dental work and tummy tucks. So no matter what you think needs a bit of improvement anywhere on your body, you can get it fixed in a safe and clean environment with a medical team that knows the latest tools and techniques to deliver the best results.