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More people are traveling abroad for cheap plastic surgery. Why doctors say it's a bad idea

Due to extreme costs, more and more people are turning to "medical tourism" for plastic surgery. But it could result in dire consequences.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Whether it’s a tighter tummy or perfected profile, more and more people are turning to plastic surgery to achieve an ideal image, but there is a drawback.

It’s not cheap.

The average cost of a facelift in the U.S. is a little over $7,000, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery. The ASPS says the average tummy tuck will set you back close to $6,000.

Those high prices are why some are lured by the appeal of so-called “medical tourism.” It’s a growing trend in which people travel abroad to undergo plastic surgery at a fraction of what it would cost in their home country.

Double-board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Peter Capizzi said it’s a risky proposition with potentially dire consequences.

“You’re safer and better off for your health to stay home,” Dr. Capizzi said. “It may take you a little bit longer as far as coming up with the cost, but that’s just in the short term.

“Over the long term, you’ll likely have a result that will last your entire life and you’ll be alive.”

Dr. Capizzi says a botched plastic surgery isn’t just happening abroad. In fact, he explained that fixing what other U.S.-based doctors have flubbed is half of his surgical business.

His advice? Ask this one very important question: “Is this person board certified in plastic surgery?”

According to the American Board of Plastic Surgery’s website, when choosing a surgeon with the American Board of Plastic Surgery certification, “…you can be assured that the surgeon has completed the appropriate training and passed comprehensive written and oral examinations covering all plastic surgery procedures.”

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