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Is Colombia a good place to perform plastic surgery?

Better Me

December 18, 2021

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Cosmetic plastic surgery increases its popularity year after year, as the number of people who annually decide to undergo a procedure of this type is growing. In 2019 alone, more than 11 million surgical procedures[1] of an aesthetic nature were performed worldwide, and an increase is expected in the coming years.

We are talking about an industry whose global size has been valued at over $50 billion for 2018 and is expected to grow to over $66 billion by 2026 [2].

With its boom and the global connectivity facilities offered by the internet, many people are opening up to the possibility of having these types of procedures performed outside their home countries, in order to find better service, high quality, and reasonable prices. Thus, they turn to the virtual world in search of safe places and highly experienced surgeons.

It is easy to find specialists and companies from different parts of the world in this research, in which Colombia stands out as one of the countries that best meet the global demand [3]. However, why would a foreigner choose Colombia for plastic surgery?

In the last decade, the South American country has drawn attention for the excellent preparation of its plastic surgeons, the high-quality standards of its clinics, and the wide range of procedures on offer. Colombia has become a leading country for plastic surgery, following the example of other Latin American and Asian countries.

It is possible that you still don’t relate Colombia to plastic surgeries. However, we want to explain some reasons why you should seriously consider the Colombian cosmetic offer for health tourism.

3 reasons that will convince you to have plastic surgery in Colombia

1. Experience

Colombia is one of the countries that performes the highest number of surgical procedures in the world, according to the 2018 survey conducted by ISAPS (International Society Aesthetic Plastic Surgery)[4], surpassing even countries highly recognized for their plastic surgeries such as Thailand and Australia.

In that year, the survey mentions that more than 270,000 plastic surgeries[4]  were performed in the South American country, with liposuction, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, abdominoplasty, and rhinoplasty as the most popular surgical procedures.It is evident that the more than 1,000 plastic surgeons[1] in Colombia have an excellent level of expertise, which allows them to compete internationally, meet the global demand and have relevant participation in the provision of this service.

2. High-level medical centers

Colombia has 26 medical centers within a group of 63 clinics and hospitals studied as the best in Latin America, for the ranking of Clinics and Hospitals 2020[5] carried out by the prestigious business magazine América Economía.

Some of the best positioned entities on the list[6] were: Fundación Cardioinfantil in 3rd place, followed by Fundación Valle del Lili in 4th place; Fundación Cardiovascular de Colombia in 7th place; Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe in 8th place and Centro Médico Imbanaco in 9th place.

Among the important aspects taken into account in this ranking were: patient safety, human capital, knowledge management, efficiency, prestige, the capacity of care, and patient experience.

These aspects make it clear that Colombia has medical centers with high-quality standards for the care of its patients, and that, with the expertise of its plastic surgeons, this country is an excellent option for those who wish to undergo an aesthetic surgical procedure.

3. Savings in operational costs

It is estimated that health tourists can save between 25% and 90% of the total cost of a surgical cosmetic procedure, according to the VeryWellHealth portal[7], depending on the destination chosen.

North American cosmetic surgery patients may be able to access high-quality professional healthcare services at a lower cost, given the difference in currency exchange rates. In the United States, for example, the costs of medical examinations, medications, medical personnel, medical insurance, among other things, are usually quite high.

In Colombia, there are no official figures as to the percentage of savings, but according to public testimonies such as that of Joselyn Villabona[8] for Forbes Colombia magazine, a tourist could pay for plastic surgery with a quarter of the total cost that they would pay in their country of origin.

Therefore, patients who decide to undergo surgery in Colombia will pay less for their plastic surgeries and will obtain the same or better results than if they did it in their place of origin.

To sum up

When you choose Colombia as your next destination for plastic surgery, you will have access to certified and experienced professionals who operate at clinics with high-quality standards at reasonable prices.

However, we know that finding your ideal surgeon can be complicated if you do not know the language or do not know any references. Therefore, let BetterMe help you find the right surgeon for you.  In addition, we will take care of coordinating all the details of your surgery and your stay, so you can enjoy your trip and return home with your dreams and expectations fulfilled.

For more information, subscribe to our newsletter and find out what BetterMe has for you.

Information sources

  1. International Society of Aesthethic Plastic Surgery. (2019). ISAPS INTERNATIONAL SURVEY ON AESTHETIC/COSMETIC PROCEDURES performed in 2019. https://www.isaps.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Global-Survey-2019.pdf

2. Cosmetic Surgery Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Surgical Procedures, and Non-Surgical Procedures), By Gender (Males, and Females), By Providers (Spas & Cosmetic Surgery Centers, and Hospitals & Specialty Clinics), and Regional Forecast, 2019–2026. (2020, abril). Fortune Business Insights. https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/cosmetic-surgery-market-102628

3. Campbell, C. A., Restrepo, C., Navas, G., Vergara, I., & Peluffo, L. (2019). Plastic Surgery Medical Tourism in Colombia: A Review of 658 International Patients and 1,796 Cosmetic Surgery Procedures. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open, 7(5), e2233. https://doi.org/10.1097/GOX.0000000000002233

4. International Society of Aesthethic Plastic Surgery. (2018). ISAPS INTERNATIONAL SURVEY ON AESTHETIC/COSMETIC PROCEDURES performed in 2018. https://www.isaps.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/ISAPS-Global-Survey-Results-2018-new.pdf

5. America Economy. (2020). Ranking of Clinics and Hospitals 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2021, fromhttps://www.americaeconomia.com/negocios-industrias/conozca-los-resultados-del-ranking-de-clinicas-y-hospitales-2020

6.  Colombian Association of Hospitals and Clinics (ACHC). (2020). 26 Colombian hospitals among the best in Latin America in the América Economía 2020 ranking. Achc.org. Retrieved December 2, 2021, from https://achc.org.co/26-hospitales-colombianos-entre-los-mejores-de-latinoamerica-en-el-ranking-america-economia-2020/

7. Jennifer Whitlock. (2021, 11 septiembre). What You Should Know About Medical Tourism. Verywell Health. Recuperado 2 de diciembre de 2021, de https://www.verywellhealth.com/understanding-medical-tourism-4069869#citation-3

8. Bernal, C. (2021, April 27). Medical tourism in Colombia closes the decade with a projection of $ 990.5 billion to 2024. Forbes Colombia. Retrieved December 2, 2021, from https://forbes.co/2020/03/19/forbes-life/turismo-medico-en-colombia-cierra-la-decada-con-proyeccion-de-990-500-millones-a-2024/


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