The Cosmetic Tourist And Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

The Cosmetic Tourist And Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

Research And Prepare Yourself For Any Cosmetic Surgery Procedure Overseas Or At Home

In an increasingly image conscious world, the focus for many thinking about cosmetic procedures overseas or at home is the idea of gaining a perceived ‘added value’ to their looks and image. In keeping with this idea of adding value to one’s own image, The Cosmetic Tourist website was started to begin exploring the extraordinary amount of aesthetic cosmetic surgical and minimally invasive possibilities that are now readily available all over the world.

The information contained in this website is given to assist and inform, whilst highlighting both the positive and negative issues you could face on your cosmetic journey. We want you to have confidence with what you learn here on the Cosmetic Tourist website, and so try to work with experienced professionals on all the information we publish, as well as offer transparency and links to any resources we used.

Being fully educated about any cosmetic procedure, whatever it is and wherever in the world you are considering it, will give you the confidence to properly prepare, and gain a positive outcome for the experience.

Where It All Began; The Roots Of Plastic Surgery

The roots of plastic surgery can be traced all the way back to ancient Egyptian manuscripts dated circa 2500 - 3000 BC, with mention of plastic repairs for broken noses within the world's oldest known surgical document, famous Edwin Smith Papyrus.

Statue of the 'Father of Plastic Surgery'

Statue of the 'Father of Plastic Surgery'

In the 6th century BC there was an Indian physician who was recorded using rudimentary reconstructive procedures, such as prosthetic fitting. His name was Sushruta and was regarded by many as the ‘Father of Plastic Surgery’.

These medical scriptures (along with other Indian healers, such as one of Ayurvedic medicine original contributors, Charaka) where first translated into Arabic before eventually coming into the hands of the European’s, with the Branca family of Italy being early adopters of Sushruta techniques in the 14th Century.

There were of course other strands of plastic surgery being practiced throughout history, such as the Romans documenting repair to damaged ears and limbs throughout their long history.

By the end of the 17th Century, British physicians were travelling to India to study rhinoplasties, with one English surgeon, Joseph Constantine Carpue spending nearly 2 decades observing in India before performing in England, what is considered Europe’s first rhinoplastic surgery in 1814.

In 1818 the German surgeon Carl Ferdinand Von Gräfe published ‘Rhinoplastik’ which discussed his new method (having been modified from an earlier Italian one) of using a free skin graft from limbs instead of taking a graft from closer to the source of procedure (a delayed pedicle flap).

The Dawn Of Modern Plastic And Cosmetic Surgery Techniques

Whilst knowledge and use of certain inhalation anesthesia had been around for centuries it wasn’t until the 1800’s that the use of anesthesia for surgery started to become established. Coupled with the introduction of sterilization, disinfection, and antibiotics, all of a sudden the right environment was created to begin a great leap forward in elective (and so plastic) surgery.

The beginnings of many procedures we see in modern day plastic and cosmetic procedures of facial plastic and cosmetic surgery began with an otolaryngologist from New Zealand called Sir Harold Gillies. Practicing in London he developed these techniques whilst caring for disfigured soldiers from World War 1.

Pioneering Plastic Surgery - Lifetime Progression of a Gillies Patient

Pioneering Plastic Surgery - Lifetime Progression of a Gillies Patient

It is thought Dr. Gillies and his colleagues performed over 11,000 operations on at least 5,000 men. Such high numbers of procedures honed his skill so that after WW1 had ended, the doctor went on to partner in a successful private practice, and promoted his advanced techniques all over the world.

By the second World War Gillies had been joined by his cousin Archibald McIndoe, who by the end of WW2 used his experience to develop groundbreaking techniques for treating burn victims not only procedurally but also on the rehabilitation side such as social reintegration.

Plastic Surgery Vs. Cosmetic Surgery And It's Growth

Whilst both Plastic and Cosmetic surgery deal with body imaging, cosmetic surgery is concerned with the aesthetic enhancement of a person’s image, whereas plastic surgery is dedicated to correcting and rehabilitating dysfunctional areas of the body.

Cosmetic surgery procedures, both surgical, and minimally invasive, continue to grow year after year, and 2018 is no different. Recent data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)  suggests there was a 2 percent increase in 2017 from 2016 results, with 17.5 million cosmetic procedures being performed in the United States alone.

These figures really grow when you take into account world wide trends and include countries from South America, Europe and Asia, where demand for cosmetic surgery has exploded in the last decade (explore our article on cosmetic surgery in India here)

The Darker Side Of Cosmetic Surgery

Potential cosmetic tourists should also take into account that with this tremendous increase in demand for both surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic surgery comes an increase in problem procedures or “botched cosmetic surgery”. This is especially true when one travels to countries whose medical standards and laws might not be as high as those from your own country.

Everyone who has thought of getting a cosmetic procedure will have heard at least one horror story. Unfortunately they happened everywhere, not just in certain countries or with select procedures, and this makes it doubly important for anyone contemplating undergoing a cosmetic procedure to do thorough research before they receive any treatment, no matter where they are receiving it.

Know Your Procedure and Cosmetic Surgery Provider

If everyone educated themselves beforehand, just with even the most basic knowledge of their preferred procedure and learn a little history of who is going to be performing it, the chances of disappointing results, or worse, would be greatly diminished.

There is a good reason why cosmetic surgery overseas has become so popular - Prices can be a lot lower for the same procedure than in the country you live, whilst the medical facilities are high class and comparable with the standards you expect at home. Other pros of cosmetic surgery abroad include certain countries having cosmetic surgeons and clinics who have developed specialist expertise for specific procedures you cannot find at home.

But even when everything looks so promising it is important to do your research. Check into your cosmetic surgeon and clinic’s reputation, and most importantly certifications. Make sure they are of the qualified level they advertise themselves at. Research individual countries medical boards and how they go about certifying cosmetic surgeons. Try to leave no stone unturned when researching where and who will be performing your cosmetic procedure.


If you are having surgery then you certainly want to double check that you will be in a fully equipped hospital or center for cosmetic surgery that can cope with any sort of medical emergency that could occur. This also includes having professional and qualified staff available to help, not only during surgery but in post operative terms and recovery.

A Final Word On Cosmetic Surgery and Cosmetic Tourism

Cosmetic surgery procedures are something that should never be taken lightly, for they are surgical procedures and even minimally invasive procedures can hold some risk without proper thought or understanding beforehand. This is especially true when going to a new country, and whilst this shouldn’t put you off we hope you will at least take the research aspect a lot more seriously.

Whilst all aesthetic procedures can benefit an individual’s self image, it can never remedy other parts of their lives that may be in disarray (Explore this notion more thoroughly with an interview we did with New York City oculofacial plastic surgeon Joel E. Kopelman here). So even when you have completed a thorough research of your medical team and destination, spend a little time revisiting your personal thoughts and make sure you are doing this for the most important reason of all….Yourself!

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