Though many Americans are foregoing cosmetic surgery altogether during the economic downturn and weakened American dollar, plastic surgeons are opening their doors to foreign consumers who are ready to shell out the funds necessary for their next treatment.
Cosmetic Surgery Times reports that the U.S. dollar now has a much higher value against the Euro and British pound sterling, which means Europeans can track down lower-than-average rates on thousands of procedures on U.S. turf.
Attractive exchange rates are encouraging many consumers - especially from Great Britain - to book a trip to the U.S. solely for their next nip tuck or 'holiday surgery'.
Dr. Paul Lorenc, plastic surgeon and assistant professor of plastic surgery at the New York University School of Medicine shares some insights on the recent market trends:
"There has definitely been an upswing in the last couple of years because it's basically a bargain for them," Dr. Lorenc says, adding that patients have come from regions ranging from Ireland and Europe to Japan, South America and Dubai. "If I had to pick one place from which I've seen the most patients, it would be Great Britain." (Source: Cosmetic Surgery Times)
Consumers in the United States are also heading overseas for treatments, but not to Europe. Medspas and cosmetic surgery treatment centers in South America, India and Thailand offer low-priced treatments at a fraction of the U.S. price - often as little as 20 - 60 percent of the average rate.
Still, safety concerns about medical tourism keep many Americans at home and waiting for the economy to improve. And for those who want to pursue their treatment regardless of the state of the economy, patient financing offers an attractive, albeit temporary, solution for managing the costs of procedures.