Cosmetic Vacations in South Africa
By Hilmar Luckhoff, MD
Published on August 09, 2007
A few years ago, people went to small clinics for extended periods of time in secret when having plastic surgery. But today, plastic surgery is simpler, much safer and oftentimes convenient enough that it can be incorporated into your vacation itinerary.
"Cosmetic vacations" to South Africa have proven to be appealing to both the local and international visitor, especially with the rising cost of plastic surgery in Europe and the US. With the advent of the cosmetic vacation, a person may now fly in, take a few days to see the sights before undergoing the procedure, and then spend a few days afterwards to recuperate and relax. One burgeoning center for cosmetic vacationers is Cape Town, which was recently voted by readers of Conde Naste Traveller Magazine as the number one value-for-money city in the world.
Cape Town hosts a number of clinics dedicated to the highest standards of surgical excellence and patient welfare. These clinics offer an extensive range of both surgical and nonsurgical procedures, in addition to skin care therapy. The number one goal of these clinics is to provide each patient with appropriate treatment for his or her particular condition. Many of the finest board certified plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and skin care therapists in the whole of Southern Africa are based in Cape Town. In addition to clinics, visitors to Cape Town can choose to seek out the services of a plastic surgeon at top hospitals; either way, they're in good hands.
South Africa is becoming more and more popular with foreign patients due to the excellent training our surgeons receive. South Africa's surgeons are in strong demand worldwide (particularly in Canada, Australia and the UK). Another reason to travel to South Africa is the very favorable currency exchange rate, which allows foreign visitors to choose the best surgeon for the medical procedure they will be undergoing. Visitors typically pay about half the price of a similar procedure performed in the US, with absolutely no compromise on quality or standards. Many of South Africa's plastic and cosmetic surgeons are affiliated with professional medical associations in the US and the UK.
One of the biggest concerns of patients traveling to a foreign city for plastic surgery is the idea of being alone during surgery. Surgery can be stressful even at home, but in a foreign city, without family or friends, that concern is magnified. Cape Town's clinics have various solutions, such as private theatre nurses and personal trained assistants that help every step of the way, including all pre- and postoperative necessities. There is no language barrier as English is the official language of South Africa. What's more, Cape Town has a highly developed first world infrastructure. The world's first human heart transplant occurred here thirty years ago and today Cape Town remains a center of medical excellence.
Cape Town's plastic surgeons offer procedures such as laser skin resurfacing, eyelid and face-lift procedures, nasal surgery, ear repair, mini abdominoplasty and breast lifts/augmentation. Nonsurgical procedures include chemical peels, laser hair removal, Botox injections, microdermabrasion, Restylane, Perlane and New-Fill injections. Our surgeons believe that it is important to be up-to-date with the latest technologies and procedures. The blue peel, for example, is the latest form of chemical peel performed in our clinics.
Most procedures today, with the notable exception of abdominoplasty and breast reduction, are performed under local anaesthetic or deep conscious sedation. The medical and dental professions have recognized deep conscious sedation as a replacement for general anesthesia in some surgical procedures. Many outpatient procedures previously done in hospitals under general anaesthesia can now be performed at private clinics, where the cost is typically much lower.
There are many other advantages of undergoing sedation in a clinic:
- Recovery is more rapid and patients can go home sooner
- Enormous savings
- Less side effects, as patients do not go under general anaesthesia
Plastic surgery has advanced in its techniques and results, and today side effects are also less common. As a result, there are now options available to people with all sorts of differing needs, from those suffering from disfigurement to people wishing to merely improve the physical appearance of an area or reduce fine lines or wrinkles. For many, cosmetic holidays to Cape Town, South Africa are an attractive way to achieve their aesthetic goals.