Surgery in Puerto Vallarta
Abdominoplasty, Eyelid surgery, Blepharoplasty,
Forehead, Browlift, Breast augmentation
and reduction, Mastopexy, Mentoplasty,
Chin surgery, Minimal incision face
rejuvenation, Face rejuvenation, Nose
surgery, Rytidectomy, Face lift, etc.
The new trend of cosmetic surgery vacations.
by Marla Hoover
vacation, sun, sand, surf, surgery. Surgery?
Si, for many reasons the rising number of
people who are choosing to have plastic surgery
are choosing to have that surgery while on
the last decade people who approve of cosmetic
surgery for themselves or others has increased
by 50 percent. It is no longer felt as a luxury
reserved for the rich and famous or perceived
as vanity or a quest for perfection but rather
increasing ones quality of life by promoting
a positive self-image. Plastic surgeons have
seen the over all value and psychological
link between body image, positive attitude
and resulting physical health.
of a healthier lifestyle many men and women
over 50 are not only feeling good about themselves
but want to maintain a youthful appearance.
As this large group of the population continues
to age there is an anticipated increase in
the number of plastic surgery procedures to
continue. Each year more of these procedures
are being done while on vacation. Here we
will explore this issue with local plastic
and reconstructive surgeons.
benefits of vacation surgery are multi-fold.
According to Dr. Jose Manuel Guerra, vacation
surgery is increasing in part because, “procedures
are the same here as anywhere, we have the
newest technology and training. The idea is
to offer the same quality here as in the United
States or Mexico City .” Each year Puerto
Vallarta holds an international symposium
on plastic and reconstructive surgery. Physicians
from around the world attend to learn the
latest techniques and advancements made in
their field of medicine as well as having
the opportunity to obtain the newest equipment,
appliances and devices.
the latest techniques being available, the
costs are lower. Dr. Alfredo Vazquez-Carillo
states, “plastic surgery procedures are much
less expensive here with the same results
you would expect in New York .” Depending
on the type of surgery performed, hospital
stay, physician charges and other factors,
having cosmetic procedures done in Puerto
Vallarta will cost a fraction of what it would
in the United States . The average charge
for liposuction is $1,000 to $2,000.00, for
a full facelift including neck, upper and
lower eyelids, and forehead revisions; the
average charge is between $3,000.00 and $4000.00.
A complete, abdominoplasty or tummy tuck will
cost on average between $3000.00 and $5000.00.
All charges include hospital expenses; medical
team, anesthesia, and pre and post op care
and are dependent upon amount of surgery needed.
Compare this with the average cost of these
procedures in the US and see why vacation
surgery is gaining popularity.
Miguel Saldana explains “many patients like
the anonymity of having surgery while out
of town, that way when they return home they
enjoy knowing they look better than before
they left.” Being in a less stressful environment
is another factor in deciding on vacation
surgery. Physicians' finds that people on
vacation are more relaxed thus recuperate
from procedures faster. Many of these patients
come to town a few days in advance of their
surgery to unwind and de-stress, preparing
for their procedure. “This “Spa/Surgery” experience
is enhanced by having massages, yoga, Jacuzzi's,
and other body treatments prior to and with
the doctors okay, after sufficient recovery.
Plus they get to try out their new look in
a tropical location,” states Dr. Vazquez whose
practice offers this unique arrangement.
of Procedures done in Puerto Vallarta
surgeries are the most popular procedures
requested in Puerto Vallarta . Traditional
liposuction, ultrasound assisted liposuction
or UAL, and liposculpture are available. UAL
is a type of liposuction that has been practiced
in Europe and Latin America for several years
and has just begun to gain notice in the United
States . This procedure is similar to traditional
liposuction, however using UAL the fat is
first fractionated by the use of ultrasonic
energy delivered to the fat via a long thin
probe which is inserted in the same way as
for traditional liposuction. The ultrasonic
energy targets only the fat cells, which leave
the surrounding structures; blood vessels
and connective tissue undamaged. The high
frequency vibration bursts or explodes the
fat cells allowing for an easier, low-volume
suction removal. This allows for comparatively
large amounts of fat removal per operation
with fewer traumas to the tissues and less
postoperative swelling and bruising. Liposculpture
is the application of external ultra sound
half an hour before surgery to fractionate
fat cells for ease in removal.
Vazquez explains these procedures can also
be used in conjunction with a tummy tuck for
more effective body sculpturing. Breast augmentation
or enlargement, breast lifts, and breast reductions
are highly requested as well as complete facelifts,
according to Dr. Guerra. Dr. Saldana states
the most popular procedure for men is eyelid
surgery seconded by liposuction surgeries.
These as well as rhinoplasty or nose surgery,
calf implants, chin and cheek re-sculpturing
and many other procedures are also available.
Collagen, fat and Botox injections - a fairly
new technique of injecting a small amount
of botulism toxin protein subcutaneously to
paralyze muscles which reduces wrinkles –
can also be obtained.
and confidence is most important for our patients.”
According to Dr. Geurro. Full bilingual staffed
hospitals, high-tech equipment, up to date
skills and fully accredited physicians assure
that patients can expect the same quality
of care in Puerto Vallarta as they would the
United States , Canada or Europe . Surgical
candidates are all required to give a complete
medical history and to have pre admission
work up that includes but not limited to,
lab draws, chest x-rays, EKG's, and cardiology
patient is also seen by an anesthesiologist
prior to surgery to discuss what can be expected.
“The new medicines in the anesthesia family
do not stay in the body so patients wake up
within a few minuets of end of surgery with
no grogginess or complaints of nausea” states
Dr. Vazquez, “adding this allows the patient
to feel better faster and aids in a quicker
recovery.” Local, conscious, general sedation
and spinals are all used depending on the
type of surgery done.
focus is to advise patients of risks, provide
patient education, and to keep in close contact
with our patients post operatively,” says
Dr. Saldana. All patients are seen postoperatively
by the operative surgeon. The physician does
any post op care such as dressing, drain,
or suture removal as well as follow up care
and instructions. The length of hospital stay
varies depending on the type of procedure
done. Most require just a one-night stay in
the hospital to monitor recovery and pain
control if needed. Tummy tucks usually require
two nights and in some cases three. Patients
can then go to their homes, hotels or condos
to finish recuperating, returning to their
individual doctors' office for follow up care.
on mouth is the way most find a qualified
cosmetic surgeon. Knowing someone who has
had a procedure and is happy with the outcome
is the best source of knowledge on vacation
surgery. Referral patients make up the greatest
percentage of the surgeons' vacation surgery
practices. Consultations also offer information
and confidence in choosing the right physician.
Surgery dates can be arranged during consultations
for vacation dates in the future or depending
on the physicians' schedule and length of
candidates' vacation, procedures can even
be performed while the potential patient is
is having vacation surgeries?
to all three surgeons interviewed, more men
and women each year are coming to Puerto Vallarta
to have their cosmetic surgery. These physicians
perform over three hundred such surgeries
annually and the number is rising. These procedures
are apart from their other reconstructive
surgery practices or practices in other cities.
agreed that most of their patients' came from
the United States and Canada , though they
have had patients from all over Europe and
as far away as Korea . Eighty percent are
in the 50 to 60 year old age group, while
20 percent make up the 40 and younger or 60
plus age group. In some practices up to 30
percent of these patients are men and this
percentage is also increasing annually.
trends mirror - on a smaller scale - those
of the United States. The American Society
of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgery
Education Foundation reported that cosmetic
procedure percentages have tripled since 1992,
with 50 percent of this growth occurring since
1996. The age groups and types of procedures
requested in Puerto Vallarta also follow the
U. S. trends.
a U.S. nurse with over twenty years of experience,
it is my opinion that the physicians interviewed
for this article have not only the highest credentials
possible in their field, but are extremely knowledgeable,
capable, understanding, and have terrific bedside
manners. I would recommend their services without
a dream vacation and returning home looking
and feeling better, more refreshed, and with
a whole new attitude seems to be a perfect
coupling. Since most of these procedures and
recovery from are relatively quick and dramatically
less expensive than in the States it is no
wonder why so many are opting to take home
not only a tan but a little tucking as well.