The real cost of plastic surgery in Colombia

Yes, it's true...If you live in the United States, Canada, or Europe, you can come to Colombia and get cheap plastic surgery. But the surgery itself is not the only thing to consider. There are many costs that factor into the total price of your surgery. In this article we break down the expenses, to give you a more accurate price of plastic surgery in Colombia.

Calculating the price of plastic surgery in Colombia

It's easy to be lured in by the cheap prices for plastic surgery in Colombia. But those prices you see are just a small piece of a bigger picture. The real cost of your surgery includes many factors. Factors which we'll go through here…

Factor #1: The surgery

The #1 factor that determines the price of your plastic surgery is, of course, the surgery itself.

In Colombia, the cost of the surgery should include the following:

  • The surgeon's fee
  • A fee for the surgical facility (hospital or clinic)
  • Any supplies required for the surgery, such as breast implants, butt implants, chin implants, etc.
  • The anesthesiologist's fee

The price of your surgery may also include the cost of insurance coverage, in case of surgical complications.

Here are some approximate prices for the more popular plastic surgery procedures performed in Colombia:

Factor #2: Medical exams

Another important factor in the price of plastic surgery in Colombia is the price of any tests you need to take before the surgery itself.

Before you can have surgery of any kind, you need to make sure you're healthy enough to endure the procedure.

Depending on your health history, this could mean blood tests, getting an ECG, x-rays, and more. Make sure to ask your doctor what he or she requires prior to surgery.

Some people choose to arrive in Colombia a little earlier to conduct the tests because of the inexpensive cost of those tests in Colombia. These tests can cost between $150.000 and $250.000 COP – depending, of course, on what needs to be done.

Factor #3: The surgical facility

Not all plastic surgeons have their own, private surgical facility. Some will simply schedule time at a hospital where they have surgical privileges. Others share facilities with other surgeons.

Whatever the case may be, there are costs associated with the surgical facility. Those costs will be part of the price you pay for plastic surgery.

Factor #4: Surgical implants and supplies

Colombia plastic surgery price must include cost of implants

If you're having a surgery that requires implants of some kind – breast implants, butt implants, a chin implant – you'll be charged for the items required.

Aside from the specialized items needed to complete your surgery, there are the items common to all surgery, like…

  • surgical gowns
  • masks
  • souchers
  • gauze

…just to name a few.

All of these items should be included in the quoted price for your plastic surgery in Colombia.

Factor #5: The anesthesiologist's fee

Any plastic surgeon you choose should use a certified anesthesiologist to administer the anesthesia given to you during your surgery. And of course, this person needs to be paid. When speaking with a plastic surgeon during the initial consultation, be sure to ask if the price you're being quoted includes the anesthesiologist.

Factor #6: Specialized recovery garments

Source: Fajas Salome

Most procedures will require that you buy some sort of recovery garment or items. For example:

  • If you have liposuction, you'll need a faja.
  • If you're having a nose job, you'll want to buy a neck pillow for sleeping while in an upright position.
  • Having a Brazilian Butt Lift? You'll want to consider this pillow.

Having the right items with you can help make the trip home more comfortable. Be sure to ask your surgeon what they recommend you buy to help with the recovery.

Factor #6: Travel insurance

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst.”

Of course, you want to believe that your trip, and your surgery will go smoothly but you need to make sure you have plans in place in case things go wrong. In other words, you need to have travel insurance.

Besides protecting you from unplanned medical expenses, such as having to spend time in a hospital, travel insurance can help by paying for lost or stolen items, like your cell phone, laptop, or tablet.

When shopping for travel insurance, be sure to ask if the policy will cover you if you're going to another country for elective surgery. Many companies will only cover you if the trip you're taking is for vacation, and not for surgery.

Factor #7: Transportation

Travel is a major factor in the price of plastic surgery in Colombia.

Another factor in the price of your plastic surgery in Colombia is the cost of transportation.

First, you'll need to get from your home to the airport. And upon arrival in Colombia, you'll need to get from the airport to your hotel, or rental apartment.

Then there's the flight itself.

Next, you'll need to get from your where you're staying to the doctor's office for your pre-surgery appointment(s). Some of our recommended doctors offer free transportation to and from their office for surgery-related appointments.

If you want to do any sightseeing, you'll also need to factor in the cost of taxis or Uber to get around town.

Finally, there's the cost of getting back to the airport for your return flight, and getting home again.

Factor #8: Food

Depending on your surgery, you could be in Colombia for up to three weeks. It can get expensive eating out for every meal. That's why we recommend renting an apartment with a kitchen. This way you can do some grocery shopping and prepare some food on your own.

[Related reading: How to order food in Colombia when you don't speak Spanish]

Factor #9: Post-op care (nursing)

Even if you have a friend or family member joining you on your trip to Colombia, you may want to consider hiring a nurse to help you with your post-op recovery. Depending on your surgery, it can help having someone who's trained in post-op care to help with changing your bandages, checking on your incisions, and helping you with pain management.

Another form of post-op care that can be helpful is lymphatic massages to help reduce swelling and to accelerate healing.

When speaking with your potential plastic surgeons, make sure to ask if these services are available. If they don't offer them as part of the price of your plastic surgery, they may be able to help you arrange for someone to help you.

Factor #9: Costs for your travel companion

It's highly advisable that when you come to Colombia for plastic surgery you come with someone you know.

There are several reasons for this:

  1. If something goes wrong, you have someone who can communicate with your family, and your doctor back home.
  2. You have someone to keep you company during your recovery period.
  3. You have moral support through the entire process. Surgery…travelling to a foreign country…it's a lot to deal with if it's your first time. There will be moments of doubt. Having a supportive travel partner can help you through the rough moments.

If you ask a friend to be with you during this trip, you may have to cover part of, if not all, their expenses as well.

Factor #10: Translator

Even though all of our recommended surgeons offer services in English, it's worth thinking about hiring a translator to accompany you to your appointments. Each doctor's level of English will vary, and it can be helpful to have someone there to help fill in the gaps, if any come up.

Besides that, a translator can help you with any paperwork that hasn't been translated, and they can be tremendously helpful when walking around town – whether it's to order lunch or buy groceries.

And if you choose to hire a nurse, the translator can help you communicate with the nurse should you have any questions about your recovery.

Factor #11: Your accommodations

Medellín Lifeafar apartment - where to stay in Medellin, Colombia
We recommend LifeAfar rental apartments during your stay in Colombia

Your third biggest expense behind the surgery, and your airfare will be your accommodation – hotel or apartment rental.

I recommend going with Lifeafar's rental apartments. They have a great selection of apartments in Bogotá, Cali, and Medellín. They're all beautifully appointed, and in some of the best neighborhoods.

They do offer housekeeping services if you like, although the housekeeping staff will not be bilingual. Not a big deal really. Even in a hotel, the housekeeping staff are unlikely to speak English.

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