What sounds better than resting up from your cosmetic procedure than lying on a beach, or relaxing inside a spa? The new trend in plastic surgery—at least abroad—is combining cosmetic surgery and luxurious vacations, often at half the price of the same surgery here in the United States. If it seems too good to be true, be warned: it probably is. How does this even happen? Many overseas cosmetic surgery practices partner with specialized travel agencies to create vacation packages that include surgery. A typical package will include your pick of an operation or operations –usually at a fraction of the cost of the same surgery within the States—and tour itineraries, resorts, and spas. Often, people who buy into these packages want to treat their stay overseas as a vacation. This can be a critical mistake: plastic surgery is still surgery, affecting your body and health. Without the proper research and care, your surgery abroad can quickly turn into a nightmare at home. The Good Plastic surgery abroad isn’t all bad news: the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (isaps) has verified and certified over 1,500 surgeons in 73 countries who currently meet the United States’ standards. A quick trip to their website has each country labeled with those surgeons and where they are—making it easier to find the good ones. If you’ve considered recovering from surgery away from home and are certain about surgery abroad, begin by very thoroughly researching surgeons, countries, and procedures. Just as in the United States, they should display certifications and recommendations, as well as have a clean, licensed practice. The Bad Perhaps the most important thing to remember here is that each country will have a different set of rules governing plastic surgery—or surgery in general. Even plastic surgeons here in the United States don’t have guidelines that are as strict as other surgeons: unlike other medical professionals, there is no program specifically for plastic surgery. An OBGYN, an optometrist, and a dentist can all take the same certification test for plastic surgery from the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Plastic surgery operations don’t have to be performed in a certain location, either: anywhere from an office to an actual surgical room is used for surgery. The horror stories you hear from botched plastic surgeries aren’t always from patients who chose to go abroad: it happens here in the United States as well. Becoming disfigured or disabled is a common report from patients with botched procedures, although death and more serious complications can occur as well. The Ugly Attempting to recover abroad can sometimes be what leads to your complications. What they didn’t tell you when you booked that trip to the spa is that vacation activities—like swimming, sunbathing, or drinking alcohol—can actually slow healing. In addition, flight isn’t recommended for at least ten days following surgery, and recovery can continue for several weeks. If you do elect to have surgery abroad and something goes wrong, American surgeons may not be able—or want—to help correct the bad surgery. There are several legal reasons that could make them reluctant to correct any complications, and malpractice laws don’t apply in other countries. That could make any kind of corrective surgery—if you find a willing surgeon—more expensive than the original surgery. When it comes to your health, you’ll get what you pay for: and it likely won’t be the vacation you had in mind. Surgery of any kind can be painful and will take a toll on your body: wait to debut your new bikini body until after you’ve made a full recovery safe at home.