In Poland, Warsaw currently has the highest number of cosmetic and plastic surgeon specialists, including well-known ones. The most popular destinations for cosmetic surgery in Poland, aside from Warsaw, are Krakow, Gdansk and Szczecin. Breast augmentation and rhinoplasty are probably the most frequently performed cosmetic surgeries in Poland, followed by liposuction.
1) What are the advantages of cosmetic and plastic surgery in Poland?
2) What it takes to become certified plastic surgeon in Poland
3) How to choose a plastic surgery clinic in Poland
4) Arranging plastic surgery on your own
Most of the major European airlines fly to Poland, as well as several low cost airlines such as SkyEurope, Ryanair, EasyJet, Norwegian and Germanwings.
Not only will a trip to Poland save you money on your plastic surgery, but you can also take advantage of the beautiful and historic parts of the country. A good number of Polish cities, and sections of cities, are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, including Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow, where there are also many cosmetic surgery clinics.
In Poland, the standards of the medical sector have risen dramatically since joining the EU in 2004.
Dr. Ireneusz Latkowski is a plastic surgery specialist and senior assistant at the Plastic Surgery Hospital in Polonica Zdroj. Established in 1951, it is the oldest center for plastic surgery in Poland. He says that in order to become a plastic surgeon in Poland, one must finish medical school, which takes six years, followed by an internship of 1.5 years. The future surgeon must then continue by completing two specialization degrees. The first one must be in either general surgery or children’s surgery, and this training lasts for 5 years. A second specialization in plastic surgery must then be completed, and this lasts from 3 to 5 years, the longer the better, Dr. Latkowski points out. In addition, many Polish plastic surgeons train in Western nations, such as Germany or the UK, as part of their supervised studies for the surgery specializations. More and more Polish surgeons are also working part time outside of Poland, in places like the UK and Sweden, proving that their skills and qualifications are just as high, if not higher, as those required by Western standards.
3) How to choose a plastic surgery clinic in PolandDr. Sylwia Daniluk, a Polish plastic surgery specialist and member of the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, says that recently, the requirements for becoming a qualified plastic surgeon in Poland have been changed. After medical school graduation, there will be only one degree that a future surgeon must complete, but it will take a longer amount of time than the two separate specialization degrees currently take.
The lower costs of surgery or treatment is likely the main reason you are going to travel to Poland. However, as Dr. Latkowski points out, price should not be the first determining factor in choosing a surgeon or clinic.
Do thorough research and compare various different specialists and clinics. It is wise to contact the surgeon or intermediary to ask for a reference or patient testimonials. In fact, word of mouth may be one of the best factors to consider, according to Dr. Latkowski.
“Nowadays marketing isn’t a problem, so the most important thing is the opinion of another patient who has experience in that clinic,” says Dr. Latkowski. “It’s not important what beautiful photos the doctor has or what kind of website there is.”
But also do make sure that the surgeon is a board certified plastic surgeon, and check to see what medical associations he or she is a member of, including the Polish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons and the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. A clinic may be newly constructed and very modern and hygienic in its equipment and technological capabilities but make sure that in addition to this, the actual surgeon or surgeons at the clinic are established. Your goal is to find a combination of both of these elements.
According to Dr. Latkowski, many of the patients who came to Poland for plastic surgery five or ten years ago were from Germany, so it was important for Polish surgeons to speak German. But in the years since Poland has joined the EU, more patients are arriving from the UK and the US, as well as other countries, making it necessary for Polish surgeons to communicate in English.
Look into the options for insurance. Purchasing travel insurance may only cover you abroad for something like a broken leg, so find out if the clinic is insured.
Ask about options for post-surgery treatment, in the case that, for example, scar tissue or an implant hardens. Does the clinic make any guarantees? Find out how long the clinic suggests you remain at the clinic post-op before traveling back home. For certain surgeries, you might need to remain at the clinic for one to two weeks.
Make sure that the clinic does not only take cash. Acceptance of credit cards, in addition to cash, is a positive sign.
If you are using an intermediary (a medical tourist agency) find out if they have received an ISO 9000:2001 Certificate. This is an international mark of high quality service. Find other patients on Internet message boards or forums who have used this intermediary and see what they have to say. Ask them questions about their experience.
You can arrange cosmetic surgery in Poland without the assistance of a medical broker or other intermediary. Once you have done the research, are satisfied with the surgeon’s qualifications and experience and have heard positive feedback from previous patients of the surgeon, you can book a date for the surgery through the clinic. When you have the date or dates for the surgery, make sure you allow yourself enough time before and after your surgery. Using these dates, you can purchase your flight tickets online, either flying straight into Poland, or via Berlin, a cost-effective option. Accommodation can be easily found online as well, or ask the clinic for a recommendation of a nearby hotel or apartment. If you wish to rent a car, this can also be researched and confirmed online. Ask your surgeon and/or the clinic’s contact person as many questions as you need to when planning your trip.
Using an intermediary to plan your trip for you can be more expensive, but they may also take care of all the little details, from airport pickup to post-surgery caretaker in your apartment, so you don’t have to worry about anything. And again, before booking, do some research to see if you can find anyone else who has used their services. When it comes to something as important as traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery, word of mouth is of the utmost importance.