Anticipating the magic of transformation, many patients, like Espinosa, ignore their instincts, opting instead for the assurance of friends or persuasive advertising. Dr. Anthony Griffin, a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery who was named one of â€śAmericaâ€™s Leading Doctorsâ€ť by black enterprise and whose surgeries have been featured on ABCâ€™s Extreme Makeover and CNN, says, â€śFrankly, some people donâ€™t want to know. Despite the doctorâ€™s advice, many will shop around until they hear what theyâ€™re looking for, which is rarely whatâ€™s advertised.â€ť
Today, Espinosa has physically recovered from her surgery, but the memory of the trauma remains. She admits that the fear of being asked uncomfortable questions and being judged by health professionals impaired her judgment. To anyone considering offshore plastic surgery she cautions, â€śIn hindsight, there are more viable, smarter options than leaving the country that, if Iâ€™d known, would have saved me a lot of pain and money. But if youâ€™re dead set on going, donâ€™t feel that you donâ€™t have the right to speak up or ask certain questions because youâ€™re getting a bargain. Always trust your instincts even over what the doctor is telling you. If it doesnâ€™t feel right, it isnâ€™t.â€ť
As the economy continues its downward spiral, and with more consumers vying for bargains on products and services in an increasingly global economy, a greater number of foreign firms have made offshore plastic surgery their business. Griffin insists, â€śThe U.S. has the highest medical standards in the world in terms of safety, expertise, and protocols. Itâ€™s unwise to leave this protection for countries without jurisdictions that oversee doctors. The truth is there is no free lunch and you canâ€™t get a Mercedes for the price of a Saturn.â€ť
This story originally appeared in the June 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.