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WWhen it comes to post recovery and recuperation, going on safari is a good choice. This is especially so in South Africa, a country at the forefront of cutting-edge medical procedures. The country’s history of excellence and innovation in health care makes it a serious contender in the health tourism industry, one of the fastest-growing tourism trends.

For several years South Africa, especially Cape Town, has been a popular place for international visitors to undergo surgery, after which they spend their time recuperating and enjoying the beauty that the country has to offer. This trend has not only continued but it has grown considerably, so much so that South Africa enjoys a reputation for being one of the safest and most affordable places in the world to undergo surgery.

AA big part of this is cosmetic surgery. South African doctors enjoy a very good reputation in most parts of the world, and plastic surgeons are no exception. An entire industry of cosmetic surgery tourism exists with packaged deals for tourists, involving cosmetic surgery combined with a holiday. A number of travel agencies facilitate this, combining accommodation bookings and sightseeing itineraries with various cosmetic procedures, such as Surgeon and Safari.

If you are coming to South Africa for medical treatment, whether cosmetic or otherwise, there are several important things to consider:

1. Make sure that you liaise with any potential surgeons before making any bookings—either logistical or surgical. It is important that your suitability for surgery be carefully assessed up front.

2. Ensure that your surgeon is fully qualified and affiliated with all necessary associations and councils. These should include the Health Professions Council of South Africa, the Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Southern Africa, and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

3. As with any surgery, confirm whether your surgeon makes use of a specialist anaesthetist. While many surgeons make use of general practitioners for sedation, a specialist is a safer option—though there are cost implications.

4. The type of anaesthetic used will also affect the cost. Query this prior to booking your procedure.

5. Any medical insurance will be your responsibility alone, and payment is often required in full prior to surgery. Note that most cosmetic surgery rates are above those covered by medical insurance, and some form of co-payment is usually required.

6. Patients need to plan their trips sensibly, ensuring that they have a minimum of two to three days in the country prior to their surgery to conduct formal consultations and discuss the procedure in detail.

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