Along with Singapore, Thailand boasts one of the most highly-developed, sophisticated, and admired medical tourism programs in Asia if not the world, offering most major operations from brain tumor removal to coronary artery bypass for about one-fourth the cost charged by American hospitals.
Its famous Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok treats over 400,000 international patients each year, more than any other hospital in the world. Its doctors and staff are extremely well trained, almost 25% are Board-Certified in the United States, and the huge hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission International, the offshore arm of the organization that certifies American hospitals. Cosmetic surgery packages are available but seem to focus more on operations like facelift and liposuction for the medical tourist and less on Asian-specific operations like cheek and jaw reduction.
On a much smaller scale, Thailand's many solo practitioners are best known for their emphasis on gender reassignment surgeries for transsexuals seeking high quality at low cost.
Thai society is more socially tolerant that many others and so attracts a large number of patients seeking sex reassignment.
Every other type of plastic surgery imaginable is also available, but again there seems to be little emphasis on specialized Asian cosmetic needs. Costs can be quite low (20-30% of American prices), while the sun, clear sky, and beautiful beaches come at no extra charge. Recent political unrest and violence have scared away many medical tourists.
Quality can be much more spotty away from the well-known institutions. Equally developed is Thailand's surgical underground of quacks and beauty operators undercutting already rock-bottom legitimate Thai prices.
Shopping for the ultimate plastic surgery bargain is not a good strategy.
More on Asian Plastic Surgery in Southeast Asia >
Cosmetic Surgery in Southeast Asia
A mix of countries offering cosmetic services that range from world-class good to world-class sad
Plastic Surgery in Thailand
Thailand boasts one of the most highly-developed medical tourism programs in Asia
Plastic Surgery in Singapore
The World Health Organization ranked Singapore's health system the best in Asia
Plastic Surgery in Vietnam
While growing quickly, Vietnam suffers from minimal regulation and lax enforcement
Plastic Surgery in Malaysia
One big attraction is Malyasia's good value to quality ratio
Plastic Surgery in Indonesia
Most cosmetic surgery in Indonesia is performed by unlicensed practitioners
Plastic Surgery in the Philippines
Phiippines offers modern facilites, the latest technology, and well-trained plastic surgeons
Plastic Surgery in Cambodia
Cambodia's underdeveloped health care system trains almost no plastic surgeons of its own