Europeans Seeking Plastic Surgery Flock to NYC's Dr. Beraka

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At a time when thousands of thousands of budget minded Americans are seeing doctors in Thailand, India, Singapore and other locations worldwide, a New York City Park Avenue plastic surgeon, Dr. George Beraka, is seeing a substantial increase in patients flying in from England, France, Italy and Greece

I see more patients from England than I do from California

New York plastic surgeon George Beraka, M.D. understands why so many South Americans have always been among his patients. Because Dr. Beraka was born and raised in Argentina and lists Spanish as his first language, word-of-mouth brings patients from his homeland as well as from Columbia and Venezuela.

Yet, more puzzling to the doctor is why more patients from England and Southern Europe are flying in to take advantage of Dr. Beraka's services. In the last year, those patients have increased about 15 percent.

"With globalization, I think the American standard of beauty is becoming more widespread," Dr. Beraka says. "Because more U.S. models are pictured all over the globe, the standard for beauty has become a thin woman with large breasts, blonde hair and a heart shaped face with high cheek bones, a chiseled nose and a narrow jaw."

The increase could be because Dr. Beraka is easy to find. He's listed in the 2006 Marquis Who's Who in America for his cosmetic surgery and breast augmentation work; he's been named a Top Doctor for the New York Metro area yearly from 2002 to 2007. Moreover, the Consumers' Research Council lists Dr. Beraka as a top plastic surgeon in America.

"Because I lived in the Philippines and did medical research in France, I think well-traveled Europeans are more comfortable with me," Dr. Beraka says.

Another factor might be a weak dollar making the U.S. East Coast a bargain destination -- as long as the journey is started with pounds or Euros.

"Among Europeans, after I perform a surgical rejuvenation on a patient from, say, France, I soon see her sister or best friend in my office," says Dr. Beraka. "It's the same with Italian and Greek patients."

"I see more patients from England than I do from California," Dr. Beraka says.

Adding to the doctor's popularity is a convenient operating room.

Dr. Beraka's state-of-the-art surgical suite adjoins his office and is certified to the highest possible standards by the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF.)

"The AAAASF overlooks nothing," Dr. Beraka says. "For instance, the floors must climb up the walls a certain distance so there is no chance for any dirt to be swept into a crack. The facility has its own ventilation system and ventilation systems which would automatically take over if the building's electricity ever failed."

Perhaps visiting patients spread word-of-mouth back in the home country because of the care Dr. Beraka takes of his patients. He has arranged with many New York hotels to host his patients while they recover from surgery. A nurse takes the patient from the recovery room to the hotel in a limo and stays with the patient as long as necessary. All levels of hotels are available to accommodate various budgets.

"The choice of hotels is important because I insist patients from overseas stay at least a week," Dr. Beraka says. "Any airplane passenger has a slight risk of developing a blood clot in the legs due to many hours of sitting. The risk is increased somewhat after surgery. For a procedure like a tummy tuck, I may insist on a stay of two or three weeks."

Two of the most popular procedures among European patients are breast augmentations and a scarless mid-face lift.

"Breast augmentation patients fall into two groups," says Dr. Beraka. "About half are in their early 20s and say they have never liked their breasts and want them improved. The other group is in the mid 40s or early 50s, have completed their families and want their deflated breasts repaired. Childbirth and nursing take a terrible toll on the breasts."

About Dr. Beraka: Trained at Columbia University, the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Beraka is board certified in plastic surgery and a fellow of the prestigious American College of Surgeons. He is also an assistant professor of surgery at Cornell University Medical College and the author of many technical articles published in leading medical journals.

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