BEAUTY Over the years it has become fashionable to seek medical treatment while combining it with a holiday. Nordesthetics Clinic in Lithuania might be one of the more exotic destinations for plastic surgery
In recent years, with the ease of air travel and the benefits of including a holiday with such procedures, it is not uncommon for people to go overseas for plastic surgery, be it for correcting injuries or defects, or the more common liposuction, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks, breast augmentation, breast lifts, or the increasingly popular ‘Mommy makeover’ to restore the body to its pre-pregnancy shape that may include some of the above, as well as arm or thigh lifts and intimate surgery.
Lucire has looked at practices in Malaysia, but for a complete change in weather and surroundings, Lithuania strikes us as a destination that would blend an exotic holiday while having a procedure done. The question, then, is: to whom do you entrust this work?
Nordesthetics, in Kaunas, Lithuania, the country’s second largest city, was founded in 2012 by highly experienced doctors, and is tailored to medical tourism. Justina Bartkute, the clinic’s director, notes that their motto is ‘Patients’ health comes first’: ‘This attitude is applied through the entire process, starting with consultations and ending with post-surgical care and patient support,’ she says.
‘Every year the clinic hosts over 2,000 patients, 90 per cent of whom are medical tourists looking for affordable quality treatment abroad.
‘Among [the] main factors attracting patients to Nordesthetics Clinic is consistency in its specialization, modern diagnostic and surgical facilities, honest and attentive communication with patients, transparency and openness about services alongside with easy-to-reach location and competitive prices.’
There are several nearby airports, one of which is in Kaunas, where the clinic is located. The next nearest one is a mere hour away by car. And, as those who have driven in Europe might have experienced, it isn’t too far to travel between countries, particularly in the smaller Baltic states. Pricing is highly competitive, explains Bartkute: ‘Compared to other plastic surgery clinics in western Europe, we offer procedures at half the price while maintaining the same or, in some cases, even higher quality of services.’
The doctors are all highly trained, all with international experience, their credentials and conferences all listed on the Nordesthetics website (nordesthet ics.com). In keeping with their motto, to place patients’ health first, they are careful about recruitment. ‘As a medical institution, we provide services related to patients’ health and well-being. To ensure the safety of procedures, we apply minimally invasive techniques, and other innovative practices that nurture patients’ health. So we have to ensure that our surgeons are highly skilled and keep on improving their skills and knowledge. Therefore, our surgeons participate and attend various international courses and conferences.’
During the recruitment process, ‘we evaluate the experience of surgeons who are willing to become a part of our team with great responsibility and sharp eyes. International experience indicates that the surgeon has vast knowledge, has worked in different environments, and can find a connection with patients of different nationalities.
‘In general, the team’s expansion is always a matter that requires careful consideration; that is why we take our time and do not rush the process.’
Bartkute notes that usually their clients have relocated to western Europe before finding out about the practice. And to help ease people into the idea of seeking surgery, Bartkute says the clinic has established presences on social media. ‘Nordesthetics Clinic believes that patients have to be confident about the procedures and surgeries they decide to undergo, so they started building a community of their international patients on social media, e.g. Facebook, where patients can share their personal experiences, communicate with each other, and support or encourage others who have questions about the procedures.
‘Most of our patients follow the word of mouth of our previous patients. As mentioned, we have created a community group on social media, where our patients are sharing their experiences and stories, sometimes even an entire journey from deciding to undergo surgery to final results. We are communicating actively on social media ourselves, providing useful content for our followers and audiences.
‘Also, all of those with interest in plastic surgeries can quickly contact us through our website. Our customer care department is very responsive in answering inquiries and all the worrying questions. Our administrative and medical staff speak fluent English, and we have team members speaking other languages, like Norwegian, Swedish, German, etc.
‘As any regular business, we use traditional marketing tools to reach potential clients, yet word-of-mouth recommendations have the biggest weight when it comes to patients finding us.’
She adds, ‘We also take the quality of our services very seriously. Top-notch surgical practices and innovations are adopted at the clinic. Nordesthetics meets the highest standards for safety and comfort while operating theatres are equipped with modern diagnostic and surgical facilities. Altogether these factors create trust in the clinic.’
Reading through the testimonials, it’s clear that many patients enjoy being pampered and well treated during their time in Lithuania. Bartkute, however, says that Nordesthetics is chosen primary for their ‘competence and experience’, and despite the lower prices they quote, cost is a ‘secondary factor’.
One comment from a British patient noted that the food ‘was something [Scots chef] Gordon Ramsay would be proud of’; another spoke highly of the ‘first class’ rooms and the attention to detail that included toiletries and slippers. An American patient referred to ‘world class’ facilities. A Spanish patient was impressed with the beauty of the city and the friendliness of the locals. Unsurprisingly, there are many testimonials from patients from nearby Scandinavia.
Nevertheless, Bartkute is right: the patients comment on the quality of the procedure and how impressed that are. One British woman noted that she spent six months finding the right clinic before settling on Nordesthetics. And another patient sums it up well: ‘Lastly, as I am acutely aware that price is a big determining factor for many persons this certainly should not be seen as the “cheap” option. The quality of your surgeons and your experience speak for themselves[.] I would not hesitate recommending you in the future as the confidence I have gained as a result is fantastic.’ It seems like a way of getting in a real change of scene in a healing, calm part of the world, while having a potentially life-changing, positive medical procedure done. •
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