Last fact-checked: 16 January 2020
Looking for an affordable, exciting destination where you can undergo cosmetic surgery without taking any risks when it comes to quality? Then have a look at our list of verified plastic surgery clinics in Cebu City, the Philippines and discover a range of procedures often costing thousands less than back home.
What’s more, a trip to this stunning part of the world presents a chance to combine a holiday with your treatment—just as long as you do your more vigorous holiday activities before, not after surgery.
Find out everything you need to know about going to Cebu for cosmetic surgery or medical treatment with this Medical Departures destination guide.
Cebu City known as the “Queen City of the South” – it is the oldest city in the Philippines and the first place at which Spanish colonizers settled. Today it attracts tourists from all over the world and is the country’s central hub for heading to other islands. Sun, sea, sand and an international airport make it a convenient place to use as a base for island-hopping.
This multicultural city is vibrant and teeming with both expats and tourists. It attracts medical tourists who come to enjoy a memorable holiday while taking advantage of inexpensive plastic surgery, dental procedures and other medical treatments that are not covered by insurance or healthcare services back home.
The quality of care is generally excellent, as long as you know where to look. With Medical Departures, you can find hospitals and clinics that are just as good as any back home. What’s more, medical staff (and most Filipinos) speak English fluently, so you won’t experience any communication problems. The clinics are technologically advanced, modern and often kitted out with luxurious amenities.
Cebu City is located in the centre of the Philippines, a Southeast Asian country comprised of a vast cluster of over 7,000 islands (of which around 2,000 are inhabited). Cebu is considered the second most important city in the country behind the capital of Manila.
People want to look good, perhaps more so than ever before. Today, if you are dissatisfied with any aspect of your appearance, it is probably relatively straightforward to have it fixed. Breasts can be reduced, augmented or lifted; body and facial contouring can be done; hair can be transplanted; noses can be lengthened or shortened... Nearly every part of the body can be changed with fat removal, implants or surgery.
However, all these procedures come at a price, which is usually high (and beyond financial reach) in western countries like Australia and New Zealand. This is why traveling to a different country with an established medical tourism market, just like the Philippines’ Cebu City, has become so popular.
Some examples of the difference in cost of different plastic surgery:
Breast enlargement in Cebu City: average cost AUD 4,000 compared to AUD 15,000 in Australia
Nose job in Cebu City: average cost AUD 1,000 compared to AUD 8,000-20,000 in Australia
Facelift in Cebu City: average cost AUD 2,000 compared to AUD 15,000-25,000 in Australia
Cebu City has numerous large hospitals as well as smaller medical centers and clinics. Some of the hospitals are so big that they have a capacity of over 800 beds and are located in sprawling complexes. Others may be smaller, but still have hundreds of beds. The Philippines also has hospitals that have received Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, a testament to their high standards.
You will find plenty of smaller yet high-quality clinics, too, particularly ones that specialize in only certain kinds of procedures. Doctors and surgeons working here are often just as skilled and experienced as their counterparts in Australia, New Zealand and the US.
Medical doctors inevitably command respect and in Asian countries, medical education is highly prized. The standards for admission to medical schools in the Philippines are very strict. After completing graduation with certain science subjects, students have to take an entrance examination and it is only when they pass with a high percentage (often 80 percent is the minimum) can they join a medical school.
Medical education takes four years and this is followed by a one-year internship. Even further studies follow, which can take another three to six years, particularly if the doctor wants to specialize in a certain field. As in other countries, becoming a doctor takes years of extensive studies and practice.
Cebu City has a host of hotels and other accommodation options at various price points. As a medical tourist, it is best to check out hotels that offer the amenities that you require, like room service, on-site dining laundry service and wi-fi.
You should also check for entertainment options both inside the hotel and its proximity to outside avenues. This is because you may not be able to venture too far from the comfort of your hotel following surgery, depending on what your procedure entails.
In Cebu, you have a wide selection—from local boutique hotels to international chain hotels. It makes sense to stay close to the city centre or even beach, but do check transport options nearby and see how far the clinic or hospital you want to go to is. You may also want to stay close to your chosen clinic or hospital in cases where your treatment requires multiple visits and appointments.
Cebu City is among the safest places in the Philippines with a relatively low crime rate. That said, it is best to dress down, not flash money or jewelry and indulge in risky behavior. In any big city, there will be occasional petty crimes so do be aware and careful of your belongings. Also, taking metered taxis improves your chances of running into trouble.
All medical treatments carry some degree of risk. Surgery can be risky even in your home country, even when performed in the best of medical facilities. No-one can ever guarantee your treatment 100%, but you can reduce your risks of having a bad experience simply by choosing a reputable surgeon and clinic.
Medical Departures carries out all the safety checks required for this selection process. We have thoroughly investigated all of the clinics and hospitals listed on our site. We check the track record of the doctors, their qualifications and accreditations and also compile real patient reviews. We visit the clinics and hospitals and check the amenities and ambiance to ensure that they meet standards you may be accustomed to.
To get a better idea of what we’re talking about, take a look at two of our partner clinics in Cebu City Philippines below, both of which have extensive experience in treating international patients:
In the unlikely event that something does go wrong, we here at Medical Departures will do our utmost to ensure things get put right. However, we would advise you to take out insurance in case of medical complications that covers any additional charges you may incur for accommodation should you need to stay longer than planned, or if you have already left the country and need to book flights to come back again. Sure, this won’t fix your problem but it will take some of the worry away. It’s a small price to pay for total peace-of-mind.
The majority of the Filipino population speaks English. As the medium of instruction for medical training is English, you need have no fears about any communication problems at any stage of the process.
All international credit and debit cards are accepted in Cebu City. You can also use international wire transfers or other payment methods. At the same time, it is better to get some money changed at the airport or an exchange shop in the city so that you can make small cash purchases or for tips.
Clinics and hospitals in Cebu City are open all year round, save for major holidays, like Christmas. You have to decide which time will suit you. As far as the weather goes, from October to March is a good time to visit. Of these, November, December and January are the best months but do also tend to be busiest.
In the winter months, the weather is cooler. The rest of the time, Cebu City can be hot and humid. June to October is the rainy season.
For most people, Cebu City is will be an unfamiliar place. If you have never traveled to Southeast Asia before, destinations like this can seem a little overwhelming upon first arrival—especially with its humidity, bustling streets and exotic food. However, first impressions can be deceiving; most major cities like this are actually easy to get around, locals will be happy to help, and international restaurants can be found all over. You’ll soon feel more comfortable as you start to explore a little.
For those really not keen on keen on adventure, just consider the fact that your money will go a lot further here compared to back home. You’ll be able to stay at a reasonably priced hotel in relative luxury, have all your needs catered for and not have to bother about household chores or work!
When you go to Cebu City for major surgery, it’s always good to make the most of your time to enjoy a holiday as well—just make sure it’s before your surgery or treatment. If you go from the airport straight to the clinic (and don’t spend any time taking in the sites and attractions of Cebu City), you will miss out on a great experience.
If you have a little more time on your hands, it’s definitely worth taking a trip out to one (or a few) of the Philippines’ stunning islands before heading back to Cebu City for your surgery.
If you have minor procedures that do not incapacitate you, then you can also join in the activities, though you may have to take it easy for a day or two. Perhaps you’ll need to keep out of the sun or water, stay off alcohol, or follow a special diet for some time. In any case, your surgeon will be able to advise you about you can and cannot do after your treatment. If you are on antibiotics and painkillers, you may not feel like too much activity, so make sure that the hotel has some entertainment options onsite.
When you have plastic surgery in Cebu City, a little planning and forethought will make your surgery and your stay a memorable, trouble-free experience.
Cebu City is a prime historical, cultural and religious destination. Apart from its tropical weather and lush greenery, it is also a bustling metropolis and you may want to sign up for some guided tours that will take you to the best sightseeing spots.
You’ll also find plenty of massage centers, spas and wellness services. Pre or post-surgery, it’s always worth taking advantage of these facilities; these will relax and rejuvenate you and will aid in your recovery.
Cebu City has all kinds of watersports like parasailing and scuba diving, and exotic marine life, including mammals like whales that are a treat to watch. The Central Cebu Mountains are close by and a trip to Mountain View is recommended and it’s open 24 hours. Among the many waterfalls, Kawasan Falls are gorgeous, though it may be a bit of a trek and can take more than two hours to reach.
In the heart of the city is the Sky Experience; head up for a bird’s eye view of the city as you indulge in adventure sports, like Tower Zipping and the Edge Coaster.
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is located on Mactan Island. This is the second-largest and busiest airport in the Philippines, after Manila airport. Most international and domestic flights land here. Cebu City is also a popular stopover for cruise ships, so if you are cruising and want some minor cosmetic procedure, you can get it done here as well.
Cebu City is very tourist-friendly. You can travel by metered taxis, jeepneys and local buses. Before getting into a taxi you should find out whether it is going to go by the meter or not as many drivers insist on a fixed fare.
Flight times vary and depend on the number of stopovers and how much time the layover takes before your flight takes off again. Here are the approximate flight times from other international destinations to Cebu City:
Los Angeles to Cebu City – 15 hours
New York to Cebu City – 21 hours
Toronto to Cebu City – 21 hours
London to Cebu City – 21 hours
Sydney to Cebu City – 11 hours 20 minutes
Auckland to Cebu City – 16 hours 30 minutes
From western countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, visas are not required for a stay of 30 days. If you plan to stay longer then you can apply locally or apply for a longer visa from your home country. For other countries, it is best to check the Philippines’ visa requirements online here.
See below and check out the easy ways to contact us. Our Customer Care Team are also on hand to help you with the booking process and address all your concerns. You can get in touch for free via email, online chat or use our toll-free numbers.
With Medical Departures, you can safely book for plastic surgery in Cebu City at one of our quality checked clinics.
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Sky Experience. Website accessed: 16 January 2020.
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Escalona, Katrina. The 21 Most Beautiful Islands in the Philippines. The Culture Trip. 9 August 2018.
Cebu City. Lonely Planet. Website accessed: 16 January 2020.
Applying for a Philippine Visa. Embassy of the Philippines. Website accessed: 16 January 2020.
Dumlao, Artemio. 5 Philippine cities among 10 safest in Southeast Asia. The Philippine Star. 8 April 2018.