NIP AND TUCK ENHANCEMENTS TO YOUR HOLIDAY

BY MARLENE ARPE - THE TORONTO STAR

Here is a nip. There is a tuck. And over there, by the pool, a fetching waiter serving a frozen magarita to be leisurely enjoyed while the swelling from the surgery goes down and you wait for the stitches to come out.

Say, for the sake of silly argument, that I were to decide I hated my boobs so much I'd let a doctor cut me open and shove wobbly foreign objects under my skin, there would be worse ways to get over the surgery than through a bit of luxurious vacationing in a temperate climate. (Or how about a nose job and a safari - the rhinoceros/rhinoplasty special, natch.)

Combining cosmetic surgery with vacation time is becoming increasingly popular.

Clinics in Asia, Africa and Europe are wooing would-be face-lift candidates with promises of excellent surgical skills as well as the chance to see a new country.

There is also usually a promise of lower prices for the procedures.

Surgical Attractions in South Africa is a "medical tourism company," pairing clients with surgeons and offering combo deals, apparently with great success, as 90 percent of their clients come from abroad.

On their Web Site (www.surgicalattractions.com) there are plenty of ideas - ranging from safaris through day trips to wine estate tours - to make the whole under-the-knife experience a bit more pleasant.

I made an inquiry as to how much a breast enhancement and wine estate tour would set me back and Ingrid Lomas of Surgical Attractions immediately came through with detailed information.

A breast augmentation (including prosthesis), performed in Cape Town, followed by a wine estate tour (including wine tastings) would come to approximately $3,781 Cdn.

This is without air fare. On top of that, there's the food and lodging while recuperating (six nights, seven days), ranging from $545 (guest lodge) to $1,140 (luxury boutique hotel).

For those who are serious about checking out Surgical Attractions, there is a long, detailed questionnaire to be filled out when contacting the outfit.

And you don't have to feel lost and alone:
"Through our companion/care service we arrange to meet our clients at the airport and transport them to their accommodation, to their medical appointments, to their hospital/clinic for their procedure, back to their accommodation following the procedure and to the airport on their return," Lomas says.

In comparison, if you're looking for Toronto breast enhancement, the price range is approximately $5,600 (saline implants) to $7,400 (cohesive gel implants).

A central American doctor, who shall remain nameless, also got my question about breast augmentation and answered promptly.

With a quote for breast reduction! He also, curiously, ended his e-mail to this only child: "Please send my best to your sister and her husband, and thank them dearly for your referral to my persona."