medical tourism

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF MEDICAL TOURISM?

medical tourismMedical tourism is the term referencing the act of leaving one’s country for cheaper discounted medical care elsewhere. In America, it primarily refers to Americans, leaving our country to go to Mexico or South America or India, or some far-off place. This has become quite popular. Mainly to save money. However, individuals do not realize that they are risking their lives.

What the shoppers do not realize is that the level of care in these countries is completely unknown. In America, all levels of medical care, are standardized to some degree. For example, all doctors performing surgery must be licensed and meet certain rigorous criteria.

The same goes for facilities and nurses. In South American countries you have absolutely no knowledge of what the Quality of care is. Your doctors may or may not be licensed, and the level of knowledge experience skill training is unknown.

This lack of standardization and accountability leads to significant complications, including postoperative hemorrhage, and antibiotic-resistant infection, and completes this continuity of medical care by your providers.

Medical Tourism

Furthermore, you have absolutely no way of knowing the level of knowledge, experience, or skill of your surgeon. We have seen complications from medical tourism that include inadequate screening of blood products, Hepatitis, HIV, and outdated medications.

We recently had a patient who had silicone breast implants, inserted into her buttocks for gluteal augmentation. The quality of the silicone was unknown, causing great concern to the patient. She was very relieved to have them removed. Occasionally, we will find permanent sutures in the nose, causing infection and irritation. That also must be removed.

Generally, speaking, medical tourism is a high-risk activity. You must ask yourself is the discount worth risking your life? In America and Europe, every single aspect of care is evaluated and must meet rigorous standards, maximizing your safety.

I do not recommend going to Mexico or any South American country for plastic surgery. Your life is at risk.

THOMAS TREVISANI, MD
BOARD-CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON
MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AESTHETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
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