Traveling out of the U.S. for Plastic Surgery is like Betting in Vegas

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Medical tourism is like betting in Vegas.  Plastic Surgeons with warn Americans that leaving the U.S. for lower priced plastic surgery could end up costing them much more in the end.

Plastic Surgery Oversees Lured by exotic locations and discount prices more and more Americans are leaving the U.S. and traveling abroad to undergo plastic surgery.   The new trend is called medical tourism, and according to a recent study, some of these tourists are finding out their trip was not worth the  price.

Dr. Mark Elliott, a board certified surgeon and medical advisory board member for says, “Usually people going abroad are not going abroad to the world’s expert on a procedure; they are going to have something done cheaper.  If you have any complications at all, it could end up costing you four to five times the amount if you would have if you just stayed here in the first place.”

What does the science say about the safety of medical tourism?

Recently researchers at the Nassau University Medical Center in New York conducted a survey of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).  The findings showed that 80 percent of the 2-thousand respondents said they had to treat patients with complications following cosmetic procedures conducted abroad. The majority of those patients had come home with serious complications due to infection.

The study also claims, more than half of the medical tourists who underwent breast augmentation or body contouring procedures required multiple operations to correct issues that developed after they returned home.

Board certified surgeon and medical advisory board member, Dr. Lou Bucky, with says, “There aren’t many procedures that I would encourage patients to travel long distances right after surgery. Just think if something happened on the flight on the way home within 24 hours. I can’t imagine that would be a good idea.”

Board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jason Pozner, with says it’s extremely important to stay close to home when considering surgery. In addition to the risk of infection, patients need to consider the other more serious risks after surgery such as blood clots and bleeding.

Dr. Bucky says, “The process of surgery really encompasses a good analysis, a carefully done operation, and very careful post operative care. To give up post-operative care you’re assuming you won’t have questions, problems, or any complications afterward. And quite frankly, I think its naïve and unsafe.”

These surgeons are quick to point out that there are many qualified surgeons everywhere, but you need to do your homework. It may be more difficult to research and find references on surgeons in other countries. So while medical tourism may sound like a good idea, in order to get the best outcome and reduce risk, it’s best to stay close to home and leave the sandy beaches and exotic places for vacation.

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