You may be wanting to fly to an exotic location, rest your body in a gorgeous resort, and return home as a brand-new version of yourself all without spending an arm and a leg in costs. It may not appear to sound that bad at all, but a lot can go wrong. Due to the immense pressure in today’s society to look thinner and younger, a dangerous trend has come to our attention: medical tourism. This refers to patients seeking surgeons outside of the United States in efforts to save on money, but these destination surgeries are far from the vacations they appear to be.
Clinics abroad market the misperception that patients can have procedures done at significantly cheaper prices than what they might have to pay in the U.S. The clinics advertise their surgeries as vacations, boasting of lovely resorts for patients to stay at post-operation, but these get-away surgeries can be serious, life-threatening, and costly for patients who are all too eager for a ‘good deal’.
Every surgery whether domestic or abroad has a degree of risk even in the most experienced hands. However, these ‘vacation’ procedures offer more risk than profit. Below are a few risks we’d like to bring to your attention.
There are many qualified surgeons and excellent medical institutions worldwide, but anyone considering traveling abroad for business or pleasure should understand that every country has different standards of care. There can be vastly different standards in other countries for training and accreditation than those within the U.S. What is and isn’t acceptable within operating rooms may be different as well as safety protocols and other qualifications that are important when considering your health.
Consider what you are willing to risk and do thorough research on the surgeon, institution or clinic as well as the location.
Plastic and cosmetic surgery are real and invasive medical procedures, which as stated above means there are risks involved. Within the U.S there are boards and organizations in existence to regulate practices, set safety standards, help reduce risks, and protect both medical professionals and the patient.
Should complications occur overseas, or once patients have returned home from abroad surgery, your primary doctor may not be able to obtain a complete record of what was done. This may cause problems when attempting to revise surgery or for any needed post-op treatment.
These bargain destination surgeries can produce lower costs by cutting post-surgery care. Within the U.S. many clinics consider postoperative care in their total cost for your surgery, but abroad clinics often won’t see you after the surgery, which explains the price cut.
In these vacation surgeries, it is important to consider how you will manage follow-up care as it will take your body weeks to fully heal. Physicians need to assess and monitor your recovery to ensure that there are no abnormalities and infections. Destination surgeries sometimes offer minimal to no follow-up care.
Though the exotic destination pre-surgery may look appealing for all the activities you will be able to do, after surgery you won’t be in any condition to explore them.
Many of the popular surgery destinations require long flights and a significant amount of travel. While this shouldn’t pose any risk before the surgery, there are great risks in traveling post-operation. Not only can traveling afterwards cause incisions to open but it also increases the risk of blood clots, infections, and other serious complications when you put your body through the stress of traveling following surgery.
It is also important to consider the environment if you decide to travel as there may be infectious diseases that you may need to take precautions against months before your trip.
No legal protection
We’ve cared for patients who suffered complications from surgeries abroad or from receiving inadequate postoperative care. Several have returned with infections, resistant bacteria, and often end up paying more than the initial cost of a U.S surgery due to revision surgeries.
Generally, overseas patients have no legal recourse or protection should complications or negligence arise. This means that regardless of what happens the patient will be held financially responsible for all medical bills, even if obvious negligence has occurred. Insurance companies offer little to no help as cosmetic surgeries are typically considered elective procedures and are not covered.
Plastic surgery can include more than just minimally invasive procedures, so approach it with the utmost care. Safety should always be your number one priority, not cost. It is important that you feel entirely comfortable and confident while planning your surgery. You will invest time, money, and also your health into this surgery. Trusting your surgeon is paramount before letting him or her operate on you. Choosing the right procedure by a trusted and skilled surgeon can be an excellent way to boost your self-confidence and help you onto the path of becoming a happier you. For more information, contact us at Eastlake Cosmetic Surgery today.