The Risks of Medical Tourism

The Risks of Medical TourismIt is no secret that cosmetic procedures are a pricey investment, but cutting corners on surgery just to save money can come at an even greater cost.

There is a trend, called “Medical Tourism”that has many jetting off to foreign countries to receive discounted cosmetic surgery.  These “nip-tuck holidays” could have serious repercussions if the decision is not made cautiously.  If you are considering a cosmetic procedure and are concerned with its cost, speak with a trusted facial plastic surgeon, like Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS about financing before seeking a discounted medical procedure in another country.

The Promise vs. the Reality of Medical Tourism

There are medical tourism provider companies that organize and prepare patients for their trips abroad.  These companies provide you with information about the procedure, doctors and overall trip at a very low cost, but this information can be misleading.  The companies promise not only the inexpensive surgery, but also a relaxing, vacation-like environment to recover in.  The picture of post-surgery days filled with lounging by the pool with other patients and shopping in an inexpensive foreign land sounds enticing, right?  The reality is your body needs time to recover and what a person can or cannot do during recovery will depend greatly on their indivual procedure. Besides, extensive sun exposure and lugging around suitcases in airports isn’t the best idea for your recovering body!

The reality is that the best way to recover from a surgery is in a comfortable, clean, and safe environment, close to your doctor so you can have proper care as you heal.

Cultural Barriers and Bad Results

Patients who have received discounted procedures overseas have reported very little face to face time with doctors, with as short as a 5 minute consultation before surgery.  When there is a language barrier, or the doctor doesn’t take the necessary time to understand the details of your body, the risk of an unsatisfactory procedure is far greater.  There has even been a case reported where a patient went in for a tummy tuck and came out with a facelift! It is important to make sure any doctor you visit, whether in the U.S. or abroad, takes the time to get to know you, your case, and your desired outcome before operating.

There could also be an increased risk of disease and infection in hospitals with different licensing standards than we have here in the United States. Because hospital licensing standards vary so greatly from one country to the next, it is almost impossible to determine the good from the bad in a foreign country. There are bound to be great facilities and physicians in each country, but determining which ones those are is a difficult task.

Before committing to a cosmetic surgery, you should have a detailed conversation with an expert facial plastic surgeon about your procedure.  You should know your hospital and have access to your doctor easily post-op.  Though you may initially save money with medical tourism, the risks are just too great.

Contact an Expert Facial Plastic Surgeon

At the Center for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh will provide you with the best care and results for your cosmetic needs and will work with you on financing options. Don’t cut corners and put yourself at risk.  You just may end up spending more money in the long run on revision surgeries.  Call (310) 657-2203 to schedule a consultation and to talk about financing with a renowned doctor.