Beware of Medical Tourism
Right around this time of year, advertisements for medical tourism start to pop up. Medical tourism is the practice of traveling to an international destination to have medical treatment. Medical tourism is touted as a way for patients to combine a vacation with the treatment of their choice, while paying much less for surgery than what they would at home.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that up to 750,000 Americans participate in medical tourism annually, making it a $100 billion industry. Some of the most common procedures people travel abroad for are plastic surgery procedures. The South Florida Center for Cosmetic Surgery joins the CDC and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in cautioning people against medical tourism. Here is why:
Communication Can Be Challenging
Receiving medical care in a foreign country can be difficult for many reasons, the most obvious being a communication barrier. If you do not speak the native language of your surgeon and the staff, you may miss an important instruction or warning. In the worst case scenario, you could develop a serious complication and be unable to communicate with those providing your care.
Medical Care May Be Unregulated
The United States has strict requirements for plastic surgeons, and healthcare is heavily regulated. Other countries do not need to follow these restrictions and regulations. The surgeons’ techniques could be subpar, medication can be counterfeit and the equipment outdated. With your health — and life — at risk, you need to be completely confident in the training, skill and experience of your plastic surgeon.
No Legal Recourse
In the unfortunate event that something goes wrong during your plastic surgery, you (or your family) will likely have no legal recourse against the surgeon or practice. It is difficult to pursue legal action against a surgeon that practices in another country and is subject to a different set of laws.
Traveling after Surgery Is Not Recommended
If you were to travel to a foreign destination for surgery, you would likely stay locally for a few days to recover from the operation and then get on a plane to fly home. However, flying so soon after surgery is a dangerous idea. You are at risk of complications — mainly developing blood clots.
You’re In Good Hands at SFCCS
Luckily, you can find quality, affordable plastic surgery care closer to home at the South Florida Center for Cosmetic Surgery. We encourage you to schedule a consultation with our team to discuss your personal treatment needs and goals. Call us at (954) 565-7575 to make an appointment today.