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The Dangers of Medical Tourism

Plastic Surgery and Medical Tourism

In the financial climate we live in, many people are concerned about finances. Yet they still want to have their plastic surgery procedures. They do some internet research and learn they can save money visiting a foreign country for their surgery.

When it comes to plastic surgery and medical tourism, it pays to be cautious.

While it might look like the money savings are substantial, many people, like Betty, learn the hard way that medical tourism can be risky business.

Betty’s surgery in Mexico is costing her much more due to the massive complications, post-surgery hospital stays at home in Wichita, and revision surgeries she must have.

It doesn’t always save patients money to leave the United States for surgery. In fact, sometimes the complications are life-threatening.

Medical Tourism for plastic surgery can cause complications.

Betty’s Surgery

Betty had surgery in Mexico on August 27, 2021. She saved her money for more than three years. She lost 40 pounds and prepared herself for surgery. It was the first time she ever did anything for herself. She was excited for a breast lift, tummy tuck, lipo 360, and fat grafting on her hips. What she ended up with was 700 cc breast implants, and a tummy tuck and fat grafting that didn’t meet her expectations.

Even worse, she’s spent months on antibiotics. Plus, she’s been in and out of the hospital in Wichita multiple times. The last time was in March 2022 because she was septic and needed to have her infection scraped out of her belly.

Betty says, “Something that was a dream turned into a nightmare.” She says, “I should have seen the red flags. I wish I had done even more research and not jumped in so fast.”

Betty advises others to stay closer to home. She says you “can’t put a price on your life.”

The clinic where Betty had her surgery didn’t seem clean or professional to her. In addition, it’s unclear if the clinic was regulated like medical clinics are in the United States. Furthermore, Betty has lost weeks of work, but she says that the plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Center have saved her life.

She says, “I am incredibly grateful for Dr. Spaniol, Dr. Biskup, and their nurse Jessica. I am lucky to be alive!”

This is Betty before her surgery in Mexico.

The Complications of Medical Tourism

Cosmetic surgery isn’t covered by insurance. Because of this, many people look outside the United States for cheaper surgery. Some countries even offer packages including surgery and lodging. While you will find skilled and qualified surgeons practicing all over the world, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) cautions patients it can be extremely “difficult to assess the training and credentials of surgeons outside the United States.”

In addition, the ASPS says, “Patients traveling to developing countries for plastic surgery procedures may experience severe complications requiring extensive and costly treatment after they return to the United States.”

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also cautions patients on the risks of surgery outside the United States. Similarly, The CDC notes the possible risk of complications, infectious disease, antibiotic resistance, communication challenges, a low quality of care including a lack of credentials and accreditation. Furthermore, patients who travel outside the country may have issues with continuity of care once they return home.

This is Betty after her surgery in Mexico.

Final Thoughts on Medical Tourism

In conclusion, while patients may be attracted by the lower costs of surgery outside the United States, it’s important to be aware of the potential medical risks. Betty knows firsthand that while she thought she was saving money, she’s had multiple post-op issues that are expensive. Betty wants others to learn from her experience.

She says, “Don’t believe everything you read. Stay close to home.”

The dangers of medical tourism are many – it can be unreliable and dangerous. Clinics may be dirty and unsanitary, and the language barriers can cause issues. The best option for most patients is to stay close to home where they can really trust their plastic surgeon. In addition, staying close to home allows for easy follow-up care.

Finally, Betty says, “Surgery outside the country may be less expensive, but it can cost you your life. It almost cost me mine.”

Betty’s story is a cautionary one. There are many professionally qualified plastic surgeons right here in Wichita who follow the proper health regulations and have many years of experience. If you’re interested in plastic surgery, please contact one of the qualified plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Center. It’s where you can trust in the safety and quality of your care.

Before you decide to head outside the United States for plastic surgery, schedule a consultation with us right here in Wichita.


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