Why Plastic Surgery Abroad is Super Risky?

Posted July 28, 2016

We all know the wonders of plastic surgery and how life changing it can be. In fact 750,000 Americans travel abroad for medical care and plastic surgery each year in the hopes of getting a bargain price for an otherwise costly procedure.

Just for comparison, a breast augmentation procedure in the United States will run you between $4500-$12,000 while the same procedure in countries like India will cost between $2000-$4000, round trip flight included. A potential discount of 88% makes it easy to understand why the allure of getting plastic surgery abroad is so strong.

However, recent findings show that medical tourism can have some very severe consequences and is more risky than what people initially assume.  Reports from U.S. officials show that some Americans are suffering from severe infections as a result of getting plastic surgery abroad.

In 2013, a Maryland doctor treated 2 women with serious infections they developed after getting plastic surgery in the Dominican Republic. The treated areas were infected with rapidly growing microbacteria (RGM) which caused great alarm to the Maryland Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control because of one particular characteristic - The bacteria are known to be resistant to regular antibiotics.

As a result, a nationwide investigation was launched within the same year.  21 people with RGM were identified across 6 states and all were linked to having some type of plastic surgery abroad. The procedures they received include: liposuction, abdominoplasty, buttock augmentation, breast augmentation and breast reduction. If left unchecked, RGM infection can cause painful, discharging abscesses as well as swelling, pain and scarring and may require fluid drainage of the infected area. Some of the patients had to have their implants remove to treat the infection.

The big problem with cosmetic surgery abroad is how difficult it is to regulate each and every plastic surgeon. There are only a few reliable organizations that give accurate reporting on how experienced and well trained a plastic surgeon is. A doctor who is accredited by organizations like the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) has been peer reviewed and thoroughly trained for their particular practice. Chances are, most foreign plastic surgeons that are willing to give you an 80% discount on your procedure will not be found endorsed by the ISAPS. Other plastic surgeon directories are not so thorough when it comes to what doctor they will endorse and that is when botched cases most often occur.

Inconsistent regulations are not the only problem. Even with enough research and background checking on the doctor, there is always a chance for a revision to be required. Not only will you have to explain the circumstances to the doctor but you will also have to take the extra time and money to travel to your foreign surgeon. Plus, chances are English is not their first language which further compounds the situation.

Just like many things in life, when it comes to plastic surgery, you really get what you pay for. Is saving money a big enough reason to increase the chances of death, disfigurement or going bankrupt with medical bills?

- KT


Please login to leave comments here >>
-- No Comment --