The practice of traveling to another country to obtain healthcare is typically referred to as “medical tourism” or “surgical tourism.” It’s a growing trend in healthcare: statistics reveal that by the year 2012, this industry could reach $100 billion. However, an increase in popularity doesn’t mean that surgical tourism is any safer than it was in previous years. One should closely examine the drawbacks of cross-border surgery before embarking on such a pilgrimage.
Travelers are typically seeking quick, low-cost surgical treatment for specialized surgeries that can include, hip and knee replacements, dental surgery and procedures like face lifts, breast surgery, otoplasty and other aesthetic surgical procedures.
If you are like other Americans who desire a cosmetic procedure but have limited financial means, surgical tourism may be something that you’ve entertained.
Risks of Surgery Abroad
Whether performed in the United States or across international borders, all surgeries involve some element of risk. However, surgeries performed abroad may increase those risks. Additional risks may include:
- Higher infection rates – bacterial infections are especially high
- Increased complications – due to travel after surgery
- Little if any post-operative care, which increases poor outcomes
- No recourse in a foreign country
Remember, you have only one body, and it's not worth increasing your risk of a poor cosmetic result or serious surgical complications. You should only work with a surgeon who gives you full confidence in their ability to give you the results you desire from your surgery. Make sure you mention board certified* plastic surgeon and something about standard safety regulations of the United States.
If you live in Marietta, Atlanta or Woodstock, Georgia and are considering surgical tourism for a cosmetic procedure, please contact a qualified plastic surgeon, like those at Marietta Plastic Surgery to discuss the dangers and pitfalls that you want to avoid when seeking a cosmetic medical procedure abroad.
* = Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
† = Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery