The Dangers of Medical Tourism

Medical tourism, or the practice of traveling abroad to undergo surgery, has seen a rise in recent years, including within the plastic surgery industry. Many individuals seeking to enhance their appearance are drawn to the idea of low-cost plastic surgery and vacationing in a relaxing destination abroad.

However, many plastic surgeons, including Dr. Lloyd Landsman, believe that traveling to foreign countries for plastic surgery is a potentially dangerous choice. Here are a few reasons why.

Foreign Surgeons May Lack the Proper Training and Skills

It is relatively straightforward to verify the credentials (including board certification, advanced training and experience) of a plastic surgeon in the U.S., as there are clear standards and regulations that plastic surgeons must meet. However, it may be more difficult to determine whether a foreign plastic surgeon meets these standards and possesses the necessary training and skill to successfully and safely perform surgery. In addition, there are no U.S. laws that protect you should surgical negligence occur abroad.

Surgical Facilities May Be Subpar

Some plastic surgeons in other countries are able to offer plastic surgery at low costs because they operate in poorly stocked surgical facilities, with outdated technologies and equipment, or without properly trained medical staff. Having surgery in a dirty or poorly stocked operating room can be dangerous, while working with an inexperienced anesthesiologist or surgical nurse could be fatal.

Traveling Increases the Risk of Post-Op Complications

There is a reason why surgeons advise patients to get plenty of bed rest after surgery. Straining the body too soon (including traveling immediately after surgery) can lead to complications including bleeding, incisions reopening, infection and poor wound healing. In addition, long flights immediately after surgery increase the potential risk of blood blots and pulmonary embolism.

Vacation-Related Activities May Put Your Health and Results at Risk

Some people think of medical tourism as a vacation. But the reality is that many vacation-related activities (e.g., surfing, hiking, swimming) must be avoided after surgery in order to reduce the risk of complications and ensure proper healing. Even time out in the sun (e.g., at the beach or poolside) will be off limits as sun exposure can affect how well your scars heal.

There May Be Hidden Costs

The cost quoted by foreign surgeons may be enticing, but it also may be deceiving. Sometimes these price estimates do not include the cost of aftercare. In addition, complications can arise, even when the surgery is performed by a qualified surgeon in an accredited medical facility. If you develop a complication from a surgery performed abroad, you will have to deal not only with the cost to correct the complication, but also additional travel fare and accommodations. These costs may end up costing you more than an operation performed in the U.S.

Learn More from Our Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Patients in Long Island, New York and throughout the country trust the training, experience and skill of Dr. Lloyd Landsman. To discuss your cosmetic goals with the reputable surgeon, please contact our practice and schedule a personal consultation today.