Medical Tourism-Is it safe?
While many people come from all over the world to have plastic surgery in Beverly Hills, there are also many other destination surgery- vacation packages that patients have to choose from.
There is a wide range of destinations and facilities from Africa to South America to Thailand for consumers looking for great deals packaged into an exotic locale. But how safe is it?
Some questions to ask and to consider are:
Is the physician qualified and properly trained? It can be difficult to verify surgeon training out of the country. Look under ASPS Surgeons Abroad or International Member Surgeons. ASPS surgeons are certified by ABPS, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada.
Where will the surgery be performed? Again, it can be difficult to assess this via a website and photos. The facility should be accredited in that country and follow all the legal guidelines.
Who will be performing my anesthesia? This is one of the most crucial aspects of surgery, and is not emphasized enough. It is essential to ask if another physician will be doing the anesthesia.
What other medical staff will be present for my surgery? A nurse who is properly trained and licensed should also be present during your surgery and assist in the recovery room.
Who will be caring for me after surgery? Although hotel accomodations may be provided in the package, there may not be a specific person dedicated to your aftercare, which is important. Dressing changes, diet, nutrition, and the healing process should be monitored carefully especially during the first days after surgery. Someone should be with you for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
What if there is a complication and does my insurance have coverage overseas? Is the doctor affiliated with a local hospital close to where I will be staying?
Also, limited activity and rest are typically advised after a surgical procedure. Vacation activities such as walking excessively, swimming, hiking, boating, sun exposure, etc. should be avoided in order to ensure proper healing and decreased complications. It can takes weeks to recover from surgery.
A long flight home can also hamper the healing process. Flying can increase swelling, dehydrate the body, and puts you at risk of developing blood clots in the legs.
Will there be a language barrier? Open communication between you and your healthcare staff through the duration of your trip is essential.
Why is the cost significantly cheaper abroad? Just as getting a deal in this country should be a red flag, it should be considered a red flag in a foreign country as well.
These are important questions to address when considering surgery out of the country. Consider speaking with someone who has actually had the experience at the location you are thinking about.
Remember that cosmetic surgery is still surgery and is an invasive procedure to your body. It is extremely important that the environment you choose is safe and reliable, and that your physicians and caretakers are well trained.