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Medical Tourism and its’ disadvantages

Medical tourism is gaining popularity. If you are not familiar with the concept it boils down to this. Patients will travel internationally to a destination spot. They will then combine a cosmetic surgery procedure and spend their immediate recovery in this vacation spot. Typically the surgery is much less expensive than in the US and they get to go somewhere tropical. Sounds ideal. However…

The problems with this approach are two fold. First, the training of the surgeon and the quality of the facility where the procedure is performed may not be up to U.S. standards. Plastic Surgeons in the U.S. are overseen by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgery, their State Medical Boards, and on the local levels the hospitals and surgery centers credential all of their surgeons. This may be true in other countries but there is no way to know. It is true in every American city.

Secondly, if after you come home, you have a complication it may be very difficult to find a surgeon willing to assume your care. In general, amongst surgeons, the general rule is that you handle your own complications. Plastic surgeons charge global fees that include your surgery and all aftercare. Thus, if you call on a plastic surgeon to handle your complication, you may find that they are less than enthusiastic and may charge you significant fees to assume you care.

Think carefully before you travel for cosmetic surgery.

Lee E. Corbett, MD

Medical Director Corbett Cosmetic Aesthetic Surgery and MediSpa

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