Medical Tourism: Why You Should Stay Home for Aesthetic Surgery Aesthetic Surgery | November 24, 2023 Many patients are tempted to travel to other countries for cosmetic surgical procedures due to lower costs and easier accessibility. Medical tourism can be a risky endeavor. Seeking care from a local surgeon is a much safer alternative. What is Medical Tourism? Medical tourism refers to traveling internationally with the intent of receiving medical care. Every year, Americans are cajoled into crossing borders, hoping to save money on cosmetic procedures and perhaps enjoy a vacation as they recover. What are the risks of Medical Tourism? Get to know the potential dangers of traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery. Higher Infection Rates Sanitary measures overseas may not be on par with the stringent safety protocols found in US hospitals and private ambulatory surgical facilities. Researchers have linked crossing the border for surgery to higher rates of blood-borne infections and wound infections. Increased Risk of General Surgical Complications Complications such as blood clot formation, excessive bleeding, contour irregularities, nerve injury, wound dehiscence, and fatality can occur no matter who conducts the operation. The chance of these risks can drastically increase in the hands of a surgeon aboard who lacks proper training. Travel-Related Complications Flying too soon after surgery can be dangerous. Airline travel raises the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which could lead to fatal complications like pulmonary embolism. Sitting aboard a plane for long periods during international flights can also lead to edema, worsening the swelling that occurs after surgery. Inequity of Licensing and Credentials Patients may be accustomed to a high standard of health care at home, but they may be different when traveling abroad. Clinics outside the US may have different licensing standards, education, and training, or may not have board certifications at all. Language Barriers Not fluently speaking the same language as the surgeon and office staff can lead to misunderstandings about the surgical plan, pre-operative instructions, and aftercare. Lack of Access to Ongoing Care Patients should follow up with their surgeon multiple times in the first year after aesthetic surgery to ensure they are healing as expected. If the surgeon is far away, attending follow-up appointments can prove difficult. Flights and hotels can be costly, and it may be hard to take time off work. While it’s possible to follow up with a surgeon locally, they may not know the specifics of your surgical plan. That can make diagnosing and managing complications more challenging. What’s Spent At Home, Stays At Home Medical tourism is a multi-billion-dollar industry International health tourism can have a devastating economic impact locally. As more Americans risk their lives to travel abroad for cosmetic surgery, less money flows into the US economy. Choosing a local plastic surgeon means bringing more jobs and economic prosperity to the area in which you live. False Promises and Deceptive Advertising Since health tourism is a booming industry, it benefits surgeons in underdeveloped nations to lure non-local patients at any cost so they can gain financially. False promises of luxe amenities, highly credentialed surgeons, and retouched before-and-after photos that promote unrealistic surgical outcomes are just some of the tactics used. Unfortunately, many patients traveling for aesthetic surgery find their experience abroad falls short of expectations. While there are many reputable surgeons abroad, it can be difficult for patients to decide who they can trust with so many bad actors in the mix. It’s often easier and safer to choose a local surgeon instead. Safety is Our Top Priority We strongly advise patients to choose a qualified local surgeon if they are considering a cosmetic surgical procedure. At Heights Plastic Surgery, patient safety always comes first. Two Board-certified Plastic Surgeons Heights Plastic Surgery is helmed by two award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeons. Technically, any licensed doctor could advertise themselves as a cosmetic surgeon. However, physicians with the title “plastic surgeon” have completed advanced training specifically in plastic surgery. A board-certified plastic surgeon has gone a step beyond by completing extensive training, an additional five years of residency, and passing rigorous examinations and a peer review overseen by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). AAAASF-Accredited Surgical Center Our ambulatory surgery center received approval from the AAAASF (American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities), the highest safety accreditation an outpatient facility can receive. Full Operating Room Staff Our full-time operating room staff comes highly rated and treats each patient like family. Unlike a traditional hospital setting, our state-of-the-art private operating facility boasts an intimate atmosphere encompassing a tight-knit team of medical professionals. Speak with a Local Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Today If you live in the United States and are considering aesthetic surgery, count yourself lucky. The US is home to many world-class plastic surgeons with board certification. It is simply not worth risking your health or surgical results by seeking care from a surgeon in a developing country that may not offer the same high standard of medical care. Get connected to a local plastic surgeon to discuss your options today by calling Heights Plastic Surgery at (346) 552-8050. Our board-certified plastic surgeons look forward to speaking with you at your in-person or virtual consultation.