27 Jan Medical Tourism: Safety Concerns About Having Plastic Surgery In A Foreign Country
What Is Medical Tourism?
Medical tourism is the act of traveling to a foreign country to get a medical procedure done by doctors in that country. For US travelers, the top places for medical tourism are the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Canada, and Mexico. US citizens take significant risks when traveling to a foreign country for medical care, and patients should consider these risks before booking a trip overseas for plastic surgery.
Traveling for surgery
Patients participate in medical tourism for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is cost. Most cosmetic procedures are not covered by health insurance in the US. Medical procedures done in other countries are typically less expensive than procedures done in the States. Therefore, medical tourism has become a billion-dollar industry.
Another reason why patients travel overseas is the cultural/language similarities. For instance, patients that speak a foreign language may feel more comfortable getting surgery done in the family’s native land. Patients may also go overseas to get a medical procedure that is outlawed or unavailable in the US
Facts to consider
Before scheduling surgery in a foreign country, patients need to consider many different factors. Here are a few significant concerns a patient should research before surgery.
- Language barriers
- Hospital/clinic accreditation
- The country’s health and safety standards
- Medical technology and equipment safety
- Qualifications of healthcare workers providing the service
Many patients use the internet to research, but patients should also speak directly to the medical professionals performing the procedure before the surgery. People should also talk to the surgeon’s former patients and people familiar with the country and the culture. Patients can also consult booking agents that specialize in booking medical tourism trips.
Overseas malpractice insurance
Malpractice insurance is not a requirement for every plastic surgeon, but insurance is available and highly encouraged. Medical tourists may not have the same legal options or recourse in foreign countries. However, patients can opt for travel insurance to finance any unexpected complications or treatments. Patients should research malpractice insurance and laws in the foreign country performing the procedure.
More risks than benefits
When traveling overseas for surgery, patients are at risk of contracting a disease, developing an antibiotic-resistant infection, or another complication associated with surgery. Difficulty communicating with medical staff due to language barriers or receiving lower-quality care is commonplace. Patients can also have trouble flying due to risks related to the atmospheric pressure in airplanes.
Do I need to talk to my doctor?
Yes, patients should speak to a US physician and surgeon before traveling overseas. The US medical team can perform blood work and lab tests to ensure the patient is healthy enough to travel for surgery. The doctor can also explain the risks associated with medical tourism and help coordinate aftercare in the States if necessary. Book a consultation with a surgeon today to discuss any concerns.