Dr. Michael Cohen, Medical Director at the Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland, Warns of Medical Tourism Risks
Board certified plastic surgeon cautions that traveling abroad for cheaper cosmetic surgery has increased risks and may be more costly in the event of complications or revisions
BALTIMORE, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Although medical tourism has been on the rise for the past 10 years, the dangers of medical tourism outweigh the savings, says Dr. Michael Cohen of the Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland. In fact, the likelihood of complications is high, and the costs of a botched surgery–both emotional and monetary–are hard to recover.
“While there are undoubtedly qualified plastic surgeons practicing abroad, they aren’t often the ones who are marketing their services to clients in the U.S.,” says Dr. Cohen. “Medical tourism operators focus on cost savings and leisure travel at the expense of quality.”
While medical tourism companies tout the savings over surgeries performed in the States, the fundamental idea behind combining international tourism and surgery is flawed, says Dr. Cohen. Lengthy air travel soon after surgery can result in blood clots or embolisms, very serious medical issues. Quiet recovery time is important, and encouraging patients to go sightseeing after a procedure can lead to a variety of complications, most notably infections. Recuperating in a safe environment with a properly qualified medical team minutes away is the best path to a smooth recovery and a successful surgical result.
While the United States has strict regulations in place governing physicians and medical facilities, that’s not necessarily the case in other countries. Although medical tourism operators may promote a doctor’s experience, it can be difficult for a patient to obtain accurate information about a foreign physician’s qualifications; there may be no accreditation boards in the destination country for either doctors or hospitals. Facilities in other countries may not have strict protocols to ensure sterile conditions and safe anesthesia as do accredited facilities in the United States. If serious complications arise while in a foreign country, there may be no critical care facility to handle a crisis, as they are often unavailable in the locales favored for medical travel.
Patients must also consider the consequences of developing a complication once they have returned home. It may be difficult or costly to find a qualified plastic surgeon to assume their case or perform a revision surgery. Also, the techniques used in the original surgery may be impossible to identify or to correct. A revision surgery or extended care in the United States can make the total cost of the procedure much higher than having it done at home originally.
The risks of plastic surgery abroad are myriad and the benefits unreliable. Patients considering plastic surgery abroad should proceed with caution, says Dr. Cohen, taking the risks and long-term outcomes under consideration.
About The Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland: CSCMD is a nationally recognized cosmetic surgery practice located in the Baltimore area. Their offices, the Bellona Surgery Center, and the MedSpa are at 8322 Bellona Avenue, Suite 300, Towson, MD 21204. They can be reached at 410-296-0414 or at www.cscmd.com.
Media Contact: Lauren Weinberg, Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland, 410-296-0414, http://www.cscmd.com.
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SOURCE The Cosmetic Surgery Center of Maryland