To Fly or Not to Fly, That is the Question

Recently, I was interviewed for the Plastic Surgery Channel about the dangers of medical tourism. I think the topic is an important one, so I wanted to share my thoughts with you. The appeal of traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery is rooted in cheaper price tags coupled with the lure of an exotic vacation. It’s estimated that this year alone, more than one million people will travel to places like Brazil, Thailand and Cuba for medical procedures. This will result in a boost of over $40 billion dollars in the economy for those countries. However, prospective patients may not take into account some important risk factors. It’s imperative to consider the following should you be thinking about medical tourism for yourself:

• While the cost of procedures can sometimes be 40 percent less expensive in other countries, you might forget to include the cost of airfare, hotels, meals, transportation and even insurance having an impact on your budget. When you add these things into the equation, the cost of your procedure can be nearly equal to what you might pay in America.

• The follow-up after any surgery is extremely important. Flying can cause blood clots, which can lead to strokes and even death. In addition, contracting infectious diseases from a host country is one of the most frequent complications. Should you contract an infection, or other complication, it can be difficult to find a physician in the states who will treat you. In addition, most of these types of surgeries require more recovery time than a typical vacation week or two.

• It is not always easy to check the qualifications of doctors in Medical-Tourism.Still002-1024x576another country. The protection laws in other countries are often different than those in America, and there may be no legal recourse for you should something go wrong. In fact, many times, the reason for the lower cost of these procedures is that physicians abroad do not have to pay for malpractice insurance. For that reason, you should always be sure to at least look for a reputable facility that is internationally certified by the Joint Commission International.

If you are considering medical tourism for any plastic surgery, I would strongly advise you to do your research thoroughly and reconsider a physician in the states where you will be sure to receive the follow-up care, attention and support you’ll need for as long as you need it following surgery.

For more information, connect with us at Is Medical Tourism Worth the Risk?

Cheers, WGS

About Dr. Grant Stevens

W. GRANT STEVENS, MD, FACS Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery University of Southern California Grant Stevens, MD, FACS, is the founder and medical director of Marina Plastic Surgery and the Orange Twist Institute in Marina Del Rey, California. He is a Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of Southern California, Chairman of the USC-Marina Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship and the Director of the USC Division of Aesthetic Surgery. Dr. Stevens is past president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and chairman of the ASAPS Board of Trustees. He is third vice president of the board of directors of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). He was elected by his peers into "The Guide to Top Doctors" and Castle Connolly's "Top Doctor Guide," recognizing him as one of the best plastic surgeons in America and one of the select few to be featured in "Plastic Surgery: The World's Top Surgeons & Clinics." Dr. Stevens is an active member at Marina Del Rey Hospital, where he is the past Chairman of the Department of Surgery, the Chairman of the Liposuction Committee and the Medical Director of The Breast Center. He is also on staff at St. John's Medical Center, the Marina Outpatient Surgery Center and USC. Dr. Stevens graduated with honors from Washington University Medical School in St. Louis where he was awarded the Senior Prize in Surgery. He completed his general surgery training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center then returned to Washington University-Barnes Hospital where he completed a Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with Dr. Paul Weeks, Dr. Leroy Young, Dr. Tom Mustoe, Dr. Jeffrey Marsh and Dr. R. Christie Wray. He is a board certified Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons. He was appointed by the governor of California to the Medical Board of California Medical Quality Review Board. Dr. Stevens is an ASAPS and ISAPS Traveling Professor lecturing at numerous international, national and regional meetings and is an invited visiting professor at numerous U.S. and international universities. Dr. Stevens has authored more than 90 articles and chapters on aesthetic plastic surgery. He is a member of many medical societies, including ASAPS, ISAPS, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, International College of Surgeons, American College of Surgeons and American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery. Dr. Stevens is the past Chairman of the California Medical Association Advisory Panel on Plastic Surgery. He received the California State Assembly and the California State Senate Certificate of Recognition. He has also received the Special Congressional Certificate of Recognition and the Distinguished Service Citation from the Medical Board of California. He has been interviewed for articles including those in Time, USA Today, People, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Vogue, Allure, Cosmetic Surgery Times, Business Week, Men's Fitness, LA Times Magazine, Discovery and numerous newspapers. He has appeared on more than 125 television programs including CNN, Discovery, 60 Minutes, MSNBC, The Learning Channel, PBS Nightly Business Report and many other TV and radio interviews.

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