Liposuction is one of America’s most popular cosmetic surgeries. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people undergo this procedure, and even more want to, but are unable to because of the high cost. For these people, the thought of going overseas to get the procedure may sound tempting.
Why? Because, counter-intuitive though it may seem, it can offer a significant price break. Because of differences in currency and several pother factors, there are countries where the total cost of liposuction is much less than inside the United States, even when the cost of airfare, hotel accommodations, and meals are factored in. The thought of getting an affordable liposuction in an exotic location-and perhaps getting to do a little sightseeing on the side-has been luring people out of the country for years. The question is, though: is it safe?
Unfortunately, the answer is all too frequently no. The problem with the phenomenon of medical tourism as it’s called, is manifold, but one of the most important factors has to do with the rate of exchange. The places where the U.S. dollar is strongest-where one dollar can buy the most local currency-are almost exclusively third-world countries. while they can sound exotic and fun to visit, they are not the best places to receive medical care. Lax safety standards and minimal training are all too common in hospitals and clinics in these locations, drastically increasing the chances of infection and other complications. in addition to jeopardizing your health, this also means you may not get the results you want-unprofessional liposuction practices frequently lead to cosmetic problems such as dimpling, bulging, scarring, and sagging skin.
In addition to lack of medical equipment and training, many third-world countries also have much looser regulation. in some cases, cosmetic surgery is completely unregulated, meaning that anyone who can get their hands on some equipment and a room can advertise themselves as a cosmetic surgeon-with their customers none the wiser.
Another problem with medical tourism is it means a patient is subjected to the rigors of travel when they are still recuperating. This is never fun, and in some cases may even be dangerous-their is some evidence, for example, that significant changes of altitude (such as occur in a plane) may make blood clots more likely to develop. once the patient gets home, they also have the problem of what to do if they do develop complications. in general, it’s best to return to the same surgeon the patient saw the first time, since that surgeon will be the most familiar with their condition. however, if the surgeon is several thousand miles away in Guatemala, that might be less of an option.