Dangers of Medical Tourism for the Tummy Tuck Patient

The number of tummy tuck surgeries for 2013 has almost doubled since the year 2000, with over 110,000 performed for 2013 according the statistics published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). As popularity for abdominoplasty surgery continues to grow, many patients are looking for less expensive alternatives for their surgery plans.

Medical Tourism

There has been a lot of coverage in the media about “medical tourism.” Medical tourism has been around for thousands of years. The Greeks traveled many miles for medical care and mineral water treatments, similar to our spas today. Resurgence for traveling outside the U.S. for elective surgery is taking place. According to Forbes, 1.25 million Americans will travel to foreign countries for surgery this year.

Medical tourism destinations

The initial cost for cosmetic surgery may be much less expensive than in the United States, and the lure of having surgery in a far off tropical land where you can recover away from friends and family may sound appealing.

Why Medical Tourism Isn’t Ideal

Dr. Delgado reminds tummy tuck patients that they will be walking hunched over for about 10 to 14 days and lifting heavy suitcases must be avoided. In addition, incisions must be kept out of the sun and water until they are fully healed to minimize scarring and infection.

Other drawbacks to consider are:
•    If you are in a foreign country, do you speak their language? Important communication with the doctor and medical staff might be compromised
•    Does the foreign hospital practice the same high medical standards as in the United States?
•    Flying too soon after surgery increases chances of blood clots
•    If a complication occurs after returning home, either a flight back to the foreign country will be necessary or finding a doctor that will take on a case with a complication.
•    If a complication occurs outside the country, medical insurance might not cover it.

There are additional warnings listed on the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Doctors in many countries are considered authority figures not to be questioned. Their fees may be dramatically less if liability or medical malpractice insurance is not required and in some cases inferior products and instruments might be used.

Postponing Travel Until After Surgery

Dr. Delgado says that Tummy Tuck surgery is one of the most patient pleasing procedures done, he recommends that patients wait until they have healed from their surgery and then plan a fun tropical getaway to enjoy the sand and sea!


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Dr. Miguel Delgado


Dr. Delgado, MD is a world-recognized plastic surgeon and specialist in the treatment of male breast enlargement, also called gynecomastia. He has developed new techniques and owns and operates gynecomastia.org, which has become the largest gynecomastia forum in the world. Dr. Delgado holds the two most coveted credentials; the certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgery.

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