Medical tourism is a phenomenon that describes people who visit other countries to undergo surgical procedures. Generally speaking, these people travel abroad to save money on surgery because medical care is much cheaper in other countries. While it may be tempting to save a couple of bucks, traveling abroad to developing countries for surgery can have dangerous repercussions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there a number of risks associated with medical tourism, including the transmission of serious diseases like hepatitis and HIV; poor quality or counterfeit medication; communication issues, and health risks from flying home shortly after surgery.
If you are thinking about traveling to another country for medical care, consider reading the following information first. There are many things that can go wrong, which may result in a bigger financial burden than initially planned. Additionally, you may be putting your health at risk, requiring more medical care in the long run. Some of the most common procedures associated with medical tourism include cosmetic surgery, dental surgery, and heart surgery.
THE WEEK recently reported health problems that occurred to nearly two dozen U.S. citizens who visited the Dominican Republic for cosmetic surgery. All of the people affected were women, and many of them underwent surgeries such as breast reductions, tummy tucks, liposuction, butt implants, and more. After completing their surgical procedures, all of the women were infected by a bacterium that causes oozing skin. This bacterium thrives in dirty water, according to the article, and it can enter the body in unsterile environments.
While it is possible for people to get sick in American operating rooms, it is far more unlikely due to sanitation regulations that must be implemented before each surgery. Failure to do so, a hospital or physician may be faced with legal action. We explain this process more in-depth in our “Aseptic Practices In The Operating Room” blog: http://www.scottsdalelibertyhospital.com/blog/aseptic-practices-operating-room.
In any case, it may be worth the extra money for peace of mind and knowing you’ll be protected by certain U.S. laws. Unfortunately, electing to have surgery in a different country means you may not be able to take legal action against a physician or hospital if something goes wrong. To learn more about the risks associated with medical tourism, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here: http://www.cdc.gov/features/medicaltourism/.
For more information on Scottsdale Liberty Hospital and how we can help you or a loved one, visit our information request page, or contact us at 480-586-2300
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.