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CDC Warns Against “Medical Tourism” Plastic Surgery Abroad

Unregulated Plastic Surgery Abroad Claims Yet More American Lives

Numerous Americans are traveling abroad to save money on medical treatments, a trend dubbed “medical tourism.” Many of these Americans go to other countries for less expensive plastic surgery. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued warnings about seeking medical care in other countries due to potential risks such as substandard care, exposure to infectious disease and highly drug-resistant bacteria, and an increased risk of blood clots due to flying following surgery.

In spite of these very clear warnings by the CDC, many Americans have recently suffered disfigurement -and tragically even death – due to substandard cosmetic surgical treatments performed in foreign countries.

Recent Plastic Surgery Deaths in Other Countries

Recently, a Mississippi lady died after undergoing gastric bypass weight loss surgery in Tijuana, Mexico. Markita McIntyre, 34, died after surgery for a sleeve gastrectomy. She and a friend intended to save money by having this weight reduction procedure done in Mexico. One withdrew from the plan, while Ms. McIntyre, a mother of three, died on the operating table.

According to a recent CNN article, the CDC reported in that in 2019 alone 11other individuals who had surgery in Tijuana returned to the United States with uncommon antibiotic-resistant illnesses.

In June, a man from New York and a female high school teacher from Alabama died after cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic.

Manuel Jose Nunez, 28, of New York, died after liposuction at Santo Domingo’s Caribbean Plastic Surgery Clinic. Manuel Jose Nunez was operated on by gynecologist Oscar Polanco at the Caribbean Plastic Surgery Clinic in Santo Domingo, who has been accused of being responsible for at least three more patient fatalities.

Alicia Williams, 45, a teacher from Birmingham, Alabama, also died as a result of complications after a series of cosmetic surgery procedures in the Dominican Republic. After undergoing liposuction, a tummy tuck, and a Brazilian butt lift in the DR, she had several medical problems – including blood clots, and loss of a significant amount of blood – and she tragically passed away.

Leigh Aiple, 31, spent more than $35,000 for a plastic surgery package in Malaysia but died less than 24 hours after returning home. His death has prompted warnings to others contemplating traveling abroad for cosmetic surgery.

CDC Warning Against “Medical Tourism” Plastic Surgery Abroad

The CDC cautions that the majority of health care institutions in the Dominican Republic, and many other countries, that cater to medical tourists do not meet the criteria required by international accrediting organizations.

They emphasize that American travelers going abroad seeking medical tourism surgeries have suffered illnesses, life-threatening infections, medical negligence, and even death.

Why Medical Tourism is so Dangerous

While one may see why people might choose medical tourism, due to the cost savings. But the dangers of unaccredited plastic surgery abroad clearly outweigh any financial advantages.

Some concerns of medical tourism plastic surgery are:

#1. Sanitization: In the United States, sterilization protocols and testing are conducted. There is no way to know how sanitary and well-maintained the instruments are in another country.

If a tool is not adequately sterilized, it may wind up costing the patients a lot more money in the long term due to infection, prolonged hospitalization, and botched aesthetic effects… as well as death.

#2. Training: Similarly, a patient does not know how a physician has been educated in another country, as opposed to how surgeons are trained in the United States.

In the United States, people may check to see whether a physician is registered, licensed, and trained to practice in a certain specialty. When searching the internet for foreign providers, you do not have the same degree of security.

In the United States, patients can ascertain their surgeon’s surgical skill level if they seek out an American Board of Plastic Surgery board certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Ali in Birmingham, MI.  Additionally, in the US one can seek out surgeons (again like Dr. Ali) who are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which is comprised entirely of specialized plastic surgeons who continue their medical training and who focus exclusively on cosmetic surgery.

#3. Blood Supply: Medical tourism patients should also take into account the safety of the blood supply in hospitals located abroad. Numerous surgical procedures require blood transfusions – and if a patient has complications a transfusion is even more likely.

The blood supply in the US is highly regulated and exhaustively tested. But the blood supplies they are utilizing in another country may be safe or may not, and the fact is that there is no way to know for certain. Contaminated blood can lead to infection, diseases (such as HIV), and even death.

Don’t Risk Your Life on Plastic Surgery Abroad

Currently, medical tourism is unregulated, with bundle packages intended to allow patients to have the greatest number of operations possible in the quickest amount of time, regardless of any risk. And, despite what foreign physicians and clinics may promote, International standards simply do not exist.

Having plastic surgery performed abroad carries a considerable risk, since there is no assurance of the caliber or safety of the treatment you will get.

Board-certified Birmingham, MI plastic surgeon Dr. Ali and our caring staff urge you not to consider going abroad for plastic surgery – even if it is cheaper. In the end, one “gets what one pays for” – and what you may be paying for with medical tourism is disfigurement or death.

Plastic Surgery | Birmingham, MI

Birmingham area board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali has helped thousands of women and men love their appearance and improve their confidence and quality of life with cosmetic surgery – safely and without complications.

Schedule a consultation and take the first step toward getting the plastic surgery you have always wanted – and look and feel like the best version of “you” that you can be! And if cost is an issue we can help you with easy financing options so that cost concerns do not steer you in a dangerous direction abroad!

Plastic Surgery Consultation | Birmingham, MI: 248-335-7200