Medical tourism is the idea of combining a vacation with medical treatment. Or, more accurately, the vacation is taken specifically to undergo cosmetic procedures. Popular destinations for cosmetic surgery include Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Thailand, to name just a few. Travel packages may even bundle the medical care with travel and lodging, as well as perks like a tour or a safari. Is this really the right approach to take toward cosmetic surgery?
The Benefits of Medical Tourism
Quite often, the greatest benefit of traveling outside the U.S. for cosmetic surgery is the bargain price of medical care. Low prices are possible in less developed countries due to fewer regulations and less stringent legal protection for patients. This may also make it possible to undergo surgical procedures that are not available in the United States. As a bonus, medical tourists also get the chance to visit new and exotic locations.
The Risks of Medical Tourism
The same things that draw people to another country for medical care may also present very serious risks:
- Concerns regarding the cosmetic surgeon performing the procedure. Is he or she as qualified or as experienced as cosmetic surgeons who practice in the United States?
- Medical devices used in other countries may not meet U.S. standards.
- If a patient experiences complications in a foreign country, it may be difficult to find quality follow-up care.
- The increased possibility of complications that accompany not only travel itself, but also vacation-related activities like too much sun exposure, excessive alcohol consumption, and vigorous outdoor activities.
With the risks and benefits presented by medical tourism, I would encourage my patients to do their homework before their procedure and choose wisely before booking a trip overseas.
Dr. Joseph J. Castellano is a native Floridian who grew up in the Tampa Bay area. During medical school and his 5 years of training in General Surgery, Dr. Castellano developed a strong interest in Cosmetic Surgery. He followed his residency training with an elective year of specialized training with the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. From 2010-2011, he completed a fellowship in Indiana focused entirely of cosmetic surgery of the face and body. During his fellowship, he received specialized training in facial rejuvenation, breast augmentation, abdominoplasty, and body contouring. Dr. Castellano received his board certification from the American College of Surgeons in 2010.
Dr. Castellano focuses on breast augmentation, abdominoplasty, liposuction, facelift, and eyelid rejuvenation. Additionally, he operates on numerous skin cancers, scar revisions, spider veins, and specializes in the management of aging skin with chemical peels and laser resurfacing.
Request a consultation to meet with Dr. Castellano and learn more about all his practice has to offer.