What are the potential risks of having surgery abroad?

There’s no denying that medical tourism is a growing industry. Central America, Europe, Tunisia, Turkey… The destinations are as numerous as the types of surgeries performed there. Whether it’s a matter of breast augmentation, a tummy tuck, liposuction or any other cosmetic procedure, having surgery abroad has attracted its share of devotees for numerous reasons. But why? And at what cost?

Do you really save with medical tourism?

While beaches, sun and a tropical climate are undeniable draws of surgery abroad, the fact remains that financial considerations play a significant role in the decision to go ahead with it. But is it really more economical? That’s the question.

When you make the decision to move forward with surgery, you have to consider not only the cost of the operation, but also the travel expenses: the hotel, plane tickets, vaccines, meals, personal purchases, etc.

You should also take into account the fact that, if there are any complications during your surgery, you might need to remain at the destination longer than anticipated, which will inevitably involve additional expenses. So is it really more economical to opt for surgery abroad? Not necessarily.

Are exoticism and medical care a perilous mix?

  • The standards of safety and quality in medical centers aren’t the same in every part of the world.
  • Once you return home, if you develop postoperative complications, whom do you turn to? Will you have your medical records in French or English on hand?
  • Getting vaccinated (which is often a requirement for travel abroad) can prove to be problematic prior to surgery.
  • If you contract a virus before your operation, you’ll be forced to cancel the procedure.
  • After having cosmetic surgery, you may need to avoid exposure to the sun. So you can forget about those sunny days at the beach you were looking forward to.
  • Taking a plane home after your surgery also involves risks: thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms… Flying after having surgery increases the risks of these complications and more. If your medical condition is precarious, the airline might not even let you board the plane.

The importance of a code of professional ethics in surgery abroad

The idea of cosmetic surgery at a considerably reduced rate may sound appealing. But you need to make it a priority to find out everything you can about the skill of the physician and the quality of the facilities. It’s a matter of your health and safety. Does the resident physician have proper training? Is he a member of a professional association with a code of ethics governing the practice of medicine? In Quebec, every plastic surgeon is a member of the Quebec College of Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, whose mission is to offer safe, high-quality healthcare to the public.

At Dr. Mario F. Bernier’s Aesthetic Surgery and Medicine Clinic, you’re in good hands with a qualified plastic surgeon who’s certified by a number of Canadian and American organizations. Recognized for his perfectionism and his complete mastery of the art of cosmetic surgery, Dr. Bernier will give you judicious advice regarding which procedure is the most appropriate one given your particular situation.