Contemplating surgery abroad? Here are a few things to consider:
The decision to have plastic surgery requires weighing many factors, including costs. We are sensitive to the investment surgery poses to our patient’s finances, which is why we offer our loyalty program www.pureplasticsurgery.com/loyalty-membership-rewards-program. We are aware that recent inflation concerns, and rising travel costs may cause some to consider undergoing cosmetic procedures outside of the U.S. Medical tourism is not a new concept and while there are certainly qualified plastic surgeons all over the world, it is important to conduct thorough research and educate yourself on the healthcare and legal systems in any country you may consider.
Verifying qualifications and reputation
Each country has various qualifications, standards and organizations that hold medical professionals and facilities accountable. It is imperative that you understand what they are, how they work and how they may advocate for you or the surgeon.
Qualifications of the surgeon are as important as their reputation. It is important to know how many deaths, rate of infection and complications have occurred because of procedures performed by the surgeon or staff. These are numbers you should know before choosing your surgeon.
Another piece to the verifying puzzle is the hospital, operating room (OR) or aftercare facility where you may receive treatment or care. Make sure you understand safety codes and standards and what will be included in your services.
When you are researching aftercare facilities due diligence should cover the facility and any associated doctors and workers.
Safety measures and emergency readiness
Expect the best, but plan for every possible scenario, including plans and procedures for safety and emergencies.
Regarding safety, ask how many procedures the surgeon will perform the day of your surgery and where you fall in the day. You want to know how long you will have to wait and where you will wait. In some countries, surgeons can perform more procedures at once, remove more fat or perform surgery on patients who may not qualify in the U.S. Complex procedures or combination procedures that exceed 6 hours, may increase risk of complications and you should be aware of the risks.
In case of emergency, what are the protocols in other countries? What are the steps taken if something goes wrong? What insurance will you need and/or the costs associated with any possible emergencies or complications? Will you need to be transported by air ambulance to a nearby city, and if so, where will they take you? These are questions you will want answered prior to committing to surgery overseas.
Surgery can be complicated even when everything goes as planned – there are many things to discuss. Having a language barrier may complicate your ability to communicate your thoughts, whether positive or negative, with your surgical team. Understanding if there will be language barriers during any part of your care or if you will need to hire an interpreter is a key component to planning.
If you opt-out of an aftercare facility and choose to stay at a hotel instead, make sure the pictures you see online are indicative of what you will experience in real-time.
Recourse for malpractice
If anything were to go wrong, you want to be aware of your recourse for medical malpractice and contacts for agencies who may advocate on your behalf.
Dr. Earle’s Info:
As a double board-certified plastic surgeon, I am held accountable by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. I am also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a member of The World Association of Gluteal Surgeons (WAGS). This means that I am required to remain at the highest level of standards in the U.S. and the industry. I have also committed to continuous education in all aspects of the field plastic surgery.
In 2021, the average rate of infection in the U.S. was 10%, and my rate was 1-2%.
My OR is clean, safe and up to date with technological advances and an accreditation by the Joint Commission, which is the highest level for an office-based surgical clinic in the U.S. Our pre-operative department makes sure patients undergo anesthesia safely and it is one of the safest ORs in Miami.
Total BBL’s in 2021: 602
Fat retention 70% (Avg: 50%)
Revision Rate: 3.3% (Avg 10-15%)
Round 2: 15% (Avg: 15%)
Infections: 1-2% (Avg: 10%)
Mortality: 0 (1/15,000-20,000)