In response to an increase in complications associated with medical tourism, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has issued a strong worded editorial about the risks involved in medical tourism.
“We see travel agencies brokering surgery for their clients with surgeons they have never met,” writes Catherine Foss at ISAPS: “The patients have no assurance that their surgeon is properly trained or qualified to perform the procedure they will undergo, and all too often, little attention is paid to post-surgical care.”
The ISAPS statement doesn’t condemn traveling for surgery outright, but warns against traveling for surgery “just to save money.”
Meanwhile, countries around the globe are tightening regulations to prevent unqualified practitioners from practicing surgery. According to ISAPS, Denmark is one country among many that has recently taken action, implementing strict regulations for private surgery clinics. Unfortunately, in many countries, including the U.S, there are still unqualified people who market themselves as plastic surgeons.
Members of ISAPS have been leading the way to address this problem and promote safe plastic surgery worldwide. At last years ISAPS congress, Dr. Foad Nahai introduced the “Patient Safety Diamond.” According to this concept, there are four factors that strongly influence safe surgery. They are:
- The patient should be a good candidate for the requested surgery.
- The surgeon must be properly trained and credentialed.
- The procedure should be appropriate for the patient.
- The surgical facility should be an accredited and proven safe venue with properly trained staff and emergency preparedness.
- Read the full article from the ISAPS to learn more.
- ISAPS.org: See the guidelines for traveling to undergo surgery
- World Health Organization: View the 19-question Surgical Safety Checklist that reduced surgical complications in a recent study.