Overseas Plastic Surgery - - WATCH OUT!!!

Brian K. Brzowski, MD

Article by
Ogden Plastic Surgeon

Today's blog is regarding travel overseas for cosmetic surgery. We are seeing a rise in patients who travel overseas for these types of procedures. Unfortunately, the motivation for this decision is usually entirely cost-based - surgery in third world and less developed countries is usually significantly cheaper. Equally alarming in its frequency are the number of complications from these procedures that are being reported here in the US by plastic surgeons.

An article recently published by the Associated Press describes a surgeon in Australia who was just charged with manslaughter as a result of his treatment of patients. This physician is originally from the US, but his medical privileges were revoked, prompting his relocation to Australia. There, he became head of his surgery department despite having lost his license to practice medicine in the US. The fact that the US has the most stringent requirements for training, certification, and maintenance of competency should be remembered by anyone seeking care outside of the US. Even in a more "Western" country like Australia, you are not guaranteed the same level of precautions against incompetent providers.

With purely elective procedures such as cosmetic surgical procedures, one should be even more demanding that the surgeon meet these tougher US qualifications before seeking treatment. Also be aware, that in many instances, upon their return home to the US, it has been difficult and even impossible for patients to find physicians willing to assume their care for complications that arose from procedures performed outside the US.

Til next time....