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Will I have a problem finding a plastic surgeon or general surgeon in TN to see me if I have tummy tuck in Dominican Rep?

Booked my flight/appt with a PS in D. Republic. Getting TT/ lipo of arms, flanks, abs, and thighs. What If I have any complications once getting back. I live in Nashville, TN. Will I not be able to have a General/Plastic surg 2 see me if any complications arise? I am aware that MOST won't see someone else's patient, especially if there are problems but what if I see the Dr before I leave or when I get back just to evaluate my healing? Surely, If I have a seroma a Dr would drain it..right?

Doctor Answers (10)

I advise against getting plastic surgery out of the country

+2
i think that it is generally a terrible idea to get PS in a foreign country and then return to the USA.
in general the standards are very high in the USA, IF you go to a board certified plastic surgeon. you definitely 
do not have the same likely of high quality if you go to third world country. of course it is cheaper but it is your health and maybe your life. 
If you do develop complications, you will probably be able to find someone to treat you, but you will definitely be paying more for treatment, than you would be, if he was your primary surgeon. 

i work in northern VA, but i am 100% certain, there are a lot of excellent board certified PS in your state. 

i would strongly advise against your plans, even if it saves you several thousands of dollars. 
it is much, much harder to correct problems and is often times, impossible to fully correct them. it is 
much better to get the surgery done properly the first time

sincerely
david berman md


Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Why are you traveling?

+2
Most board certified plastic surgeons take pride in the surgical procedures we do, the skill involved to get patients the results they are looking for and our general care of patients.  In general, we also take ownership for our surgeries from start to finish, including any possible complications that may arise.  If you are considering medical tourism to get a better price on your surgery, why do you think that a plastic surgeon in the United States would want to take care of someone else's complications.  To be fully honest, I would be insulted if you came to my office and asked me to take care of someone else's surgery, just because you traveled to get a better price.  I know there are many skilled plastic surgeons in Tennessee who would be more than capable of performing a tummy tuck and liposuction for you.  If you travel for a price break, you get what you pay for.  The link below is to a statement by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons on medical tourism.
I wish you the best of luck.

Jason Brett Lichten, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Be Careful

+1
I agree with the other surgeons.  You should at least be able to access your surgeon in the post operative period.  Complications can happen even months after your surgery.  Consider a local surgeon or at least a surgeon in the USA that is board certified.  The key is that you need to be safe and that includes preoperative care and planning, the actual operation, and then post operative care and follow up.  I see my patients at least 2 times before surgery, then the next day, then at one week, then at one month, then three months, then six months, and then yearly.  That may seem excessive but I want to know that they are doing well and make sure nothing odd is occurring.  Be safe, don't discount your health and well being.  

Good Luck, 

Gaurav Bharti

Gaurav Bharti, MD
Johnson City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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Problem finding a plastic surgeon after tummy tuck in the Dominican.

+1
Your doctor patient relationship is very important before and after any procedure. If you have complications you can visit your local emergency room and will be assigned to the covering plastic or general surgeon. The best choice however is to choose a local board certified surgeon committed to your care before, during, and after your procedure.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Reconsider your decision

+1
I agree with the other surgeons and echo their concern in doing your procedure in the Dominican. There is a recent concern that many patients that are having plastic surgery there are unfortunatly contracting severe mycobacterium infections. Treatment for this infection is very troubling and can result in several weeks to months of IV antibiotics and multiple visits with an infectious disease specialist. Additionally, deforming debridements to remove necrotic (dead) tissue may be needed. Please reconsider and seek consultation from a nearby board-certified plastic surgeon. 

Best,
Dr. Blanton

Matthew Blanton, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Bad Idea

+1
It is best to have the surgery in or near the city where you live so the doctor who did the surgery will manage your complications and follow up. If you can find someone to manage your postoperative care, it will cost you so overall you will not save any money in the long run. There are many excellent plastic surgeons in Nashville that commonly perform what you have proposed.

Joel Patrick Maier, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon

Will I have a problem finding a plastic surgeon or general surgeon in TN to see me if I have tummy tuck in Dominican Rep?

+1
Having surgery at a reduced rate in a foreign country sounds appealing, but there are many concerns that you should consider. Generally, there is no preoperative direct discussion with the surgeon who is going to perform the surgery in order to establish any reasonable doctor/patient relationship. There are often language barriers that can interfere with your care. Even if your surgeon speaks English, the ancillary personnel like the nurses and the anesthesia provider who are involved in your care, may not. The quality of hospitals outside of the Unites States varies tremendously. Some are accredited and inspected, others are not. Even if the hospital has reasonable facilities and the surgeon has training, which may not be up to the quality of training of a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the quality of the nurses and others involved in your care may be very different from that in the United States. They may have little or no formal medical education, training or credentialing.

There is usually little follow-up care. In addition, the general sanitary conditions often increase the risk of infections, including some that are generally rare in this country. There are major potential problems that may occur with traveling long distances just before and after surgery, like dehydration and fatigue, but more importantly complications including clots in the legs called deep venous thrombosis and clots to the lung which may be life threatening.

In most countries, if a problem develops, you will have little legal recourse and no ability to file a complaint either against the hospital or about the surgeon. If complications develop after you return home, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain care from your local physicians. If problems do occur, the cost of subsequent care can be far greater than the reduced cost of the original surgery. While there are well-trained physicians in many other countries, I would suggest that you travel for pleasure or business and have your surgery closer to home.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Short Comings of Medical Tourism

+1
Unfortunately, this is one of the issues with patients traveling abroad for surgery.  It is unlikely the you will be able to find someone to follow up with here in the United States.  You have two options:
  1.  Consult with a PS in your area and have your procedure with no worries about where to follow up and who will take care of you

  2.  If you are completely committed to have your procedure abroad, you should arrange to spend several weeks there during your recovery period.

Good Luck

Earl Stephenson, Jr, MD, DDS, FACS

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Overseas Surgery

+1
Dear Vlady34,

Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never really know what you will get.  Hopefully you won't have any complications from your overseas surgery.  However, if you do most surgeons will be very apprehensive to treat another physician's issues.  You are potentially putting the American Surgeon in a precarious medical legal situation. I would recommend that you ask your Dominican Republic surgeon what their policy is to treat complications after surgery.  Hope that helps!

Sincerely,

Joshua Kreithen, MD
Sarasota, Florida

Joshua Kreithen, MD
Sarasota Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Will I have a problem finding a plastic surgeon or general surgeon in TN to see me if I have tummy tuck in Dominican Rep?

+1
I would advise you to cancel your plans. The standards of elective surgery are much higher in the US. The procedures you have described, if combined in one setting, are quite a bit to undergo. You are dealing with your health and possibly your life as this is not a vacation to a foreign country.

NBC just published an article of 19 people with serious infections after traveling to the Dominican Republic.

You live in Nashville which has MANY excellent plastic surgeons. Please do not jeopardize your health to save a few dollars.

19 Americans Infected During Plastic Surgery Trips, Report Finds
BY MAGGIE FOXNineteen women who traveled to the Dominican Republic for cheap plastic surgery over the past year came home with nasty, hard-to-treat infections, health officials reported Thursday.
 

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.