Would you recommend me finding a doctor closer to home rather than going abroad for multiple procedures?

OK well I'm 22 years OK i have one child a 2 year old and I will like to have a mommy makeover my breast a bbl and tummytuck with thigh and arm lipo.OK I know the prices are kind of expensive for all that and that's OK I'm saving up but I came across the Dominican republic prices and I hear good stories and horror stories.Would you recommend me finding a doctor close to home and just saving and paying to have work done here so I can be safe?I would rather be safe than sorry.

Doctor Answers 22

Follow-up care is part of a mommy makeover operation.

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It's always best to be close to your surgeon after any operation including mommy makeover. Follow-up care is part of the package. I would strongly advise against medical tourism solely to save some money.

Surgery Abroad

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Thank you for your question.  I would first like to acknowledge that there are both good and not so good physician all over the world, the United States included.  That being said, as a board-certified plastic surgeon who has been practicing in the US for more than 14 years, I have seen my fair share of patients who have had surgery abroad only to return home with complications that cost them more time, more money, and sometimes require reoperation.  I strongly encouraged to explore you options at home prior to leaving the country for an extensive operation like the one you described.  

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Home is where the heart is....

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And also probably where you should have your surgery done! As some of my colleagues have stated, there are good and not so good people in every profession and that includes in plastic surgery. I am sure there are some very good plastic surgeons in the Dominican Republic, however, even sometimes when the surgeon is great and the surgery goes well, complications can arise. I think its good to be close by to the surgeon that operates on you! I like to see my patients pretty often in the first 2-3 weeks after surgery. You may save some money by having the surgery done there but then if you end up needing extra care for any reason you may end up spending more in the long run.

Hopefully you have done your research and are going to have your surgeries done by a board certified plastic surgeon. I wish you all the best and good luck!

Ankur Mehta MD

Ankur Mehta, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

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Traveling for surgery

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Hello and thanks for your question-
It's an important topic and one that has sparked a lot of discussion lately.
There are skilled and not-so-skilled surgeons in every community, but in general I would recommend that you choose a surgeon in your own community, or at least fairly close to home. You have many excellent surgeons to choose from in Tennessee, and there is no reason other than price to go elsewhere for these common procedures. You should not base your decision on price. Safety comes first.
When you combine multiple procedures, you will be more likely to have concerns, questions, or even possibly complications after surgery. It's important that you have easy access to your surgeon for follow-up care. Many North American surgeons (ASAPS and ASPS members) will even give patients their personal contact information after surgery so they can be reached in the event of any concern and most would want to see you multiple times in the postop period. This is the type of postop care you deserve, so please choose a Board-certified Plastic Surgeon near you, even if it means that you have to save up a little longer.
Best wishes-

Would you recommend me finding a doctor closer to home rather than going abroad for multiple procedures?

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Most plastic surgeons would have several concerns with what you are planning.

Combination procedures may be performed together. Whether you are a reasonable candidate, however, for the combination of procedures you listed depends on your anatomy, the extent of the abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) , the complexity of the breast surgery, the amount of liposuction, volume of fat injection into the buttocks,, your medical history, medical clearance from your primary physician, realistic expectations of the outcome and an understanding of the pros and cons of the various procedures.

Most patients prefer undergoing one anesthesia and one recovery period which is usually more cost effective, but many surgeons would prefer performing these procedures in 2 separate operations to diminish the potential for complications. Having stated that, most ethical experienced surgeons would feel that the combination of procedures that you listed would be excessive to perform at the same time.

Safety should always be the main concern. It is generally recommended that the length of elective surgery be less than six hours. The procedures should be performed in an ambulatory facility that is accredited by one of the nationally recognized accrediting organizations like the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF) or if it is outside of the Unite States an international organization like the the American Association for Accreditation for Ambulatory Surgery Facilities International, (AAAASFI) or in a licensed hospital.

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 U.S. 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 also 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
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Where to have your surgery

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There are good and bad Doctors, as good and bad facilities everywhere. the most important when choosing where you are having your surgery is that you make sure that you are choosing the right one. You have to make sure that you choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, if its American, he/she most be part of ASPS or ASAPS and if he/she is Dominican most be a member of the Dominican Society of Plastic Surgery SODOCIPRE. That is only step ONE, after you confirmed that he/she really is a board certified Plastic surgeon, google about malpractice and reviews, as in everything there are good and bad, so make sure you choose one of the good ones. Step 3 will be to check the Hospital or clinic where you will have your surgery. Ask your surgeon where will the surgery be, and research about that facility, does it have an Intensive care Unit?, does it have history with important Plastic surgery complications?. My suggestion for every combined surgery is to choose a real Hospital, not a Plastic surgery clinic, Real general Hospitals will have the means to treat any major complication, and reduce the risks drastically. 

So US or DR?

Good American Plastic surgeon in a good facility, vs bad surgeon in DR = USA
Good Dominican Plastic surgeon vs bad American Surgeon = DR
Good Dominican Plastic Surgeon vs Good American surgeon = Completely up to you.

Best of Luck, 

Luis Eduardo Redondo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Would you recommend me finding a doctor closer to home rather than going abroad for multiple procedures?

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Multiple procedures are more likely to have complications. Saving money by going abroad my not be a good idea if things go bad - you will pay more!

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Would you recommend me finding a doctor closer to home rather than going abroad for multiple procedures?

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There are excellent surgeons all over the world, the problem is there is not good regulation of medical services in most of the world. The risk of life threatening malpractice injuries and infection we have seen in the DR makes me think no one should go there and risk their lives for cosmetic surgery. Even if you only have non-life threatening problems, the cost of medical care here to recover would vastly outstrip the few thousand you may have saved on poor quality surgery. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Going abroad for plastic surgery?

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It is trully gambling with your life when you go to an area where the standard of care is not the same standard as here in the states. We have had two come back from other countries that had to be hospitalized. Not to mention how trust worthy are the reviews and story's your hearing. I personally found one place from out of the country using my before and afters as their own to solicit patients from the states to come for plastic surgery. When I reported it to the societies they said they were members of , we then found out they were not even members. So you must be extremly careful of going out of the country for surgery. I'm sure if you price around you will be able to find cost not too far from what your seeing abroad but yet still be within the safety of the states. For example our prices for what you mentioned are as follows. Tummy tuck 5500$, Breast augmentation 3000$, liposuction to four areas with BBl 6400$ if done with a tummy tuck. Just be careful going abroad.

William J. Hedden, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 334 reviews

Would you recommend me finding a doctor closer to home rather than going abroad for multiple procedures?

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Thank you for your excellent question and it is wise for you to have done so much research. Medical tourism has exploded over the last decade as patients seek surgery abroad for a number of reasons - privacy, ease, timing, cost.  The difficulty that many have faced is what happens when they return home and have healing issues or other complications that need to be managed.  Those initial reasons that made surgery abroad attractive now become a hindrance as patients do not have ready access to their surgeon and struggle to find one locally.  Do your research and be cautious with your decision.  It's easy to assume that all will go well, but what if there are issues?  Best wishes. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

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