I was wondering why do the MD's in the Dominican ask you to take a host of iron pills and vitamins and the doctors here do not?

Doctor Answers 4

Iron tablets

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Thank you for the question.

In my practice, patients always have to get blood work as well as EKG before surgery. In the lab requirements a CBC will determine how your Iron level is doing, if it's lower than a 12, then the patient should take Iron tablets in order to get that level to a 12 or higher. This is advised to prevent your iron level from dropping to a dangerous level, mostly because you tend to bleed during surgery. Having your body ready and prepared for surgery, is the safest. Regardless of what country you're going to for the surgical procedure always check credentials.

Iron Therapy Before Surgery

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The best way to know if a patient needs iron therapy is to simply check the serum iron level, along with a few other labs like transferrin, ferrtin, and iron binding capacity.  Because iron supplements can cause constipation (not a good thing after a tummy tuck) I do not recommend iron therapy for patients that do not need them.

Dr Core's comments about medical tourism are excellent advice.  "You don't get what you don't pay for" in terms of postop care and followup if you travel for surgery.  You also have little if any legal protection and your health insurance may or may not be of use if you are in another country.

Why do the doctors in the DR have you take iro and vitamins and here they do not

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Having just returned from the D.R. in December, I found a health care system that was severely overloaded, over worked, and ill prepared. While there are some good doctors there they are functioning in a very challenging environment. Many of them, finding low reimbursement in standard medical fields, have resorted to cosmetic surgery to pay the bills. I am sure they want to do all they can to optimize their odds in the face of such challenging conditions so prescribing those meds may very well be reasonable. However, we here in this country are fortunate to have great equipment , facilities, and people to work alongside us, so we generally do not need all that, although I do happen to promote post op vitamins myself. This highlights the problems with medical tourism. Not only are the support systems in some countries such that you will be at higher risk, but in addition, you are far from home in case there is a complication. It just isn't worth the savings as it may cost you your life.

Iron Pills and Vitamins

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Vitamins in normal doses can only help or strenthen your nutritional status. Many women may require iron to prevent iron deficiency anemia. In the states, we do pre-operative blood work to diagnose anemia. I am not sure whether a cbc is routine preadmission testing in the DR.

Best wishes

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