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Should I consider surgery with global medical services in the Dominican Republic?

Q:

The surgery I'm considering is removal of old implants, new implants, breast lift, tummy tuck and liposuction on my flanks. I need advice on how to proceed or not, I have read mixed reviews.

A:

 Overseas Cosmetic Surgery has certainly gained in popularity secondary to the reduced costs. The questions you should be asking your surgeon and their staff are who is going to be taking care of me after having all these combined procedures, if I have complications in the immediate post operative period where will my care be provided, will my insurance cover post operative adverse events if I am in a foreign country and if I have an unfavorable outcome or an untoward event such as nipple or skin loss who will be taking care of me when I return to the USA. Most ASAPS surgeons are very leery of taking care of overseas cosmetic surgery patients. Remember that most foreign country’s have different standards for health care delivery/ care and an entirely different often cumbersome medical-legal system. Best,

 

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

A:

Certainly the cost differences make overseas cosmetic surgery sound attractive but there are many questions you have address before even considering proceeding.  Who is going to be performing my surgery?  Are they certified and if so by what organization or in what specialty? (There are many "certifying boards" however many are not recognized in the United States or for that matter, in the outside country.)  Where is my surgery going to be performed?  Is the surgical center/hospital accredited?  If so, by who?  Who is going to handling my anesthesia?  How are complications addressed, both immediate and long-term?  Who covers the costs for managing these complications?  Do the hospitals in the country I am going  take my insurance in case of an emergency?  If I have problems after I return to the United States, who is going to handle these complications?  How am I going to pay for someone to manage these later complications since my insurance carrier will probably not cover these costs?  There are many places in the world where excellent plastic surgical care is delivered but it takes a lot of research to find them and even then the question still is, is the possible savings worth the potentially larger risks? Hope this helps.

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