American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Amanda Proveaux
one year ago
Answered

Surgery Abroad

Hi, I'm looking for a surgeon that could give me a mommy makeover with some extras. Tummy tuck, lipo on abdomen, back, arms, inner thighs, and breast lift. I'm having a hard time choosing a surgeon. There is one in Tijuana that I like but I'm worried about safety and recovery since it wouldn't be performed in the US, I wouldn't have a PS to go to. Thoughts? Advice? Thanks in advance!

Amanda

Procedure: Mommy Makeover
Type: Question

Replies 11

Shashidhar Kusuma
ASPS Surgeon
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would not recommend. I believe that one Pays now or Pays later, but for sure will have to pay. What you save in some finances, you may have to pay back in peace of mind, follow ups, managing issues, complications, uncertainty, best practices, standards of care etc. etc.

There are many board certified plastic surgeons close to you I am sure will do a great job for you and take great care of you.

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Debra Johnson
ASPS Surgeon
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While having surgery outside of the US might offer a cost advantage, you have to consider that you will not have any post-operative care unless you remain out of the country. If you return home and need care for suture or drain removal, or if you have a complication, you will have to pay additionally for that. If you feel you suffered from some medical negligence, you will have no legal recourse. You are considering major surgery which has the highest risk of DVT/PE (blood clots developing in the legs during surgery, that can then cause blockage in the lung, which can result in death). I don't allow my abdominoplasty patients to fly for 4 weeks after surgery as this increases the risk further! It is always safer to have surgery closer to home, but if you insist on going to Mexico or elsewhere, at least make sure your surgeon is an ASPS International member.

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Nirmal Nathan
ASPS Surgeon
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Dear Amanda,

The fact that your are asking this question on the American Society of Plastic Surgeon's website shows that your have deep concerns about going out of the country. Being in Miami, I have had to repair and treat patients after they return from overseas procedures for terrible complications. Their complications are generally worse because of the poor follow-up after surgery. The problem is diagnosed late, and likely by another surgeon once the patient comes to the emergency room in the United States.

Overseas there is little to no regulation over where surgery can be performed, and your life is in their hands. You deserve to have your surgery performed by a board certified plastic surgeon, in a world class U.S. facility.

Good luck,

Nirmal R. Nathan, M.D.

Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery

Member, American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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Tracy McCall
ASPS Surgeon

Stop. Do not do this. First, that is a lot of surgery for one setting. Complications increase with longer surgeries, particularly when liposuction is in the mix. Right there, I am not sure that this is safe.

You don't have anyone to follow up with should you have a problem. I see my patients regularly in the post op period to be sure that they are healing properly and to help them advance their activity without damaging the results. On occasion, a patient may have to travel unexpectedly, and my colleagues and I will arrange follow up with a local surgeon should they need the care. You won't have any of that.

Here is a quote from a recent article, "recent communication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about antibiotic-resistant infections among patients returning to the U.S. after undergoing surgical procedures in Tijuana, Mexico"

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Trent Douglas
ASPS Surgeon
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Thank you for your question and doing your homework with ASPS member surgeons. Surgery abroad tends to be fraught with difficulties and you do not always know a surgeon's true credentials, the quality or cleanliness of the facility or how you would get any complications treated. Living just across the border from TJ, I can tell you of a number of cases of terrible infections, open wounds, bleeding issues requiring transfusions, etc. You are near a number of world class plastic surgeons in Atlanta. The ASPS "find a surgeon" feature on the website can help direct you to a properly trained board-certified surgeon in your area. In the strongest possible way, I encourage you not to go abroad for surgery. Best wishes on a great result and speedy recovery.

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Felipe Gonzalez Parada
ASPS Int. Surgeon

Hello Amanda

Every thing is possible to do, but not at the same time. You have to take into account the surgery it self have three mainly risks: 1. infection 2. Medicine allergy, 3. Coagulation disorders : bleeding and thrombus.

Wherever you get the surgery, in USA, Mexico, Brasil, Europe etc. is not recommended to combine more than two procedures in one surgical session, because the risk are higher , It is better to split in different surgical sessions.

If you do the procedure in Mexico is OK, we have certified hospitals and surgical facilities with high safety standards. Additional to the clinical evaluation and lab test, you have to comply some requirements, mainly to stay in the city or close to it in the recovery time between 4 to 10 weeks, depending on the procedure you get,

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Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your excellent question. Medical tourism is popular due to the reduced costs compared to the US, but should you have any issues it will be much more expensive to repair or correct once you return. I would strongly recommend you consider your options and make sure traveling out of the country is in your best interest for the short and long term.

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Raluan Soltero
ASPS Surgeon

Amanda:

I am a Plastic surgeon in San Diego California and I routinely end up taking care of surgical disasters from Tijuana. My advice is to find a surgeon in the US that you are confortable with, see their before and after pictures and then work on price that works for both of you.

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Edward Domanskis

I like to combine procedures for they save the patient money and we can discount fees further. The foremost thing though is safety. It really does not make a lot of sense to travel to Mexico to save several thousand dollars for these are bigger procedures and the chances of complications may be greater and the level of qualification and care is sometimes questionable.

Dr. Edward Jonas Domanskis is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

Newport Beach, San Francisco,Miami, EU, Anguilla, Nassau

Assistant Clinical Professor of SurgeryWOS-Plastic,University of California (Irvine)

Orange County’s Physician of Excellence/America’s Top Physicians/Top Doctors

Plastic Surgery- 2005-2018

President,American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons

Organoderm Skin care/ScaRxTape

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Rahul Vemula
ASPS Surgeon
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Thank you for your question. Please consider not going outside the country. You don’t know what you are getting and you don’t know the standards. There are many complications and reported deaths from people going outside the country, especially to the DR and Mexico for surgery. Also all those procedures you listed, should be staged and not performed in one surgery

Within the coming weeks I will be operating on a very beautiful girl that went to the DR for her surgery and now has avoidable complications.

Best wishes!

Rahul Vemula, MD - Plastic Surgery of the Face and Body

Diplomate of The American Board of Plastic Surgery

Diplomate of The American Board of Surgery

Active Member, ASPS

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Michael Streitmann
ASPS Surgeon
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As my practice is in Houston, I have seen disasters from Mexico and South America. Surgery in the US is well-regulated with patient protections. You get what you pay for...

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