Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Dangers of Medical Tourism

Traveling abroad for plastic surgery“Medical tourism” describes traveling abroad for medical care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly 750,000 Americans travel to another country annually for medical care. This is especially popular in plastic surgery circles, as patients choose to combine an international vacation with cosmetic enhancement. Also, plastic surgery is often advertised at cheaper prices in other countries.

However, medical tourism is dangerous and, in some cases, even deadly. Here, Drs. Samuel Pearl and Alexander Ereso explain why you should avoid traveling abroad for plastic surgery.

Communication Hurdles Are Problematic

Traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language fluently is a problem, especially when receiving medical care. If you do not understand your physician’s pre- or post-operative instructions, or you develop an inexplicable complication, the misunderstanding can be fatal.

The Standard of Care Is Different

Other countries do not have the stringent medical standards that we enjoy in the United States. Facilities may be disorganized or dirty, medications may be counterfeit and doctors may not follow hygienic practices.

Plastic surgeons in other countries are not subject to the standards that American doctors are. They may not have the training or skill set necessary to perform complex plastic or reconstructive surgery operations.

In the worst-case scenario that your surgeon is negligent or something goes awry during your procedure, you probably won’t have solid grounds for legal recourse, either. You don’t have any laws protecting you or mandating the training and qualifications of foreign plastic surgeons.

Little Time/Energy for Tourism

Many people want to combine normal tourist activities with their operation, but recovering from a surgical procedure is challenging. You will feel groggy for the first day or so after surgery, and your range of motion will be severely limited. You will probably be confined to your bed or couch as your body heals. This leaves you little to no opportunities to explore your surroundings and soak up the local culture. And, even if you can walk around, you can’t participate in any physical activities (e.g., swimming, hiking). By the time you have enough energy to explore, it’s time to fly home!

Affordable and safe plastic surgery is available much closer to home. Dr. Pearl and Ereso are plastic surgeons who practice in Mountain View, Calif., and serve all surrounding areas. To schedule a consultation with the doctors and discuss your options, please call (650) 964-6600 today.

Why Does Board Certification Matter?

The importance of board certificationWhen selecting a plastic surgeon, board certification is a non-negotiable. Working with a board certified plastic surgeon ensures a certain standard of education, knowledge, experience and skill.

You must look for a plastic surgeon that is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), or board-eligible. This is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to govern plastic surgeons.

The distinction is critical because some doctors call themselves “plastic surgeons” or “cosmetic surgeons,” but aren’t actually certified by the ABPS. A board certified dermatologist or OB-GYN could market themselves as a cosmetic surgeon in order to cast a wider net for potential patients. This happens more often than you would think, and can lead to botched or even deadly outcomes.

Plastic surgeons voluntarily meet certain standards to earn their board certification. In this post, Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso explain what this credential ensures.

The plastic surgeon is educated.

To become board certified, a plastic surgeon must have an undergraduate degree and a medical degree (MD) or osteopathy degree (DO) from an accredited university.

The plastic surgeon is trained.

The surgeon must complete six years of surgical training after medical school before becoming eligible for board certification. A minimum of three of those years must be dedicated to plastic surgery residency training. This training covers a wide range of procedures for the face and body. It also teaches the plastic surgeon to prevent and handle emergencies.

In addition to developing technical skills during their training, plastic surgeons refine their aesthetic judgement. Attention to detail and form is important, as plastic surgery requires a deep understanding of balance and proportion.

The plastic surgeon is knowledgeable.

A board certified plastic surgeon must pass rigorous written (and sometimes oral) examination to test their knowledge of the specialty. They must keep up to date on industry best practices and the latest advances within the specialty.

The plastic surgeon adheres to high professional standards.

Board certified plastic surgeons must adhere to strict safety and ethics standards. They must be licensed by the state(s) in which they work, and operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities. They must follow a strict code of ethics set forth by the medical board.

If you would like to schedule an informational consultation with Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso to discuss your plastic surgery options, please call our practice at (650) 964-6600 today.

 
 
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