Medical Tourism: Is this an oxymoron?
With the extreme interest in cosmetic surgery many new avenues have appeared to mix surgery and recovery and medical tourism is one of them. Medical tourism is the idea of having cosmetic surgery and recovering at a remote destination, usually a luxurious one. On the surface, this may sound cool, but in reality, who really wants to spend their vacation with swelling, bruising, stitches and bandages. I guess one could make an argument that the patient could go to the vacation spot a week early and enjoy the vacation, then have surgery and recover the second week. This way, one can combine vacation and recovery…………….but why? Personally, I can’t fathom combining the two. I work hard and when I go on vacation, I want to enjoy it. I don’t want to spend it in bed, especially in a recovery bed. Another thing to consider is what type of medical facilities are available at the luxury destination. I have been to some really beautiful places in my life, mountains, islands, wonders of the world, etc. Few of any of these localities are known for their medical facilities any more than Cleveland Clinic is known for a vacation Mecca. The news is replete with horror stories of patients that went to Mexico or South America for a “bargain” surgery and vacation and lived to regret it. When I go on holiday, I want the best chefs, bartenders, and tour guides, when I have surgery I want the best facilities, medical staff and emergency equipment. I think it is rare to find the combination of all of the above. Not impossible, but uncommon. Sunscreen or penicillin? Pina colada or pain pill? Not the choice for me. Hey, I was just saying……………………….
Joe Niamtu, III DMD
Cosmetic Facial Surgery