Dealing with Complications from Overseas Surgery

 

As a Plastic Surgeon in Washington Heights, a highly Hispanic neighborhood, I have seen many women who have travelled overseas for cosmetic surgery. Many look fine, but when complications occur, they can face real challenges.

For the women that live in the US, and have jobs and families, the time they can spend out of the country is limited.  Sometimes they have to return even if something has gone wrong in surgery.  Sometimes, they don’t notice the issue until they are back in America.

So, you have had Plastic Surgery in another country and have a problem- an infection, a fluid collection, your wound has opened, or something is not right and you are nervous. What do you do?

You can call your doctor overseas, and hopefully he can reassure you.  If something is wrong, you have to fly back to be treated, and this may be dangerous if something serious is wrong. I had a patient who underwent surgery in the Caribbean, flew back in 12 days, and ended up with a blood clot that went to her lungs.  Fortunately, the Emergency Room here saved her, but that is not always the case.

To see a Plastic Surgeon here is often times difficult, as no one wants to deal with another surgeon’s complications.  You are taking on risk and responsibility and someone else got the reward. You can go to the Emergency Room, and they will plug you into a clinic of unknown quality.  In any event, there are costs associated, and sometimes these fees are more than the surgery itself.

This is not to say that I do not have complications- every Plastic Surgeon does.  My patients, however, have access to the best Healthcare system in the world, and if anything should happen, this is the safest place to be.


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