Cheap Dominican Republic Surgeries causes another senseless death. That is what the Headlines Say.

Once again,  news headlines are being made by the unnecessary death of a young woman seeking cosmetic surgery in a foreign country. Read the article if you want right here:   It appeared today in many major city's newspapers.

I have been writing articles for the past eight years that deal with safety in Cosmetic Surgery, as well as trying to inform patients of their many choices available in the newest techniques in Aesthetic Surgery.  The most direct point to be made here is a well defined set of protocols of security that should be mandated to be followed on every single elective procedure.

 My Father in Law, Dr Ivan Arroyo Tovar coined the title Alt S Protocol of Seguridad, a topic, of which he has given instruction at different international conferences over the past 15 plus years. A standard in all of our clinics in Lima, Peru. Simple on the surface, easy to implement, but still not done in many places, why??? Greed, more profits, lack of proper training, time saving, the list goes on and on. These standards include points such as: Thorough medical history, Lab screening and evaluation in order to assess the risk factor of every patient, not combining surgeries in the same session, only the use of local anesthesia, Liposuction to be done in sessions of alternating days, the use of micro fine cannula, and more. You can find the entire protocol on any of our webpages.

All of this works out to one main subject: Patient safety. That is why our clinics have a history of over 30,000 safe patient procedures in over 30 years. No Compromises. We have patients who come from foreign countries every day of the week, and inevitably, patients will ask to have surgeries combined in order to save time and go home early. The answer will always be No! We have evidence of some, who when we refused, went elsewhere, and have had serious complications, and some who have died. Serious matters here, the consequences can be severe. That is why there is no flexibility in combining surgeries, or accepting patients who may be at risk.

The two biggest factors to blame in this tragedy will most likely play out like this: General Anesthesia, and performing multiple surgeries in the same session. So who is at fault in that case? The Surgeon. Putting the patient at risk, so as to eliminate the need for multiple entries into the operating room, and thereby saving the expense of anesthesia, nurses, medicine, technicians, and mostly, his time.

Even the quickest amount of research will show that when a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty is combined with liposuction, which also means general anesthesia is being used, there is an increased risk of massive pulmonary embolism. Each one being done in a separate session days apart, monitoring the patients red cell counts will not be putting the patients life at any risk.

Studies that have been done over the past 20 years will show that the Tumescent Liposuction is one of the safest procedures performed, because it is used with local anesthesia, as long as it is within the tolerances proven to limit the amount of anesthetic by patient weight. . Once you invoke General Anesthesia, especially in order to perform surgery on several areas of the body, that is where patients will be at risk.

The articles written about these unfortunate occurrences, try to highlight the fact that the surgeries were cheap. Cheap is not the root cause, failure to follow known standards is at fault. The prices of surgeries differ in many countries due to many factors, the biggest being is malpractice insurance premiums in the USA. The fact that many surgical procedures can be done outside of the USA for between a third to one half the cost does not necessarily mean that they will be sub standard. Many of these Doctors have been trained in the USA, as well as many other countries. Cheaper labor costs, a lower cost of living, medicines that cost much less, even though they come form many of the same pharmaceutical companies, are available in many countries, and not just in the third world.

Use all of the information available to you in making a smart decision, ask about patient referrals, use all of your senses when researching medical treatment outside of your own country. Use your best judgement when making a decision that may have extreme consequences. Ask questions, do not be afraid, if you do not feel comfortable, or something is not just right, take your time, and you will be fine. One more point, I have also heard from some people, that they felt trapped into staying with a doctor because they paid in advance, and feared not getting a refund. This is not a valid reason, make sure of your options before, check the payment methods accepted, and if you are not satisfied, walk the other way, it is not worth your life.