Medical Tourism Could Be a Risky Ride


Medical tourism is the latest trend in both cosmetic surgery and travel. Here’s the set up: patients can fly to an exotic location, such as Dubai, and get cosmetic plastic surgery performed for a fraction of the price they’d pay back at home. With the money they save, they can afford to splurge on a fancy hotel or resort, where they can recover in peace, quiet, and luxury.

It seems like a win-win situation. Patients get a vacation and a makeover all at once and can come back looking “refreshed” after recovering away from the prying eyes of neighbors and co-workers. Meanwhile, the local economies get a nice financial shot in the arm while they are there. It sounds too good to be true, and it just might be.

A language barrier between you and your cosmetic surgeon isn’t particularly conducive to getting bespoke results from your breast augmentation or facelift. But that’s not the biggest danger. In the United States, patients can recognize qualified doctors by their board certifications, from such recognized associations as the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Overseas, there is no such luxury and even less recourse – both medically and financially – if something goes wrong.

The worst case scenario was illustrated recently, when a woman from Chula Vista, California chose to visit a cosmetic surgeon just across the border in Tijuana. The woman went in for a liposuction treatment – a procedure which is very low risk when performed by qualified plastic surgeons – and tragically died from a heart attack, presumably related to medical complications during or after surgery. Investigations are still underway, but already, officials have found deficiencies in the clinic’s operating areas and record-keeping procedures.

While death is a rare and extreme consequence of visiting an under-qualified cosmetic surgeon, getting disappointing results or altogether botched procedures which must then be corrected back at home, happens all too often.

With this in mind, patients may want to re-evaluate the merits of medical tourism over visiting a Newport Beach liposuction clinic or an Orange County breast augmentation specialist closer to home. Destination plastic surgery is not a wholly bad idea if in the presence of a qualified doctor. It should not be just about getting a bargain discount.

Gynecomastia Surgery: A Weight Off Your Chest

“Gynecomastia” is a little understood condition for one good reason: Men don’t like to talk about it. In spite of any stereotypes about male fixation with women’s breasts, their attitudes quickly change when the breasts are their own. They leave their shirts on at the pool, avoid standing up in front of crowds and, for many of them, avoid acknowledging the issue at all. Instead, portrayals of gynecomastia—that is, enlarged breast tissue in men—are relegated to jocular references in sitcoms (Seinfeld) or poignant depictions of lost masculinity, as embodied by the former bodybuilder with DDD breasts played by Meat Loaf, whom the main character in Fight Club meets at a “Remaining Men Together” meeting. These pop culture discourses put a disturbing notion into the heads of men with gynecomastia: Male breasts are not only subject to derision, but also make you less of a man. This one-two punch to their ego’s gut often drives men to bury their anxieties over their breasts in shame. But this is ultimately to their detriment.

Gynecomastia is often mistakenly believed to be a symptom of being overweight. As such, many men attempt to improve this problem through rigorous exercise and dieting. But the nature of gynecomastia dooms these men to frustration. In most cases, aggressive weight loss and muscle training won’t significantly reduce the size of a man’s breasts. In fact, bodybuilders are among some of the most common sufferers of gynecomastia.

In reality, the cause of gynecomastia typically stems from a hormonal imbalance. Too much estrogen triggers glandular tissue growth and the development of breasts. As such, in order to correct gynecomastia, surgery is generally required. Dr. Miguel Delgado, a gynecomastia specialist in San Francisco, can remove both fat and glandular tissue through liposuction and other minimally-invasive surgical procedures to treat gynecomastia. Cost estimates for gynecomastia surgery vary on a case-by-case basis but average between $3,000 and $4,000, which is less than the typical costs of a female breast reduction. For many men, this one-time gynecomastia surgery is the only way to get rid of their breasts. But for now, awareness of gynecomastia and its proper treatment remain the biggest barrier to helping men get this troublesome weight off their chests

Hollywood Wants Real Faces

In a time when the media is openly discussing plastic surgery procedures and the fight to maintain a youthful appearance, many Hollywood casting directors are steering in the other direction. Mothers, fathers, and grandparents are no longer easily cast due to the various facial and body enhancements that the older generation is inevitably undergoing. It seems as though aging gracefully has been replaced with looking young no matter what the individual’s age may be. There are fewer and fewer “real” faces in Hollywood due to cosmetic plastic surgery and the pressure to compete with younger, incoming actors.

Although both men and women are guilty of undergoing surgical rejuvenation, there is a greater number of female patients who seek enhancement. The most commonly performed procedures include breast augmentation Botox ® injections. While some actresses have chosen to enlarge their breasts with breast implants proportionate to their body shape, others have gone larger and possibly put their chances for a role at risk. The advent of Hi Def TV and films has caused many actresses to succumb to the likes of facial injectables and laser resurfacing, which diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As a result, casting directors are passing them over due to lack of “character” and uniqueness. Plastic surgery in moderation is often best when an actor would like to continue working in Hollywood.

Those who are interested in a natural-looking enhancement in the San Francisco area may wish to consult Dr. Kimberly Henry. Attracting patient from neighboring towns, including Greenbrae, Petaluma, and Davis, Dr. Henry has the experience and skills to perform breast augmentation and Botox injections. Further information is available on her website.

Rhinoplasty On The Rise Internationally

Facial surgery is among the most popular procedures performed in the United States, especially in Beverly Hills; however, there has been a recent increase in nose surgery in Mansour, a suburb in Iraq. Dr. Abbas al-Sihn has reportedly seen his patient rate jump 50 percent in the past year, and has performed approximately 1,400 nasal procedures in recent years. Along with nose surgery, Dr. Sihn performs other facial procedures, including corrective surgery for individuals who have congenital deformities or war injuries.

Due to decreased violence in the area and low cost of the procedure, Dr. Sihn’s clinic is filled with many interested candidates every day. In addition, the summer season is likely to see an even further increase in patients as students are on vacation and will have the necessary time for recovery post-surgery. Many of the female patients who undergo rhinoplasty surgery do so in order to achieve a more attractive facial appearance, which they believe will lead to marriage at an earlier age than most. Others opt for nose surgery in order to look like the women they see in movies and magazines. Rhinoplasty has often helped women feel prettier and more confident in their facial appearance.

Many international patients will also seek doctors in outside countries. Beverly Hills rhinoplasty surgeon Dr. Jason B. Diamond is one of the most sought-after facial plastic surgeons attracting patients from all over the world. This increased interest in cosmetic surgery and medical tourism has influenced the overall demand for surgeons worldwide.

Plastic Surgery: How Young is Too Young?

Heidi Montag has been making headlines recently for her recent string of plastic surgeries. For Montag, who graced the small screen before having any work done, the cosmetic improvements seem unnecessary, especially since many cosmetic procedures are meant to reverse the signs of aging. Montag was a teenager when she first appeared on “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.” Facelifts, breast augmentation, liposuction and other common cosmetic surgery procedures have long been prevalent in Hollywood, but rarely for someone as young as Montag, who was 20 years old when she had rhinoplasty, collagen injection, and breast augmentation.

This raises a valid question among plastic surgeons, parents and teenagers: How young is too young to receive cosmetic surgery?

According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 209,553 procedures were performed last year on patients between ages 13 and 19, making up about two percent of all surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures performed in 2009. The most common surgical procedures included otoplasty (ear surgery), rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction and male breast reduction (gynecomastia). Granted, reconstructive surgeries – for example, to correct birth defects or a broken nose – account for some of these procedures. But others, such as liposuction, breast augmentation, and breast reduction were certainly elective.

There is, of course, no hard and fast rule for determining the right age to receive plastic surgery. Sometimes their insecurities will be outgrown once the teen matures physically and emotionally. Doctors, parents and teens must approach the question on a case-by-case basis. There are extenuating circumstances, such as a teenager who experiences back pain due to overly large breasts, as well as gray areas, such as the 18-year old Australian girl who received a vaginoplasty, tummy tuck, and breast augmentation two years after giving birth (such procedures are commonly referred to as part of a “Mommy Makeover”). Who plays which role in the judgment call—the doctor, the parent or a minor or adult teenager—will likely remain a topic of debate as cosmetic surgery patients trend younger and younger.

Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center Celebrates 10 Years of Service

For nearly a decade Dr. Miguel A. Delgado has been serving Bay Area plastic surgery patients, performing various facial, breast, and cosmetic body procedures. While the down economy drives doctors and medical facilities to cut costs and cut corners, his Bay Area plastic surgery practices continues the strive for excellence that was set 10 years ago.

Dr. Delgado opened his cosmetic surgery centers with the vision of having the best-equipped, best-staffed, and patient-friendly surgery centers in the Bay Area. He is able to achieve this distinction due to the fact that he personally supervises all aspects of running the surgery center. He spends a great deal of time mastering the latest in surgical procedures, many times requiring new equipment. If it is of benefit to his patients, he will carry it.

Since he began practicing plastic surgery in 1988, Dr. Delgado has perfected many surgical techniques of the face, breast, and body that are unique to his practice. His patients have attested to his expertise based on their surgical outcome. Many of his San Francisco Bay Area breast augmentation patients state how natural their breasts look with hardly any visible scarring.

As Dr. Delgado celebrates his practice’s 10-year tenure in the Bay Area, he also reflects on years of achievement and innovation. Over the years, Dr. Delgado has been featured in several documentaries worldwide, including a documentary by English pop singer Louise Redkamp, who wanted to show the journey of a woman seeking a “mommy makeover.” He is also internationally recognized as an expert in gynecomastia surgery, which lead to the launch of his gynecomastia specialty site and inclusion on the informative industry site gynecomastia.org.

His strive for excellence and dedication to his patients and his practice have set him apart from other San Francisco area cosmetic surgeons and have made this milestone something to celebrate.
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