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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Bahias De Huatulco

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25

Cosmetic Surgery

By Monica Rix Paxson

Cosmetic surgery, like most surgeries, is relatively safe. However, like all surgeries, there is some risk of complications, even a slight risk of death. For example, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologist, anesthesia-related deaths occur 1 in 250,000 procedures in the US. However, doctors feel that even if the risk is slight, surgery should be considered carefully.

Many people are attracted to having cosmetic surgery in Mexico primarily because of the lower costs. The more popular of these are nose surgery, liposuction, breast enlargement/reduction, eyelid surgery, and facelifts. Each procedure poses some level of risk for a wide variety of complications in addition to the risk of death. This would be true wherever the surgery was performed.

Cosmetic surgery is a viable option for many people, particularly when someone has a facial malformation (for example, a clef palette) or need for reconstructive surgery such as breast reconstruction following a mastectomy as a treatment for breast cancer. However, for every patient seeking this kind of life-altering surgery, there is someone who wants a nose like Jennifer Lawrence’s or bigger breasts. Is it worth taking a risk, however small, for improvements like these?

I am reminded of the risks involved because in April a beautiful, young (age 29) woman from Australia died during cosmetic surgery in Mexico. She’d undertaken research on the doctor’s website, had seen his professional memberships and read the recommendations and watched the videos. She felt confident there would be no problems. Sadly, she died on the operating table of a pulmonary embolism and acute pulmonary edema.

I don’t know if this woman’s death was related to malpractice or just bad luck, but there were some irregularities in her case and authorities are investigating a previous post-surgery death at the same practice the year before. But whatever the outcome of this investigation, it prompts me to remind readers of the following:

1.  Are you in good general health? Elective surgery should almost always be avoided if you have a medical condition: diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clotting issues, heart problems, etc. Even if you are overweight and are seeking liposuction or bariatric surgery, you should be healthy before you consider surgery.

2.  Cosmetic surgery can’t make you young again. Yes, it may temporarily improve your looks, but we are all destined to age, if we are fortunate. Like a Hollywood actress with a face frozen by Botox injections, at a certain point, even with cosmetic surgery, people won’t notice your attractiveness, but rather will notice how good you look for your age. You cannot escape aging.
3.  Don’t believe everything you read and see on a doctor or clinic’s website. That content is not objective. It is carefully crafted to attract new patients. I am not saying that it is inaccurate. However, it may not tell the whole story.

4.  Dig deeper. Investigate more than just the doctor’s website. Are there complaints? Bad reviews? News stories? Search for these! Look at page 5 or 10 on Google, not just the first page.

5.  Make sure that all of your questions are answered, and all your concerns are addressed when speaking to a doctor and his or her staff. Are you being rushed? Are they more focused on your payment than your well-being? If you are considering a particular doctor or clinic, ask for referrals that you can speak to and actually contact them.

6.  Get a referral for a board certified surgeon in good standing from the actual medical board. In fact, it would be better to get three referrals, to review their credentials and experience and to speak to all three of them before deciding which one is best for you. For example, you can contact the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for referrals to cosmetic surgeons in Mexico.

These suggestions don’t apply just to Mexico, but anywhere in the world where you might consider travel for surgery. To a remarkable degree, the medical care you will find in Mexico is excellent to superior, but even working with the world’s best surgeon does not eliminate all risk. So, do what you can to reduce the risks and make sure it’s worth it.

See also: Healthcare in Mexico

Monica Rix Paxson is an expert in the field of Mexico healthcare. She is author of the English Speaker’s Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, and The English Speaker’s Guide to Doctors & Hospitals in MexicoeBooks available for immediate download.She resides full-time in Mexico.

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