Top Line

Four kidnapped Americans reportedly traveled to Mexico to get a tummy tuck, raising concerns about the risks associated with medical tourism – although experts agree that proper research and counseling can reduce the risks and complications. Will reduce it considerably.

important facts

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Medical tourism involves traveling to another country for medical care, either to purchase a procedure or a drug. According For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology found that Mexico was the most common destination for Americans seeking medical tourism, accounting for 41% of all visits.

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The study also found that dental care accounted for 55% of all treatments, although cosmetic surgery, cancer care, fertility treatments and organ transplants are all common procedures for Americans seeking care overseas.

The American Journal of Medicine reports In 2007, 750,000 US citizens participated in medical tourism, but as of 2017, that number has increased to 1.4 million.

According to statistics From Patients Without Borders, Americans traveling to Mexico save an average of 40% to 65% on medical procedures, while India brings in the most savings with an average of 65%-90%.

big number

$264 million. This is what Dr. David Wekquist, founder and director of the Center for Medical Tourism Research told forbes It is estimated that in 2023, medical tourism services will be spent in Mexico.

important quotes

“As long as you are considering the safety and security issues, you are choosing the right provider and the right facility and you are considering all the different options, it is very possible that you can make a decision that will allow you to get quality healthcare at a low cost, ”Wequist told forbes about medical tourism,

main background

Four Americans reportedly traveled to Matamoros, Mexico, to get a tummy tuck for one of them. However, the journey turned violent and they were abducted, two of whom died and another was badly injured. an american officer Said CNN investigators believe a Mexican cartel was involved and kidnapped the four, possibly mistaking them for Haitian drug traffickers. An innocent bystander also died on the spot. Tamaulipas, the US State Department's travel advisory for the Mexican state of Matamoros, is located in, gives advice Americans should not travel there due to the risk of kidnapping and crime.

amazing facts

Although medical tourism is popular among US citizens, foreigners often travel to the US for medical procedures. Houston is one of the most popular destinations for foreigners seeking US healthcare, and the city lost $294 million in 2020 due to travel restrictions following the pandemic. According As far as Houston Chronicle,

medical tourism benefits

Many people who travel abroad for healthcare cite low cost as a driving factor. A 2020 Study 92% of participants labeled low cost as a driving factor in Mexico. For example, the average cost of a tummy tuck We is $6,154 (not including the cost of anesthesia, medication, or the operation, which can push prices up to about $20,000 depending on the state), and the average cost of a tummy tuck Mexico is between $2,000 and $4,000. There is often a stigma surrounding medical tourism, associating it with low cost and poor work. However, according to Wequist, this is usually not the case. Consumers "expect a certain level of quality and ... they have a certain price point that they're willing to pay for it," he said., may travel abroad for certain medical procedures that are illegal in their state, such as abortion (Most miscarriages happen banned in 13 states). Other patients travel due to looser restrictions in other countries. Professor of Geography at Simon Fraser University in Canada, Dr. Valorie Crooks Said new York Times Patients may initially seek care in the US, but are told they are "too young or too old for orthopedic surgery" or they may be "too young or too old for bariatric surgery," so they Let's turn to doctors abroad for help.

medical tourism risks

According to Wequist, traveling long distances for medical care increases the risk of developing an infection due to exposure to a "new or unique type of bacteria or virus" that is not common in the home country. The practice of medical tourism is largely unregulated and there are virtually no laws governing the process. CDC warned Air travel by following a procedure: Flying at high altitudes increases the risk of blood clots. It advises medical tourists not to have abdominal or chest surgery for 10 days following procedures to avoid complications associated with atmospheric changes. Because patients usually pay out of pocket for medical tourism procedures, their US physicians may not be aware of the work that has been done. Because of this, the CDC states complications may result in patients seeking follow-up care from doctors in the US, so patients should request copies of medical records from facilities overseas. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommended Waiting five to seven days after physical procedures like liposuction or breast augmentation and 10 days after facial procedures like facelift and nose surgery before flying. To avoid complications, the C.D.C. recommended Patients have a pre-travel consultation with a healthcare provider, bring copies of medical records overseas and obtain copies of medical records from overseas facilities (these may need to be translated into English), visit doctors and facilities Do proper research and follow -care for smooth transition.

Two Americans found dead, two others alive after violent kidnapping in Mexico

(Forbes)

Mexican drug cartel reportedly claims responsibility - and apologizes - for kidnapping and killing Americans (Forbes)

Kidnapping in Mexico draws attention to medical tourism industry (new York Times)