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Medical Tourism

By Dr. Juris BunkisMarch 28, 2023No Comments

By Dr. Juris Bunkis

What is medical tourism?

Simply put it is the travel to a foreign country for the purpose of obtaining medical care. With the rising costs of both cosmetic, non-cosmetic and dental health care procedures in the US many Americans look to other markets for better prices. Access also plays a significant role in the tourism trend- From life saving organ transplants to simple Beauty injections treatments- Americans are increasingly finding long wait times for appointments and surgeries unacceptable. The top countries and regions for medical tourism include Mexico and South America, Thailand and the South Pacific and Eastern Europe and the middle east.

According to the Mexican Council for Medical Tourism Industry an estimated one million Americans travel outside of the United States every year for procedures. Border cities are seeing an explosion in demand and industry is a multi-billion dollar one. Cost is always a factor when choosing where to seek and receive medical care but quality should also needs to be considered. In the United States we have standards for both medical providers and the establishments that deliver medical care. These providers and the facilities undergo routine evaluation and accreditation frequently to insure these standards are upheld. Other countries undoubtedly have talented qualified providers and facilities but different standards in those countries can allow for unqualified providers to thrive along side those qualified individuals.

Differences in the legal systems also may leave potential medical tourists in the dark as far as informed consent and lack of recourse should any malpractice occur. Finally a medical tourist’s safety can be of concern not just in the medical care but also in the travel itself. In light of recent events we recommend extreme caution in the decision to travel for your medical care. We urge medical tourists to exhaust their due diligence in selecting any provider and facility both in and out of the United States.

Spotlight on Plastic Surgery – Looking natural after surgery

by Juris Bunkis, M.D., F.A.C.S.

With any aesthetic procedure, be it a rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, facelift or breast surgery, a common concern many patients express is that they want to see improvement but do not want to look different to other people. With procedures like eyelid surgery and nasal surgery, patients also stress that they do not want to lose their ethnicity with the surgery. It is true that some patients specifically ask us to remove ethnic traits, line canthal webs in Asian patients, but we will not do that because more often than not, patients live to regret such a request, and such changes may not be surgically reversible. It is of utmost importance for us, as surgeons, to help the patients achieve the improvement they desire, without altering their ethnic profile or giving patients an artificial look.

There are wide variations of appearance in every race. But in general, Asian patients have an epicanthal web and after a blepharoplasty, still want to look Asian, so I won’t touch the web. A number of ethnicities are known for larger noses with prominent dorsal humps. Is such a patient, removing the hump but still leaving the nose on the larger side, with a straight dorsum, gives the patient a pleasing result and does not make it obvious to others that a procedure has been done. In fact, after a well-done rhinoplasty or facelift, most patients tell us “no one noticed”. That is a good thing! If a face is over-pulled, a “wind tunnel look” results and trust me, everyone will notice and snickers, not compliments, will result! Giving someone with a large dorsal hump and a scooped “Irish” nose will cause others to take notice, and not in a complimentary way. So, with every procedure, retaining ethnicity, balance and a natural look should be our goal to achieve a pleasing result.

25-year old female of Indian extraction, before and after a closed rhinoplasty, very pleased that she still looks better but that her ethnicity has been preserved (Actual patient of Dr. Bunkis)

If you want to see if you can have any part of your body improved, contact us for a consultation:

For CA, please call 949-888-9700 or visit www.orangecountyplasticsurgery.com
Or for MA location, call 508-755-4825 or visit www.salisburyps.com

You can write to
Dr. John Compoginis at Contact Us Form
Dr. Staci Compoginis at Contact Us Form
Dr. Deborah Ekstrom at [email protected]
or Dr. Juris Bunkis at Contact Us Form