Beware of Medical Tourism [video]


Greg:
Hey, this is Greg from Big Bay Mornings on 99.7 NOW. And I’m back here with board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Bae. Hey, Dr. Bae.

 

Dr. Bae:
Hey, Greg.

 

Greg:
What’s going on?

 

Dr. Bae:
Things are good. We are seeing patients regularly, busy. Everybody’s like kind of getting their COVID face on. They’re ready to get back out into the world, getting recovered so they can enjoy the summer.

 

Medical Tourism

Greg:
That’s true, absolutely. People are getting out and about and people want to look better. And that’s one reason to go see Dr. Bae. I have a friend and she just did one of your favorite procedures or one of your expertise procedures, the mommy makeover. But when she told me she was doing it, I was a little concerned because she went to a foreign country, medical tourism. I won’t say where. But she went to another country. It was a whole process when she was explaining it to me. She’s going to be down there for a couple of weeks and they’re moving her to another facility after. I mean, I’m concerned and I just wanted to talk to you about… Yeah, it’s cheaper, right? It’s cheaper maybe to go to another country. But what are the risks and how do you figure out? How to get a good person if you’re going to do that? And can somebody talk to you before they make a bad decision?

 

Don’t just focus on cost

Dr. Bae:
Absolutely. Unfortunately, people are really just focused on the cost. And of course, cost is a big part of everything, I know. We provide pricing on our website, so people can check pricing before they come in for a consultation. But you don’t want to boil everything down to cost. It’s like the ultimate decision. But you have to keep in mind that, yes, you’re going to save some money if you go to another country. And I’m not going to make a blanket statement that all surgeons in other countries are bad surgeons. But the thing that you have to realize is whether it’s a good surgeon or a bad surgeon, whether it’s in this country or out of this country, there’s always the risk of complications. And just because its cosmetic surgery doesn’t mean it’s not real surgery.

 

Dr. Bae:
So if you come to me and unfortunately you might have a complication like the wound doesn’t heal right, or the breast implant gets infect, or something like that, at least I’m here locally to take care of you and it won’t cost you anything else for me to take care of that complication or at least I’ll do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t cost you anything. Whereas if you get that procedure done in another country and then you come back home and then you start looking around for a doctor to help you when you’re having this complication, they’re going to charge you. That’s not your… They’re not your original doctor. You’re not their original patient. That’s what they do. They have to charge you to provide those services and it’s going to get really expensive. So whatever money you may have saved by going out of the country, you’re going to spend twice that treating a complication because you’re working with the doctor that’s not your original doctor.

 

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

Dr. Bae:
So, I get it that you want to save some money. But for the peace of mind, and just put it out of your mind first of all that you might not get a complication, that certainly you have to go into it kind of preparing for the worst. I mean, that’s just kind of a good way to look at it because hopefully everything will be great. And yeah, so if you have a problem, you’re going to want to have your doctor there locally because you’re probably not going to be able to go back across the country even if it’s in the United States or go outside of the country to get that complication treated.

 

Greg:
Well. And of course, whatever decision anybody makes, it’s always so smart to do your research. But do realize if you go out of the country and you have a health problem and you’re having it there, it’s going to be difficult because you’re not at home with your insurance and stuff. And then again, it’s going to be hard if you have an issue with that doctor and you’re back here, what can you really do about it there?

 

Dr. Bae:
Another interesting thing is a lot of people will tell me like, oh, but when you go to another country, because it’s less expensive, you get more for your money. You get the operation that you’re going to get here. And you can then stay there and recover for two to three weeks or a month even. [crosstalk 00:03:49] hotel.

 

Greg:
Which is what my friend is doing. Yeah. She stayed in a hotel for two weeks.

 

Benefits of getting home as soon as possible

Dr. Bae:
And so you’re thinking, oh, that’s great. I get so much for my money. But the thing is, after you do your operation with us here in office operating room, you go home. And that’s, I don’t think there’s any better place to recover than at home. And if you’re staying at these hotels or these post recovery centers for an extended period of time, other patients are staying there also. So just like, there’s a risk of getting an infection from somebody else at a hospital, there’s a risk of getting infection in these long-term facilities and other places in other countries. So, it’s not so great that you have a place to stay for a long period of time. It actually increases your risk of infection potentially. So, that would be my opinion is get home as quickly as possible. And if you want a home health nurse to help you out, sure, no problem.

 

Dr. Bae:
But most of the things you’re going to be dealing with after your surgery, you don’t really need a nurse. You just need a family member that’s there available to help you. You don’t really need somebody that’s got additional degrees. Because even if you get a home health nurse, they maybe mostly a cardiology nurse. They’re not necessarily a post-op cosmetic surgery recovery nurse. And that’s a big difference. Just like, you don’t come to me for your diabetes management, you don’t go to a internal medicine doctor for plastic surgery. So, same thing. Nurses are sort of specialized as well. So, they might not necessarily be perfectly suited to take care of you in your recovery. So, get home as soon as possible after your surgery. Try to avoid being around other people or other institutions where you could get additional infections. And so, that would be my argument why you should stay in the country.

 

How to get more information from Dr. Bae

Greg:
Well, whatever you decide, just make sure you do your research. Take your time. Don’t rush into anything. And if you have questions you want to reach out, you want to ask anything, you can always go to Dr. Bae social media. Ask him anything. And it is?

 

Dr. Bae:
@realdrbae, R-E-A-L-D-R-B-A-E, not B-A-Y, and realdrbae.com. You can always reach me there through website, social media. I’m always available to answer questions through direct messages.

 

Greg:
I’m going to test you now. I’m going to send you a message. See how long it takes you to answer me.

 

Dr. Bae:
Hopefully not asking me what’s the capital of North Dakota or something.

 

Greg:
You could look that up. All right. We’ll see you next time, Dr. Bae.

 

Dr. Bae:
Thank you so much, Greg.

 

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