The increasing awareness of Gynecomastia, or large male breasts, is encouraging. More men, from teens on through to late adulthood, are coming to understand that a male breast reduction can restore a flat, masculine chest. However, the shame and guilt of protruding breasts can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, to avoid public embarrassment, many men are turning to plastic surgery tourism as an answer.
The Growth of Medical Tourism:
Medical tourism is defined as traveling out of the country for a cosmetic or surgical procedure. To put the scope of today’s medical tourism in perspective, the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reports that 750,000 patients traveled abroad for surgery in 2007. In 2013, more than 8 million patients opted for overseas surgery.
The motivating factor for medical tourism is primarily cost, as these procedures are often markedly less than in the United States. The second reason is secrecy. Especially in the case of large male breasts, privacy can be a powerful motivator.
Perils of Gynecomastia Medical Tourism:
No matter the reasoning behind seeking Gynecomastia treatment away from the American medical system, it is a bad idea. Surgical procedures in other countries are not necessarily performed in a monitored surgical center, meaning questionable cleanliness. Medical staff may not be certified or experienced. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the biggest risks involved in any medical tourism include:
- Communication: Medical care at a facility where you are not fluent with the language can significantly increase the chance for misunderstanding about care. You may be in a very compromised position after surgery, and be unable to relay your needs or pain status.
- Cleanliness: Other countries do not carry the same sterile standards as the United States. Issues such as reused equipment or needles can transmit infections or diseases such as hepatitis or HIV.
- Medications: The quality of medications may be compromised in some countries. Additionally, dosages may not be equivalent to those in the U.S.
- Antibiotic Resistance: The problem of antibiotic resistance is not just in the United States; it is a global issue. Some resistant bacteria may actually be more prolific in other countries, making surgery extremely dangerous.
- Blood Supply: Surgical procedures hold the risk of unexpected bleeding. Many foreign countries have a blood supply not screened for infections. Some locations may not even have a large supply of blood available. Therefore, the need for a blood transfusion can be life threatening.
- Blood Clots: A draw of foreign medical facilities is often the lack of post-surgery restrictions. This can be extremely dangerous, however. Flying too soon after a surgical procedure will dramatically increase the risk for blood clots. A clot in the bloodstream can mean a heart attack or stroke.
Choose a Board Certified plastic surgeon for Gynecomastia care:
Do not take chances with your health or your appearance; seek out treatment for Gynecomastia from a Board Certified plastic surgeon, experienced in male breast reduction procedures. Dr. Paul Vitenas has 25 years of experience treating Gynecomastia patients. His innovative procedures can provide you with the best results, in the safest of possible environments.
At Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery, we also highly value our patient’s privacy. We offer a discreet, private entrance for our surgical patients. Additionally, to assist with the crucial first 24 hours after surgery, we offer a comfortable, home-like recovery suite. This can allow you to get on your feet, with the help of a private nurse, before returning home after your male breast reduction. Call Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at (281) 668-7370 to get more information on our Gynecomastia procedures or to schedule a consultation appointment.