Lipotourism refers to tourists who visit other countries for the primary purpose of obtaining plastic surgery, usually because it is cheaper there than in their home country. While lipotourism has been picking up in popularity in recent years, there are some dangers to it that everybody considering it should be aware of.

Bacterial Skin Infections
Bacterial skin infections are a common side effect to lipotourism, as was recently seen in ten patients who underwent plastic surgery in the Dominican Republic. All ten of these patients, who had everything from liposuction to breast augmentations carried out, contracted Mycobacterium abscessus/chelonae, which causes an infection at the surgical wound and can lead to abscesses and dead skin tissue. Pain, swelling and fluid drainage are the most common symptoms of this, and the treatment required involves draining the infected tissue, along with a long dose of antibiotics.

Unregulated Products
In many countries, there is a lack of regulation when it comes to the ingredients and products used, both during and after a cosmetic surgery. There have been cases of lipotourists in the Dominican Republic who have been prescribed after-care creams that were not even intended for humans, making it quite worrying to think about all of the many people out there who have likely been following incorrect after-care practices.

The Difficulties in Choosing an Accredited Doctor
While many doctors many have certificates on display, it can be harder to decipher whether a doctor in another country is really accredited to the standards that you would desire. Although choosing a doctor that is accredited with an organization such as the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is always advisable, this can be hard information to find out in new countries, especially if you do not speak the language.

Your Legal Rights
While you may feel safe in the knowledge that if you underwent a botched surgery in your home country, you would be able to sue for malpractice, this is not the case in many other countries. If you are planning on having cosmetic surgery done abroad, it is important that you understand all of your legal rights, not only when it comes to malpractice, but also privacy.

Unexpected Problems
Unexpected problems can arise from just about any surgery, but, when you are in another country, you cannot simply go home and sleep it off. Many issues can actually prevent you from flying, leaving you waiting alone while you recover and are able to go home, while common travel habits, such as taking an aspirin on your flight, can lead to problems during the surgery, such as blood clots, so it is important to have a full awareness of all of this.

Lipotourism may seem appealing to some, because not only are you able to “fix” the parts of your body that you have a problem with, for a fraction of what it would have otherwise cost you, but you are also able to experience a new, exotic country. However, cosmetic surgery is not something that you should be trying to find a bargain for, because, in most cases, you get what you pay for, so do take the time to ensure that lipotourism is really for you before booking yourself in for a surgery.