Lately, we have seen a lot of talk about “Medical Tourism” in the news. Medical tourism refers to people traveling to other countries, most commonly Mexico, for surgeries and treatments because of substantially lower costs. The question is, at what cost? Some people have terrific experiences and others come back with permanent damage.
It is not just major surgeries that people are seeking out, it is dermatological treatments like injections, medicines, and more. It’s not just Mexico or other countries. It happens right here in the United States. People are always searching for the lowest cost of treatment, even if it means going to a provider who is operating under the radar. So how do we prevent patients from receiving medical care that is not up to standards? It is very important to encourage each of your patients to do some research before they decide to have someone provide injectable treatments. When it comes to providing as much information to your patients as possible, here are a few great tips to share with your patients to show that you have their best interest in mind:
- Potential Risks: There are many potential risks that come with receiving an injection, especially if you do not use an experienced medical practitioner. It is important to do your research and ask plenty of questions. The right provider will have the necessary training, will walk you through a proper consultation including all the risks of treatment, and will answer any questions you may have regarding treatment. When it comes to injecting dermal fillers or neurotoxins into your face, you want someone who is qualified so that your risk for potential side effects is lower. If you are receiving a treatment in the United States, make sure that this person can legally inject in the state that you are receiving the treatment. Every state is different and many times it is mandatory that if the injector is not a physician, they are required to have medical supervision during the procedure. Many times the patient needs to have an initial exam by an appropriate provider before receiving treatment.
- Aftercare: Should something go wrong after the procedure, you want to have easy access to someone that can assist you. If you received your treatment outside of the United States, it may be difficult to find someone willing to treat you because they may not know what type of product was used. That same concept applies if you receive a treatment from a person who may not be legal to inject. Many times, other legal medical providers will feel uncomfortable treating a complication that arises from a place that may not be practicing legally. They are not sure what was injected or how it was injected and may be hesitant to treat a complication from another provider out of concern that the treatment may not be effective or produce optimal results. Many times they prefer you to go back to the person who did the initial treatment. Therefore, you’ll want whoever treats you to be close in proximity to you following treatment so they can treat you should something go awry.
- Price: If you have to travel somewhere, and potentially travel back for aftercare, you may end up spending more money than if you went somewhere local. Especially if there are complications and you end up needing extra treatment, you could end up spending even more money than initially anticipated.
- Everyone is different: Everyone’s skin is different and there is no one size fits all treatment. Your medical provider should spend time getting to know you, your skin, and what treatment is going to work best for you. They should be able to recommend the best course of action for you that is going to produce the results you desire.
Whether it’s another country or just a cheaper provider, patients need to understand that they get what you pay for. Tell them that this is their body, more specifically their face, and that you don’t recommend cutting corners when it comes to your body. To assist your patients in doing their research, volunteer some of your client testimonials, before and after pictures, training certifications, and be sure to answer as many questions as necessary before providing any sort of treatment or surgery.