Medical Tourism: Horror of mistreatments and compromised surgeries

Things can go bad when you go out in an unknown country to get yourself treated.  Jessica and Mark shared their bad experiences in medical tourism.

The horror story of Jessica

Jessica, Loren, Monee, and Brittney went for inexpensive plastic surgery procedures in Mexico and they recount the horrors they faced including dirty conditions and waking up in the middle of a tummy tuck!

"I just wanted to feel like I did before I had all my kids. Seeing those results made me really want to have it. They sell you a dream. They made me feel like they were gonna have me looking amazing, and so I sent pictures, and they asked for a deposit, and they just say, be in Tijuana on this date. I bought a fanny pack and $8000 in cash was really scary because they say you have to pay the cash when you get there. No other exception."
(After the women set their surgery date, they traveled to the San Diego-Mexico border where a driver picked them up and took them to the surgery clinic. But as soon as they arrived, everything seemed amiss.)

"It was extremely dirty. It looked like the floors hadn't been mopped or swept in a long time. Girls having sleeping bags and sweats on the couch are sleeping there. It looked like they were gonna take my kidney. Like, that's how sketchy it looked. There were bars on the windows. The nurse ended up drawing my blood without any gloves on. That scared me. I was excited, but now I'm freakin' scared. They did that, and blood got everywhere, like, oh my god. I don't know what I got myself into."
(The women all told that despite their better judgment, they chose to go through with the surgeries.)

"One of the nurses came into the little cubicle that I was in, and she kind of was just like, it's your time, come on. And the next thing you know, I felt a prick in my back. She was like, you know, be still. She brought my head down, and he just kept poking into my spine. And I felt him put that rod right into my back. And I like hopped kind of up and I'm screaming.

They put the medicine in and I don't remember anything else after that. The nurses came in, and they took me to the bathroom to take a shower. I'm just getting out of surgery, and it's open wounds. It's water from Mexico that's hitting these open wounds. So, I didn't wake up during my surgery, and I feel tugging, and they are in the middle of my tummy tuck. I thought to myself, what have I done? What have I done?"

Mark lost his one eye

This doesn't happen in plastic surgeries only. Mark went to Panama to have an eye-color change procedure. Ten years later, he went blind in one eye.
Marc's quest to turn his brown eyes blue left him blind in one eye.

"Well, I feel much better that it's out of my eyes. I just felt like it was a negative thing inside my body that just needs to come out. It was causing too much damage to my eyes. I was going blurry on and off for several years and then all of a sudden the past couple of months it has just been completely blind in the right way and I just had to call and say I'm blind. A lot of painful pressure was in my eyes. It was this high that it was like someone's squeezing my eyeball, someone's stabbing my eyeball, and then now that I took them out I just feel like this huge success doctor. To seal in terms of being able to maintain that vision in my left eye you know."

"I was naive and stupid and I didn't listen to the doctors before doing this. I just thought, oh I'm gonna be fine and I was just ignorant. I was being treated abroad by a company that claimed this is no big deal you're in great hands. I think it highlights to go blind right away. They made me sign a contract that was not English and then I say to them what is this thing? They replied that I don't have to worry about it. It still makes me, oh maybe they don't do so in a different language. I think all of us can learn from this because if something sounds too good to be true or you're asked to sign something you either don't understand or you don't know what the repercussions maybe then you might end up in like me."

They will manipulate you

There have been cases where a pregnant woman was fit for giving natural birth but the doctors manipulated her to go for some complicated and expensive method. The same thing happens in the medical tourism market. Doctors will suggest you make some difficult choices which in no way are right. Since you lack knowledge in the medical field you get manipulated to do as they say and you get looted by them.

This has become a common practice and there is no authority to stop this. There are no genuine medial counselors who can help patients in these tough situations. You need to have blind faith in your operator and pray to god for the best.

Make sure nothing's unethical

It's quite important that you make sure nothing unethical like this is happening in the facility you opted for. Get every aspect doubled checked. Make sure there aren’t any dual-pricing system, illegal organ transplant, overcharging, and all other unethical practices that we discussed previously. Do not forget to have a translator near you when you are going through the documents. Follow the guidelines properly and raise your voice if you happen to come across any unethical practice.

Now it's up to you whether you want to end up like Jessica or Mark. How they will treat you, you cannot decide but you can definitely get treated where they treat you in the safest way. You just have to make sure that the facility you choose provides proper treatment and ensures medical hygiene. You need to do thorough research and once you're sure, pack your bags and go get yourself treated. And please get a medical insurance. You might need them at any time.

Interview source: The Doctors (Youtube channel)