In addition to the ethical controversies behind medical tourism, there are several physical risks to looking for international procedures. Uncertified practitioners may expose their patients to diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and typhoid and even clean facilities can leave foreign patients with diseases that are normally overlooked if locals have developed immunities. Following the procedure, post-operative care can vary significantly — if it’s available at all — and lacking laws around medical malpractice can make lawsuits over unsuccessful treatments virtually impossible. Finally, there is a risk in traveling soon after receiving a surgical procedure and embarking on a long-distance flight can lead to embolisms and deep vein thrombosis.
Regardless of the location or procedure, there is always a risk in traveling for medical support. Potential patients should work with their local doctors to review all the information about foreign procedures before beginning any type of treatment.