Surgical tourism is a growing phenomenon, causing a surge demand for the management of its complications. In this study, we aimed to evaluate complications that occur after cosmetic breast surgery abroad; and their costs for the public health system.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
We reviewed the medical files of patients treated in our department for a complication after cosmetic breast surgery outside Switzerland and assessed all complications requiring hospitalization; and estimated the overall medical costs.
Over a two-year period, 26 patients were treated for 39 complications. The main complication was infection (71% of cases), mainly with a multidrug-resistant organism (47%) and atypical mycobacteria. Of the 16 patients with breast prosthesis, 7 implants were removed. The effective average costs incurred for the hospital care of these cases was estimated to 14'724 Swiss Francs (∼12'963 Euros) per patient.
The high rate of multidrug-resistant and mycobacterial atypical infections are a major public health problem. It is necessary to inform patients much better about the risks of surgical tourism. Furthermore, the danger of transfer of multidrug-resistant or atypical germs from abroad should not be overlooked. Physicians should be informed about this risk and take necessary measures for treatment and diagnosis of these complications.