Thumbay University Hospital Image Credit: Supplied

Ahmad (name changed to ensure patient confidentiality) is a 45-year-old male who got a tummy tuck surgery done abroad. Few days later, he visited Thumbay University Hospital, Ajman, UAE, complaining of a high-grade fever, with pus pouring out from the incision line and infection at the surgical site.

That being said, he was also suffering from comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension and a history of bariatric surgery. The botched-up surgery cost him over a month’s treatment to return to normal life. Cases like these have soared up in recent times at the Thumbay University Hospital’s plastic surgery department. The question to pose here is: how did Ahmad find himself in this position? Would it have been better to get the surgery done in the UAE itself, or was it really worth getting it done overseas?

Dr Faisal Ameer

Dr Faisal Ameer

More often, there has been an increasing trend of patients travelling abroad solely to undertake a cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure or treatment because costs involved are comparatively cheaper in some countries. Primarily, these destinations achieve low-cost treatments by compromising on various critical aspects of healthcare. In recent times, patients who have gotten cosmetic procedures and major surgeries done from common medical tourism destinations struggle from post-operative complications, which are often the result of poor surgical technique, lack of sterilisation and proper post-operative care. Strict patient safety rules and medical ethics are often compromised in countries where procedures are done at a cheaper cost. This is the one of the reasons patients suffer from complications post surgery.

While choosing the destination, it’s advised that patients should ensure two main aspects: Firstly, the healthcare in that particular country should be controlled by strict regulations and protocols. Secondly, the surgeon should be well qualified and adequately experienced to make sure that the patient will receive optimum results after the procedure.

Over the past few years, the UAE has emerged as a hub for medical tourism, where people from all over the world opt for top quality healthcare, with safety and at competitive prices. At Thumbay University Hospital, the MOHAP UAE and JCI guidelines are followed, which are all focused primarily on patient safety and ensure that quality healthcare is provided.

— Dr Ameer is a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Thumbay University Hospital, Ajman, UAE. He is double board certified cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon with more than two decades of surgical experience