Jude Jarvis: Tragic story about cosmetic surgery in India

I haven’t said anything about medical tourism recently but Neal Yerkes who sometimes leaves very insightful comments on this blog recently wrote me about an article in a Rhode Island newspaper – Here’s what he said:

The article is about a young woman (young to me at least) who traveled to India for liposuction (not mentioned in the article but you generally get liposuction and a tummy tuck), breast reduction and a tummy tuck. She had been told by US surgeons they would not operate until she reduced her weight to one hundred forty pounds. The doctors and the hospital in India decided to push the envelope and operate anyway. The article says she died of a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot. It is more likely she died of a pulmonary embolism caused by fat entering her blood stream during the operation, a known risk factor in liposuction made greater by her obesity. We will ever know.

The autopsy was performed by the same hospital where she received the operation. Her sister, a non-medical person, called it a freak accident. In fact the outcome was predictable due to the woman being a high-risk patient. She was a single mother and left three children.

I don’t understand risking your life for a tummy tuck but the fact that this would have cost 20,000 in the USA but only 5,000 in India tells me that some people will take the risk and have the surgery done abroad. What Neal has recommended in the past is that medical tourists go to Thaliand or Singapore rather than India. I wonder if they have statistics so that we can see if surgery in India (at one of the tourist hospitals – not the rural ones) really is more dangerous than in the US.

Filed Under: Medical tourism

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Comments (12)

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  1. liz says:

    Oh please… There are people who die under Beverly Hills lipo surgeons too. They suppress this info since they can control the media too.

  2. paul lawrence says:

    Why didnt she just live in India for 6 months at an ayervedic centre and lost the weight naturally? some people are born to die earlier than others.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Poor children.

  4. Shana says:

    I can sympathize with her decision.She must have felt desperate enough to risk it. She was a single mother and might have felt her only chance to feel comfortable enough to start dating again.Tragedy all the way around.

  5. Geffrey says:

    India has been rated as one of the best countries in the Medical Field. They are even better then Th U.S. But not all places are perfect. I’m sure there are cases in America of failed lipo surgeries some are probably even more worse than this one. I feel very bad for her children. I can’t imagine living without a mother.

  6. Paul Lawrence says:

    Better for the children, they may be brought up by someone with better dietry habits. She could also have moved with the children to the island of Tonga where they worship fat women,

  7. Crystal says:

    I think it’s rather pathetic that anyone would make light of this situation. Has our country made women so obsessed that they would risk their lives and chance leaving their children just to be a little closer to physical perfection? To think that the children would be better off because they will have better eating habits is just plain stupid. No one is better off without a mother who loves them. Maybe they do worship fat women in Tonga, probably because they realize that a real women who has had three children isn’t going to look like a supermodel. Maybe to them the scars and marks of a women who has brought life into the world is beautiful and something worthy of the highest honor. Remember men you wouldn’t be here if some woman wasn’t willing to get fat for you.

  8. Chris says:

    So basically this woman felt she had a value of $15,000?

  9. Dee says:

    Sad situation, I wished this mother of three would have taken the warning from her physician here in the states. We are the ones who ultimately make the decision for our health, she took extreme measures/finances to have this procedure performed, I wonder why she discounted the advice of her doctor? No one knows her heart but my heart goes out to her children.

  10. Judy says:

    Having lived in Vadodara, Gujarat, India for six months, I cannot fathom why anyone would voluntarily go there for medical treatment. India is a third world country with inadequate health care for its own citizens. Care is available to the upper class only, and at best it is awful. Living conditions are poor, roads are dirty, filled with dogs, pigs, cattle, camels, people, etc. Buildings have no plumbing, often no electricity. Men pee publically. WHY ON EARTH WOULD THIS WOMAN DO THIS?

  11. Linda Bator says:

    Yes, things do happen here, but the level of care in the US is much higher than that in a 3rd world country. I have a friend who decided on a super-cheap facelift in Costa Rica — seems to have gone okay, but he STILL has no feeling on most of the left side of his face after a year. Never forget the caveat — you get what you pay for. Cosmetic surgery is NOT something you bargain-shop for!

  12. Chel says:

    The person who claims the healthcare in India is horrible can only be speaking of the medical care provided to the citizens. The private hospitals that are commonly used by medical travelers are as clean as in the US and the staff is qualified as well. Many of those private hospitals provide cutting edge technology and a caring staff that is unobtainable in the US unless one can lay out $125k +. Spine surgery comes to mind–there are MANY success stories. There are risks in all surgeries and US hospitals are NOT immune to them, matter of fact many of our very own hospitals have poor mortality rates following simple surgeries.

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