Unlike with general medical tourism where patients from across the word travel to seek varied treatments in specific countries commonly referred to as destinations, lipo tourism provides for specific treatment; you only travel to a destination to obtain the specific treatment.
Simply put, lipo tourism refers to traveling to a country or destination to receive liposuction treatment. This is a specific type of medical tourism that is taking root very fast with specific destinations establishing themselves as the most popular travel destinations.
Like with general medical tourism, there are benefits that you derive from lipo tourism. Who would resist the temptation (and benefit) of traveling to an exotic destination for a simple but effective surgical treatment at a much reduced cost compared to the cost of receiving the same treatment locally? The opportunity to travel to an exotic destination, effective treatment and affordable cost are three benefits that you too will most likely want to take advantage of just in case lipo is the treatment that you need.
The benefits are just one side of this type of tourism. There are also risks involved. Many private medical facilities in some of the popular destinations now offer lipo treatment, which can be risky considering that some of such facilities are not properly regulated. There are also other treatment risks including possible infection of treated location(s), bruising, permanent numbness of treated area, kidney problems, pulmonary edema and skin burn among other risks.
Despite the said risks, it appears that lipo tourism is here to stay. The number of “patients” travelling from different regions of the world to specific destinations continues to rise. Indeed, the past two years has seen a very high number of lipo tourists with specific countries positioning themselves as the best travel destinations.
Lipo treatment is simply liposuction treatment, a treatment invented in 1974 by Dr. Giorgio and Dr. Fischer, two Italian-American surgeons who perfected what Dr. Dujarier, a French surgeon had earlier invented in the 1920s. Liposuction has since evolved to become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments available, thanks to technological advancements realized in the medical field. Lipo is a cosmetic treatment employed to remove excess fat deposits in the body. It can be performed on the abdomen, buttocks, hips, neckline, face, flanks and upper arms among other areas of the body. Lipo is also performed to address such health conditions as lymphedema, lipodystrophy syndrome and gynecomasia among other health conditions.
Although there are different types of lipo treatment, the general procedure is where you are put under general anesthesia with the treatment procedure taking anything between one and four hours depending on area to be treated and how complicated it is.
The actual treatment involves a cosmetic surgeon making small incisions of between 2-5 mm on area where fat is to be removed. What follows is insertion of a thin hollow rod under your skin before a surgeon manipulates the rod through the fat deposit. The rod remains attached to a vacuum hose that serves to suck out fat cells before the incisions made are closed and the treated area dressed.
It is common for treated “patients” to be prescribed pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications after the treatment. Electrolyte drinks are also given after treatment and “patients” advised to drink sufficient amount of liquids during healing process, which can take a week.
There are a number of countries (destinations) that stand out as the most popular lipo tourism destinations. They include:
- India – India has traditionally remained the top general medical tourism destination and it is not surprising that it is also one of the most popular lipo tourism destinations. This is simply because of the country’s skilled medical professionals trained in such locations as Britain, USA, Australia and Canada among other countries. The cost of medical treatment in India is also very affordable.
- Dominican Republic – Doctors in Dominican Republic has propelled this Caribbean nation to one of the top lipo tourism destinations. Apart from the highly skilled medical professionals trained in such other countries as Britain and USA, the nation boasts of miles of white sandy beaches, which is a big attraction to lipo tourists.
- Thailand – Thailand has traditionally remained a popular tourist destination. Well, the country’s medical professionals must have borrowed from India how to take advantage of the high number of millions of tourists who visit the country annually and the best way to do so was to introduce lipo tourism.
- Taiwan – Over 200,000 “patients” were reported to have travelled to Taiwan to receive lipo treatment in 2010. Well, it turns out that the cost of cosmetic treatment in Taiwan is very low compare to any other Asian country. The low price coupled with high skilled medical professionals is perhaps the two main reasons why lipo tourists from across the world catch flights to this Asian nation.
- USA – Cosmetic surgeons in the USA have over decades established themselves as experts in invasive cosmetic surgical treatments of which lipo and breast surgical treatments are the most sought. It is therefore not surprising that USA is one of the top destinations that lipo tourists travel to.
Like with general medical tourism, lipo tourism has already taken root and it is bound to grow over the next few years. The emerging trend of specialized treatment tourism simply points to a direction where specific countries will position themselves as the most popular destinations for specific type of treatment.