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U.S. issues advisory to travelers to Dominican Republic for cosmetic procedures due to increase in deaths

U.S. issues advisory to travelers to Dominican Republic for cosmetic procedures due to increase in deaths

(CNN Spanish) — Gabrielle Hurst, a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, advises U.S. citizens to check the credentials of the facility where cosmetic procedures are performed and consult with their primary health care providers in the U.S. before seeking medical care. In other countries.

The recommendations follow a report issued this Thursday by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting an increase in deaths recorded after cosmetic surgeries in the Caribbean country.

According to the report, “The number of deaths among US citizens increased by an average of 4.1 per year between 2009 and 2018, an average of 13 between 2019 and 2022, and a peak of 17 in 2020.” In total, between 2009 and 2022, 93 US citizens died after undergoing cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic, the registry indicates.

The 29 deaths recorded between 2019 and 2020 had causes related to venous or fat thromboembolism, and “a high proportion of patients had risk factors for embolism,” due to their obesity or the performance of multiple concurrent procedures, according to the CDC.

According to the CDC, “these risk factors may be reduced or prevented through improved surgical protocols and postoperative medical care, including preventive measures against venous thromboembolism.”

So-called medical tourism is “increasingly common among residents of the United States because the cost is lower and waiting times for procedures are shorter,” the report says, and the Dominican Republic is a popular destination because of its proximity to the United States.

The Dominican Society for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery responded to the CDC report, defending the procedures performed and saying the rate of complications associated with them was within controllable margins.

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In 2022 the Dominican Republic received 50,000 patients, of which 40,000 were Dominican foreigners, mostly from the United States, Spain and Italy.

According to the organization, the most requested surgeries are liposuction, tummy tucks and breast surgeries.