The Not-So-Accidental Tourist

Fri, 09/25/2009 - 5:32am

Should surgeons treat the complications of medical tourism? Today, that's not purely a hypothetical question, as some patients seek out lower-cost alternatives for elective surgical care (something I wrote about a while back).

It is also a question posed at last year's clinical congress of the American College of Surgeons in a "point/counterpoint" debate. The surgeons chosen to address the topic are well respected academicians -- Dr. Karen Deveny from the Oregon Health and Science University, and Dr. Ira Kodner from Washington University in St. Louis. The scenario presented was:

A 53 year old man visits an American orthopedic surgeon 10 weeks ago after undergoing a total knee replacement in Thailand. He's had pain and erythema for 1 week, and a physical exam indicates probable cellulitis. Is it the surgeon's responsibility to treat this patient? Read more


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