Medical tourism – weighing the risks and benefits


Medical tourism has seen a huge jump over the past decade, and is projected to be a US$100 billion global industry by 2010, according to the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. And as far as plastic surgery goes, Argentina has become an international destination for these types of procedures where the costs are much lower than in other countries.

Estimates say that 1 in 30 Argentines has gone under the knife, making surgeons there some of the most experienced on the globe. Still, Solange Magnano, a former Miss Argentina 15 years ago, died of a pulmonary embolism last Sunday after three days of being in critical condition following a gluteoplasty in Buenos Aires.

The 37-year-old mother of seven-year-old twins was seeking to have her backside enhanced. In a surgical procedure that involved fluid injections to firm up the rear, somehow the fluids used to augment the “rear” tissue made their way into the South American celebrity’s bloodstream. As any medical professional knows, injecting any sort of toxic material directly into the bloodstream will cause it to travel fairly quickly into the brain, heart, and lungs. In the truly tragic case of the lovely Magnano, that’s exactly what happened.

Friend Robert Piazza said, “A woman who had everything, lost her life to have a slightly firmer behind.”

In recent years, Argentina has become a plastic surgery hot spot for celebrities and the world’s international vain. The reasons the South American country has become a mecca for those seeking beauty enhancements is not because the quality of the medical treatments are better – it is because procedure costs there have been cut.

Whether or not there was any malpractice involved in the death of Solange Magnano is currently under investigation by Argentinian authorities.