Las Vegas, NV | Plastic Surgery Nightmares | Plastic Surgery Vegas

Board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Terry Higgins of Anson, Edwards & Higgins Plastic Surgery Associates in Las Vegas, NV shares the experience of consulting with at least one patient a month in regards to correcting plastic surgery performed outside of the United States in order to save money. In the end, it costs his patients a lot more, both financially and emotionally. Dr. Higgins expresses the importance of follow-up care as well as a physician’s credentials. Many foreign countries don’t have the same sterilization techniques or training required here in the United States.


Speaker 1: This is Fox 5 News at 11:00. Local. Las Vegas.

John: Now, to plastic surgery nightmares. Some are choosing to go outside the country for elective surgeries to save some money.

Olivia: But it's costing them a lot more than anticipated in the end, both financially and emotionally. Fox 5 Elizabeth Watts is live in studio with one woman's horror story.

Elizabeth Watts: Olivia, John, this woman wanted a breast augmentation after losing more than 100 pounds. She was recommended by friends to go to a hospital outside the United States to save some cash. But she ended up in a nightmare that has now lasted two years and counting.

Jessica: I really made a bad decision.

Elizabeth Watts: This woman who wants to go by Jessica to protect her identity has been through hell. After losing 125 pounds with weight loss surgery, she wanted to get her breast fixed. She had many consultations here in the Valley, but decided to save some money and go out of the country.

Jessica: The prices I was getting here, were almost triple what he was going to charge.

Elizabeth Watts: After some research and recommendations, she ended up in Ciudad Juarez. After her initial surgery, things looked okay but felt off.

Jessica: I would notice that my breasts would like move to the side. It was really, really weird.

Elizabeth Watts: Jessica went back to her surgeon to have them fixed, but things went horribly wrong when she returned home.

Jessica: My breast opened up. My left breast.

Elizabeth Watts: She rushed herself to UMC and eventually ended up in Dr. Terry Higgins care.

Dr. Terry H.: Terrific infections on both breasts and skin loss and real problems that we had to babysit for her for good part of six months before we could touch them surgically and to try to correct anything just to get the open wounds to heal.

Elizabeth Watts: Dr. Higgins says she's not alone. He sees patients like this at least once a month.

Dr. Terry H.: I've had tummy tucks that have just completely opened and dehisced with infections and pus-

Elizabeth Watts: He says the biggest issue is with follow up care. Whether you go out of state or out of the country, you have to be able to have critical follow up visits with your doctor.

Dr. Terry H.: Because bad things happen when they don't have the same standard techniques for sterilization that we use, maybe not the same OR settings that we might use in the operating room. The same training that we've received. So you're rolling the dice.

Elizabeth Watts: Jessica spent 6,000 on her surgery in Mexico and 12,000 more since coming back to the US. Between the added cost, time loss, and pain she's been through. She wouldn't wish this on anyone.

Jessica: I wish I would've just saved longer and just did it here the first time right.

Elizabeth Watts: Again, so important to do your research. Most surgeons do free consultations and you can do a simple online search for board certified plastic surgeons to make sure your doctor is up to snuff online. If this is something someone really wants, they do take payment plans like care credit most of the time, which can be a year and a half with no interest to pay it off.

John: Go ahead.

Olivia: Oh, we read about these stories a lot as well, and even procedures that are not as serious, not a surgery, but even just an injection. You never know what people are putting in you.

Elizabeth Watts: Absolutely.

Olivia: I mean, it's just so risky.

Elizabeth Watts: You need to really check out your doctor, make sure they are certified to be doing this. That is here in the US and outside the US as well.

John: I mean, imagine the results in some of these cases could be death if they're talking about infection.

Elizabeth Watts: Yeah. Absolutely. Is foreign substances in your body.

John: Yeah. Elizabeth. Thank you.

Olivia: Thank you. Jessica says, one of her friends also went out of the country for butt implants. Now, in that case, the doctor apparently inserted breast implants into her bottom instead.