"I really made a bad decision."
That's what a woman who wants to go by Jessica for this story said about having plastic surgery out of the country.
She wanted breast augmentation after losing 125 pounds with weight loss surgery.
Jessica had many surgeon consultations in the Las Vegas valley but decided to save some money out of the country.
"The prices I was getting here were almost triple what he was going to charge," Jessica said.
After some research and recommendations, she ended up at a hospital in Ciudad Juarez. After her initial surgery, things looked OK but felt off.
"I noticed that my breast would move to the side. It was really weird," Jessica said.
Jessica went back to the same surgeon to have them fixed, but things went horribly wrong upon returning home. She was sick and vomiting when her breast ruptured.
"My breast opened up, my left breast. I didn't know what to do. I was freaking out," Jessica said.
She ended up rushing herself to University Medical Center. Eventually she landed in Dr. Terry Higgins' care.
"She had terrific infections on both breasts, skin loss, some real problems. We had to babysit for her for six months before we could even touch them surgically to get the open wounds to heal," Higgins said.
Higgins said Jessica is not alone. He sees patients with botched surgery issues at least once a month.
"I've had bellies from tummy tucks that have opened and dehisced, infections and pus," Higgins said.
He said the biggest issue is not having followup care.
Whether you go out of state or out of the country, you need to be able to spend money to go back for followup visits, which are critical, Higgins said.
"Bad things happen when they don't have the same standard techniques for sterilization, maybe not same or settings in operating room and maybe not the same training we've received. You're rolling the dice," Higgins said.
Jessica spent $6,000 on her surgery in Mexico and $12,000 more on reconstructive surgeries back home.
"I wish I would have just saved longer and just did it here the first time right," Jessica said.
Higgins said people should always check to make sure their surgeon is board certified. They go through years of training, and continue their education way beyond school to make sure patients get the best care. You can find out if your surgeon is certified online.
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