By Randy DotingaHealthDay ReporterTHURSDAY, July 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Health officials are warning about the dangers of "medical tourism" ~ at least 18 ladies from the eastern Coast came to be infected v a disfiguring bacteria following plastic surgery steps they had actually in the Dominican Republic.

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The infections, brought about by a form of germ dubbed mycobacteria, have the right to be an overwhelming to treat. At least several the the women had actually to be hospitalized, undergo surgery to act the infection and take antibiotics because that months, according to the report indigenous the U.S. Centers for disease Control and also Prevention.

One professional said the results can be devastating.

"It"s a very mutilating infection. They"re going for cosmetic surgery, and also they will be scarred. It"s a damaging scenario for civilization to go down there, gain surgery and come earlier worse than they imagined they could be," claimed Dr. Charles Daley. He is a Denver infectious condition physician whose clinic has seen patient infected after undergoing these type of measures in the Dominican Republic.

According come the CDC, 21 females from six Northeast and also Mid-Atlantic states appear to have been influenced by mycobacterial infections after visiting five plastic surgical treatment clinics in the Dominican Republic, a country in the Caribbean. (Eighteen of the cases are confirmed, and also three are taken into consideration probable.)

Mycobacteria, which space found an international in the environment, "usually epidemic the skin or lungs, and are responsible because that chronic and also recurrent epidemic that are notoriously resistant come antibiotics and an overwhelming to treat," claimed report co-author Dr. Douglas Esposito. He is a medical officer and also epidemiologist with the CDC"s Travelers" wellness Branch.

More than 80 percent the the infected females reported swelling, pain and also scarring. Daley, who works in ~ the nationwide Jewish health and wellness respiratory hospital in Denver, claimed infected people often should undergo rebuild surgery.

It"s no clear exactly how the ladies were infected, although Daley said it"s feasible the bacteria gotten in their plastic surgical treatment wounds with tap water or tools used in surgery. Most underwent liposuction and at least one various other surgery, such as procedures to increase the dimension of the breasts and also buttocks, or chest reduction.

Daley said his clinic has actually seen 2 patients infected after ~ plastic surgery and consulted on a third case. It"s no clear how many, if any, are amongst those in the CDC report.

The danger of this type of epidemic is higher in countries like the Dominican Republic and also Brazil, that noted, yet patients have come to be infected in the united States, too. "We are definitely seeing much more of this postoperative infections, particularly ones the are regarded cosmetic surgery," Daley said.

The CDC report warns about the risks of medical tourism, a ax that explains leaving the United states for medical procedures to save money. Follow to the report, many of the ladies -- most of whom to be born in the Dominican Republic -- said they checked out the country for plastic surgical procedure to save money.

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People who have actually undergone plastic surgical treatment in the Dominican Republic need to talk to their doctor around getting tested, Daley suggested. And, world who plan to walk there for a procedure have to ask the clinic whether they"ve had actually infections, the added.

"I would never ever go to one of those places," that said. "I understand too many stories about what"s taken place to people. That has damaged people"s lives."

The study was published online July 13 in Emerging transmittable Diseases.

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