Medical Tourism and Postoperative Infections

A Systematic Literature Review of Causative Organisms and Empiric Treatment

Pablo Padilla, M.D.; Priscilla Ly, B.S.; Rachel Dillard, B.S.; Stefanos Boukovalas, M.D.; Ramon Zapata-Sirvent, M.D.; Linda G. Phillips, M.D.


Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018;142(6):1644-1651. 

In This Article


The development of evidence-based guidelines for the management of difficult-to-treat infections among medical tourists is limited by the lack of studies evaluating therapeutic strategies. There are, however, several steps that can be taken to maximize the quality of care. When encountering a patient with a history of medical tourism and treatment-refractory infection, mycobacterium must be considered. Prompt incision and drainage or surgical débridement of necrotic wounds is recommended. To increase the likelihood of yielding a diagnostic organism, multiple acid-fast bacilli cultures from fluid and débridement specimens should be performed. There has been reported success in treating rapidly growing mycobacterial infections long term with a combination of antibiotics, including clarithromycin, amikacin, and moxifloxacin.