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posted: 4/21/2014 5:30 AM

Your health: 'Plastic surgery tourism' proves dangerous

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  • A Chicago doctor warns against going out of the country for cheap plastic surgery.

    A Chicago doctor warns against going out of the country for cheap plastic surgery.


Dangers of 'plastic surgery tourism'

Considering going under the knife? You're not alone. In fact, not only do many opt to have plastic surgery, many are doing it out of the country for a more affordable price, Beauty World News reports.

Known as "plastic surgery tourism," patients head out of the country seeking to get the most bang for a little buck. But, the results can be disastrous.

Chicago-based board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Gregory Wiener says, "International plastic surgery can be luring with discounted rates, new procedures and less rules and regulations to abide by. Unfortunately, they can also be very risky."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that at least 19 women developed serious wound infections following cosmetic procedures from international surgeries, specifically in the Dominican Republic.

Recalculating your BMI

Most people know that BMI, or body mass index, is a fitness indicator calculated using your height and weight. Most people also know that where you carry your weight makes a difference: It's less healthy to have a disproportionate amount of weight around your midsection.

The April issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, features a calculator aimed at factoring that belly fat, as well as your age, into the equation and assessing your relative risk of premature death, reports The Washington Post.

Called A Body Shape Index, or ABSI, it was developed by a father-and-son team -- Jesse Krakauer, an endocrinologist, and Nir Krakauer, an assistant professor of civil engineering at City College of New York -- in 2012, but it hasn't gotten a lot of national attention.

The formula, which involves such complicated steps as calculating BMI, then raising it to the two-thirds power, can be found in the July 2012 issue of the journal PLOS One, where the authors also explain why they think it is a useful estimate of mortality risk.

If you'd rather skip the science-speak, go to and plug in your age, height, weight and waist measurement.

If the "Relative risk, BMI+ABSI" comes out as 1, that puts you at average risk of premature death for someone your age; less than 1 indicates less risk and greater than one means … well, you might want to start doing some crunches.

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