Dangerous medical journeys: wounds that continue to open for three weeks


A Quebec woman who underwent surgery in Tunisia in 2019 received stitches hours before her return flight, as her wounds continued to reopen for three weeks.

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Sylvie Thivierge, 60, underwent abdominoplasty and breast augmentation in Tunisia in 2019. But medical tourism wasn’t her first choice.

Ten years after bariatric surgery and 100 pounds less, she had a noticeable excess of skin, especially on her stomach. After years of applying to the Régie de assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), you were finally entitled to reimbursed surgeries in 2019.

“I was super happy, I was jumping 10 feet in the air,” he recalls.

But the joy was short-lived. Even before greeting her, the Montreal surgeon who was assigned to her told her to forget her expectations of her and that she would lose her navel.

And since the consultation began, she told him she could do a better job if he came to visit her privately, at a cost of $ 12,000.

Twice as cheap

Not having the means, she turned to the travel agency Medcare Vacances and Tunisia, meeting several friends who had gone abroad. It was also half the price.

At first, struck by the cleanliness of the place and by the staff who treated her with onions, she was immediately disillusioned. About three days after the operation, her stomach reopened.

Her surgeon stitched it up in her office.

“It was traumatic,” she says, adding that nothing seemed sterile to her.

But back at the hotel, the wounds reopened, the size of a soccer ball on the stomach.

She found herself in a pool of blood, standing in the bathtub and terrified, before being taken to the hospital.

M.myself Thivierge says she was stitched up every two days or so and that she was assured that “everything was fine” until she left.

Sylvie Thivierge cried all the tears of her body in Tunisia. But her nightmare didn’t end there.

Nightmare nOh 2

When she returned to Quebec, she waited more than ten hours in the emergency room in Saint-Eustache before being admitted to the hospital.

He had a “pocket of pus” in his abdomen.

The doctors judged her, rushed her and called her “silly” for going to Tunisia. No hospital would have operated on him, she said.

Finally, she says that a surgeon from Saint-Jérôme told her she would do it because of her Hippocratic Oath, because otherwise she wouldn’t have lifted a finger.

“The system here isn’t for everyone, even if I had a paper telling me it was free,” breathes Mmyself Thivierge. She recently consulted here for her thighs, also reimbursed by RAMQ, and the doctor would have told her once again to go private, otherwise he would refuse to operate on her.

The Medcare Vacances agency did not call back The newspaper.

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