In Las Vegas, You Never Grow Old


Greater Las Vegas has bought its first property on the game board of medical tourism: Vanity Street. The Southern Nevada Medical Industry Coalition—the main player in boosting the Valley’s reputation as a medical-tourism destination—has forged a strategic alliance with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, which holds its world congress at the Sands Convention Center from Dec. 12-15.

The A4M, as it calls itself, represents medical practitioners who specialize in areas ranging from skin-cancer treatment to microdermabrasion. Many of its Las Vegas members operate “medical spas” with a focus on cosmetic procedures. Next up on the coalition’s calendar: the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.

This comes as no surprise, since gastric-bypass surgery, dental implants and plastic surgery are among the specialties advertised in the city’s medical tourism guide, which was coproduced by the coalition, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Medical Tourism Association. The whole what-happens-here ethic may prove appealing for patients looking for a discreet place to shed their skin.

The most dismaying medical news of the season has been the collapse of UC San Diego’s plan to revive the Nevada Cancer Institute—and the subsequent dashed hopes that Comprehensive Cancer Centers could ride to the rescue. But with the alliance of medical tourism and the beauty business, high-profile medicine may find its Vegas mojo closer to the surface.

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