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Medical tourism is a growing phenomenon. For those seeking cosmetic treatments, jetting off to a sunnier climate to undergo procedures like breast augmentation, tummy tuck, rhinoplasty and liposuction, often at cheaper prices, can seem all too tempting. Cheaper pricing, the surgery you want and a tan? It all sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well, more often than not, it may well be!

We have compiled four key factors you should consider when choosing to opt for cosmetic surgery abroad …

  1. Post Treatment Complications: No procedure is risk free and it’s important that you consider that there is always a chance of complications arising. When you see a surgeon in the UK your treatment includes aftercare and face-to-face consultations post procedure with the specialist who operated on you. This means that your recovery is monitored – any issues can be treated and any concerns can be reassured. By contrast, if your clinic is overseas then it’s highly unlikely you will see your surgeon again. Some clinics will have a rep here in the UK you can consult, but often this is a nurse, not a specialist, who knows nothing about your personal surgery. Bear in mind that cosmetic treatments are not a quick fix and the recovery process can take months.
  2. Differentiated Regulations: It is critical to ensure your surgeon is adequately qualified, trained and experienced in performing the procedure you are considering. Equally vital is to ensure they operate out of a certified clinic or hospital. However, different countries use different quality and safety standards, so it can be difficult to navigate and ensure your surgeon’s credentials and their facility’s adequacy. Remember photos can be misleading, if a clinic abroad sends you glossy images of their facilities there is no guarantee that you will find the same visual on arrival. If you do consider surgery abroad then it’s paramount that you see the facilities in person and also research your surgeon in depth to ensure you are in capable hands.
  3. Costs Can Escalate: The low cost of surgery abroad is often the key factor in the decision to fly for a treatment. However, whilst the initial procedure may be cheaper, you need to bear in mind that, should something go wrong, the costs could shoot up! If you have a complication and need to fly back for corrective surgery you’ll be blowing your budget in no time. Flights, hotel stay and further consultations – the money can easily mount. Whilst the NHS will treat any severe health complications you experience for free here in the UK, they won’t fix or correct cosmetic mistakes or issues. Often those who experience complications will have to pay for a UK based surgeon to fix the problems, meaning you end up paying twice.
  4. Travelling Could Increase Risk: When you undergo an operation your body can be at an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (commonly known as a blood clot). Flying too soon after an operation can heighten this risk even further putting you in significant danger, as these clots can move around the body and can be life threatening. If you are undergoing major surgery then it is advisable to wait at least seven days before you fly back. This is important to consider as often the ‘recovery package’ of these oversees surgeons only includes an overnight stay. Having to move to a hotel nearby with no supervision is daunting when you have just undergone surgery. Many patients would rather be in their own homes where they feel safe and secure, ensuring the recovery is smoother and less stressful.

Choosing to have cosmetic surgery abroad demands careful planning and decision making. If you have chosen to travel to another country for cosmetic surgery, we encourage you to do your research and validate your choice against the factors cited above.

Of course a safer choice ensuring enhanced peace of mind is finding a GMC certified Plastic Surgeon here in the UK. Head on to NowMe.co.uk, which provides you a safe and secured environment to find everything about the treatment you desire and the right practitioner for you.