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Things you absolutely need to know about having cosmetic surgery abroad

31 December 2016

Whilst some people may be jetting off soon for some winter sun, for an increasing number of Brits, a breast enlargement or a quick nose job is becoming as an important part of their package  holiday as getting a tan.  More and more people are travelling abroad each year to undergo cosmetic surgery at a fraction of the price offered in the UK; the results, however, are not always a bargain

Considerable savings can be made but medical tourism as it’s called can be a gamble so you MUST do your checks thoroughly. The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) has an excellent section about this including a checklist which I would recommend you read but here are a few of the key things to consider.

Be absolutely sure that you know the qualifications of the doctor and that you will be having surgery in a safe place. It is important to know what the local standards of care are like. Lack of regulation in many countries means standards fluctuate around the world.

Check out the costs and beware of aggressive marketing campaigns and ruthless sales tactics such as “two for one” offers which encourage people to make ill considered decisions.

Following a procedure, your surgeon should be available to you 24 hours a day in case you have any concerns.  Make sure the clinic you visit provides you with emergency contact details and gives a you a detailed explanation of the aftercare required.

Remember, you are not going for a beauty treatment.  It’s surgery and all surgery carries risk, even under the safest conditions.  If you are travelling abroad for your procedure, you have to think about anything that could potentially go wrong before and after you get to your destination.

Think about what would happen in the event that complications arise and who would be responsible for paying for any additional treatments?  It is vital that you make sure that your clinic will cover all of the costs if anything goes wrong that it their fault.

Make sure you are clear about your legal rights.  Will you be entitled to compensation if something goes wrong? Clinics abroad are governed by the laws of their own country which means that any claim for compensation would need to be made through the local courts and not those in the U.K. This can make things much more difficult, particularly if you can’t speak the language and of course, much more expensive.

For most people, the main draw of medical tourism is the possibility of getting top-notch medical care on the cheap and many people who go abroad are completely happy with the results. However, remember that, depending on where you go, you may get what you pay for. Weigh your options seriously and proceed with extreme caution before booking that flight. 

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