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Cosmetic surgery abroad - things to consider

Is cheaper cosmetic surgery abroad safe?

If you are considering having cosmetic surgery, what are the driving factors helping you decide where to go? Is it finding the right surgeon who is an expert in their field? Choosing a respected and recommended cosmetic surgery provider? Or, is it selecting the most affordable option for you. For most people, it would be a combination of all three. However, we are starting to see a growing trend in cosmetic medical tourism. And the reason for this?  It’s the lure of cheaper cosmetic surgery abroad.

Whilst it’s easy to see why price would be a contributing factor in where someone decides to go for cosmetic surgery, it shouldn’t be the sole reason for your final decision. With the stories of botched surgeries abroad dominating news feeds, it begs the question – what should people be considering when exploring cosmetic surgery abroad? We explore the questions that everyone thinking about having cosmetic surgery should be asking.

In the news

If you flip through a newspaper or scroll through social media, it’s easy to see the growing interest in cosmetic surgery abroad. All-inclusive holidays and the promise of quality care for cheaper prices is enough of a draw for some people, but what is the real cost of choosing to go abroad for surgery?

According to the Metro, more than 1,000 women each year report complications following surgery abroad including holes in their skin and wounds that are slow to heal. What’s more, some surgeons are stating that 40% of their work is now coming from corrective surgeries.

A recent case of a grandmother from Derbyshire who decided to have a breast reduction in Turkey, saw the 60-year-old being left disfigured with holes in her breasts and no nipples. This isn’t to say that every procedure carried out abroad will result in complications. However, there are certain factors that people considering having cosmetic surgery, whether at home or abroad, should bear in mind.

Factors to consider when looking into cosmetic surgery abroad

Is your surgeon qualified?

Surgery, whether elective or for health reasons comes with its own set of risks. You want to trust in the expertise of your surgeon and feel confident in their recommendations and advice. Reports of botched surgeries abroad raise concerns that cut-price cosmetic surgery may result in those who carrying out the surgery not being experienced, which is not always the case. However, British surgeons have also witnessed patients coming from cosmetic procedures abroad who were not appropriate for that surgery, thus risking the person’s health.

At Transform, our fully qualified surgeons have a license to practise with the General Medical Council (GMC), and have carried out hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of cosmetic procedures. You’ll also have a dedicated medical team to look after you throughout your stay with us, from your initial consultation, right through to your aftercare. Our clinical teams are specifically trained in the cosmetic field, to ensure you that you get the best possible care throughout your treatment.

How does the consultation take place?

Many of the cosmetic surgery companies abroad offer an initial consultation over the phone or via email to assess your suitability for treatment. Further consultation may be conducted once you arrive for your surgery, but this is after you have paid for your surgery, or at the very least a deposit.

It’s incredibly difficult to assess a person’s suitability for any cosmetic procedure without meeting face-to-face. At Transform, we offer a free consultation with a patient advisor, which enables us to find out more about you and your expectations. It also provides the opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have, to help you decide whether cosmetic surgery is the right step for you.

Following this, you will also meet with a surgeon to discuss your needs in more detail and for them to provide information on their background, qualifications and experience.  Building a relationship and trust with your surgeon is important and should be established before committing yourself to having surgery with any provider.

What is included in the price?

Yes, cosmetic surgery abroad may appear cheaper, but what does the price really include? You might get the benefits of a sun-soaked holiday abroad, whilst having the surgery you’ve always wanted, but what happens when the surgery is over? Do you get post-op consultations? Do you have a team dedicated to your aftercare? Or, does you care end once your surgery does?

Whilst cosmetic surgery abroad comes with a reduced price, is there also a reduced service? Cutting costs can result in companies glossing over important information including the potential risks of surgery post-op. Distance is also a concern, in that communication may prove more difficult and additional costs can creep in if you have to fly back to address issues or complications with your surgery.

It is also worth noting that for any big operation, which includes popular procedures such as a boob job, nose surgery, tummy tuck or liposuction requires patients to take at least two weeks off work and prevent you from flying short haul for at least two weeks and six weeks for long haul.

Your care is just as important after surgery as it is during surgery. For that reason, Transform, as part of any surgical procedure include a three year aftercare package for added reassurance and peace of mind. This includes your post-operative appointments with your nurse and surgeon, access to a 24-hour support line and re-admission in the unlikely event that you experience clinical complications and your surgeon agrees further surgery is appropriate.

Do the hospitals meet health and safety standards?

Different countries will have different regulations that their hospitals will need to meet. Without a universal set of regulations to meet, how can you be sure that the hospital you will be attending abroad is clean and safe? There are many hospitals and clinics abroad that are incredibly safe and deliver excellent levels of care. But, the point to take home is that you should do plenty of research to ensure that this is true of the cosmetic provider you decide to go with.

Running our own dedicated cosmetic surgery hospitals means that we can look after you throughout your journey with us. Our hospitals are subject to inspections from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The Pines has an exemplary record for care and cleanliness and The Riverside is one of the highest specification cosmetic surgery hospitals in the UK. Dolan Park is renowned for its kind and caring staff, which is one area of good practice that has been highlighted.

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