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The True Cost of Having Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

Posted on May 22, 2019

The medical tourism industry has grown rapidly over the past couple of decades, with many people travelling abroad in a bid to pay less for cosmetic surgery procedures. But while the idea of combining a cheap operation with recovery in a beautiful setting sounds ideal, anyone considering surgery abroad needs to be well aware of the true cost of surgery abroad, as well as the enormous risks.

Quality Consultations Needed

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has strict guidelines about the role of consultations for cosmetic surgery. They should always be performed by the surgeon who will carry out the procedure, who will be able to give you a professional opinion about whether you are suitable for surgery.

If you’re having cosmetic surgery abroad the chances of your surgeon performing the consultation are slim, meaning you may only learn you’re unsuitable for cosmetic surgery once on the operating table. The scenario would at least be better than having surgery you shouldn’t, which could lead to complications.

Its worth noting that having surgery in the UK doesn’t guarantee a consultation with your operating surgeon – choose a BAAPS or BAPRAS registered surgeon to guarantee best service.

Aftercare Can’t Be An Afterthought

Regardless of how talented your surgeon is, there is always the possibility that things don’t go entirely to plan. Taking your concerns to your surgeon is always the best course of action in these circumstances, but if that surgeon is thousands of miles away this won’t be possible. Even if you want to flag up your concerns in the immediate aftermath of surgery, you may find your surgeon doesn’t have sufficient English skills to address your concerns.

Needing follow up treatment could also end up being costly if you’ve had surgery abroad. As long as you read the fine print, you should be able to find a company based in the UK that won’t make you pay again if something goes wrong or you need touch ups.

Regulations Aren’t Just Red Tape

While BAAPS and BAPRAS campaign for tighter cosmetic surgery regulations in the interest of patient safety, rules in the UK are still much stricter than most of the cosmetic surgery surgery destinations. A lack of regulations is one reason surgery abroad is cheaper, but it is also a likely reason that a growing number of BAAPS surgeons are reporting an increase in patients seeking help after failed procedures abroad.

Clinics abroad may use surgeons that aren’t as well trained or offer treatments that aren’t even legal in the UK, so if you do opt to go abroad it’s essential you research your chosen clinic thoroughly to ensure your safety.

Will you get the support you need?

While some people want to keep cosmetic surgery a secret, many more are choosing to be open about going under the knife and want the support of their friends and family during the recovery. Electing to have cosmetic surgery abroad cuts this support network – even beautiful countries can be very lonely places when you are aching and on your own.

You get what pay for

Brits have always taken advantage of lower prices when going abroad. But travelling to a different country for cheap breast implants is not the same as a shopping spree on New York’s Madison Avenue or making the most of quality cheap wine in France. Yes, thousands of people successfully have treatment abroad – but that doesn’t invalidate the very real risks associated with going abroad for breast augmentation, a nose job, or liposuction.

Travel safely

As well as the aforementioned risks and complications of cosmetic surgery abroad, it’s also crucial to respect what are industry standards around flying and travelling post operation. You should discuss this directly with your surgeon, but an advisable rule of thumb is to avoid immediate short haul travel until you are mobile and dressings have been removed, and wait for at least 1 month before considering long haul travel. Refer to this useful guide for a breakdown of post op travel per cosmetic procedure.

Only you can decide whether the price is worth it, but to make this judgement you own it to yourself to gather all the facts in order to make an informed decision.

For more information on procedures and our comprehensive aftercare policy give our Patient Advisors a call or book a consultation with a MyBreast cosmetic surgeon, one of the most qualified and experienced plastic surgeons in the UK.