The True Cost Of Cheap Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

The True Cost Of Cheap Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

by Safety in Beauty Staff  Voluntary Writer: Naomi Nissen

safety in beauty campaign cosmetic surgery abroad In 2014, over thirty thousand cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the UK, with thousands more Brits travelling to countries such as Turkey and Belgium to have a quick nip and tuck. Glossy adverts in magazines and on-line promise flawless new bodies and faces available at fees cheaper than the UK, these bargain cosmetic surgery packages are often sold as holidays, so you get some sun and sand thrown in for good measure, So, what’s the catch?

Doing a quick search on the internet brings up hundreds of clinics boasting beautiful results for a fraction of the cost here in the UK. Many of these clinics even show testimonials from women and men having received work abroad. Fern Howe – Shepherd, a makeup artist from London, was one of the thousands who travelled abroad in May last year for a breast augmentation procedure costing around £2000 instead of the £3500 to £5000 price guide for the UK.

Fern reported that she booked her procedure without having a consultation with anyone, let alone a surgeon. Many people who choose to travel abroad have attended ‘meet and greet’ evenings in London, often hosted by sales representatives and not surgeons or anyone with medical qualifications. The objective is to sign you up and ship you out, you have no idea you are just a number in their hefty monthly target list, not a human.

BAPRAS (The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery) have openly voiced concerns about people seeking cheaper deals for their surgery abroad. They comment that whilst there are great surgeons all over the world, the risks arise from the lack of pre – operative and postoperative surgeon contact. They recommend no less than two consultations with a surgeon before committing to a surgical procedure, so it can be considered carefully and provides a sufficient ‘cooling off’ period.

Fern found that a few weeks after her operation, her wounds had not healed and were becoming infected. Her GP and her local hospital emergency department advised her to contact her surgeon in Belgium to resolve her issues, but Fern was unable to do this commenting that the email address she had been given ‘simply didn’t work’. BAPRAS highlight this as one of the key issues with people going abroad for their procedures, many clinics do not provide contact details for a representative in of their company the UK. So many people are left like Fern, with less than desirable results, and nowhere to turn.

As with a lot of the issues seen by The Safety in Beauty Campaign, the only way this trend will change, is through raising awareness of what good practice within the cosmetic and aesthetic industry looks like. I think we would all agree it doesn’t look like this.

cheap cosmetic surgery abroad safety in beauty campaign article

The Safety in Beauty Guidelines for Cosmetic Surgery Abroad 

“As an avid campaigner of safety in the beauty industry, I believe that cosmetic surgery tour operators should be banned from providing consultations with members of the public. I cringe at the prospect of vulnerable people lured into potential life threatening operations just because they’ve been promised the prospect of a ‘new you’ through an over commercialized glossy advert that looks more like a holiday offer than a serious medical procedure” Antonia Mariconda, Founder of The Safety in Beauty Campaign 

Choosing to have aesthetic or cosmetic plastic surgery abroad demands careful planning and decision making. Don’t make a decision based on a bargain basement glossy advert on line or in a social media group.

If you have chosen to travel to another country for aesthetic plastic surgery, we encourage you to do your research and ask questions.

Aesthetic plastic surgery should only be performed by a highly trained and qualified plastic surgeon. If you plan to travel outside your home country for plastic surgery, ask yourself what do you really know about your surgeon?

Please choose your surgeon carefully, verify that the surgeon is trained and experienced in performing the procedure you are considering. Choosing a gynecologist for a breast augmentation or a dermatologist for a face lift may be a risky decision.

Some further considerations

Is the plastic surgeon certified?

Is the surgeon a member of recognized national and international plastic surgery societies?

Do the key personnel and staff at the surgeon’s office speak your language fluently?

Language barriers signal red flag as they can cause complications.

You should be talking directly with the doctor’s staff and the doctor.

A travel agent should only make travel and lodging arrangements, Do not deal with cosmetic surgery tour operators, their job is to sell and reach targets, you well-being comes last on their list.

Check your surgeons references?

Do the surgeon and his/her facility use a safety checklist?

Is the plastic surgeon’s clinic or hospital accredited or certified?

Planning and Preparation

Does your personal health insurance cover you outside your country?

Where will you stay while you recover?

What about complications and follow-up care?

As Aldo Gucci once famously said “the bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of a low price has faded from memory”.

*This article has also been reproduced by Antonia Mariconda for The Huffington Post

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