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HomeLife StylePro’s and cons of going abroad for your cosmetic surgery.

Pro’s and cons of going abroad for your cosmetic surgery.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons recently released statistics indicating that cosmetic surgery remains a thriving industry in the UK. The research conducted in 2011 shows that breast augmentation is the most sought-after procedure, followed by eyelid surgery and face/neck lifts. The data highlights the fact that there are many individuals in the UK, particularly those over the age of 50, who are looking to enhance their appearance and reverse the signs of aging by seeking out the services of cosmetic surgeons.

Surgery cost at home is so much more expensive…

The cost of cosmetic surgery in the UK can be high, with facelift procedures typically costing between £4000 to £5000 on average. As a result, many individuals consider seeking treatment overseas where prices can be up to 50% less expensive. In fact, recent statistics suggest that as many as one-third of patients opt for cosmetic surgery abroad.

Anthony Armstrong, the chair of BAPRA’s clinical effectiveness committee, notes that patients seeking cheaper deals are often the ones who consider undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad. However, the question remains whether the financial benefits of receiving treatment abroad outweigh the potential risks and problems.

We discuss the Pros and Cons of going abroad for your procedure of choice…

Benefits of going abroad for your surgery

There are, of course, many excellent cosmetic surgeons across the world, not just in the UK. Although standards and guidelines differ considerably from British practices, this doesn’t mean that all overseas cosmetic clinics offer an inferior standard of service. Indeed, many clinics abroad offer fantastic facilities and highly qualified surgeons to carry out the procedure.


Depending on where the clinic is located, overheads may be considerably lower, which brings treatment prices down, sometimes by thousands of pounds. In addition to this, patients may find that accommodation is included, and that there is also the opportunity to explore the surrounding area and enjoy a holiday at the same time.

NHS is struggling

While the NHS is a highly respected service, sometimes you have to prioritize your own needs. Choosing to have a medical procedure abroad can allow you to access better service and even have certain procedures done more quickly. Waiting lists for some procedures can be very long with the NHS, but by going overseas, you could receive treatment and return home faster than if you had waited. If you need a procedure urgently and want the benefits of private healthcare, medical tourism may be the right choice.

Explore Local Expertise

Medical tourism may be a good choice if you are seeking treatment from experts in specific countries. For example, Turkey is renowned for hair transplant doctors, South Korea for plastic surgeons, and Singapore for innovative medical treatments. If your goal is to receive treatment at the best facilities in the world, medical tourism may be a viable option.

Ultimately, it’s important to research the destination and its medical system thoroughly before making a decision about medical tourism.


Negatives of going abroad for your surgery


No Credentials potential

One can’t stress enough the importance of ensuring that the overseas clinic you choose has the necessary qualifications and credentials. This is particularly important because standards and guidelines may not be as stringent as in the UK. However, aftercare can also be a major problem when having surgery abroad since it is the surgeon’s responsibility to provide it, and it becomes complicated if you are no longer in the country. Patients are unlikely to fly back to see the surgeon if complications arise, which could result in extra expenses and additional time and effort.

Cost over quality is apparent

Research reveals that almost 50% of patients are dissatisfied with the outcome of their cosmetic surgery, and around 20% require corrective treatment when they return to the UK. According to Douglas McGeorge, a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, people often prioritize cost over quality and end up compromising the quality of their surgery by looking for a bargain. He concludes that “you get what you pay for.”

If you choose the wrong doctor or facility, you may face issues with your insurance provider or encounter subpar hygiene and instances of medical negligence. Recourse for malpractice may be difficult to obtain if you receive treatment in a country without strict malpractice laws or reliable methods for reporting and proving malpractice.

Language barrier, cultural and practice differences

If you choose to have surgery abroad, you need to consider the inconvenience of recovering in a foreign place where you may not know the language or culture. Follow-up exams are also a consideration, as most surgeries require multiple follow-ups with the same doctor. You may have to travel back and forth and take long flights, which can be stressful and time-consuming. In addition, some local healthcare providers may refuse to see you if you require a corrective procedure due to a poorly done job by a previous doctor.

To summarise, going abroad is a risk. You will probably save thousands of pounds, but as with anything, you get what you pay for, and playing with your body when going cheap may not be the best idea. Many companies can offer solutions to expensive procedures such as finance options, and it would be recommended by a whole host of surgeons in the uk to go for that option. You are covered in the UK via various governing bodies of whim can help you if the small account of a mistake happens whilst under the knife.

If you are waiting for NHS surgery, you may be tempted to go abroad because it is faster, however with the great risk mentioned, it is most likely the better option to have cosmetic surgery in private at a well known, reputable UK hospital.

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