Surgery abroad – what are the dangers?

Cosmetic surgery abroad has become more and more popular in recent years, as companies offer tempting offers, promising low cost surgery and a holiday in the sun to boot.

So are these offers all they are cracked up to be, or could there be some potential problems lurking beneath the “sun, sea, sand and surgery” veneer?

Who is operating?

One key consideration you should take into account before booking a cosmetic surgery “holiday” is this: who will be performing your surgery? It is important to meet your surgeon for a thorough consultation before undergoing any operation – cosmetic or otherwise – and you should insist that you meet your surgeon in this country before agreeing to fly abroad for surgery.

Where are they operating?

It goes without saying that any clinic where surgical procedures are performed (or even injectables like Botox and dermal fillers) needs to be clean and safe. A photograph in a glossy brochure might not represent reality, and you should be prepared to refuse the surgery should the operating room not be up to standard.

What are the risks of travelling post cosmetic surgery?

When you are recuperating from surgery, you are at increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism. Flying also increases the risk of developing either of these conditions, so flying post surgery puts you at an especially high risk.

You should always wait at least five to seven days before flying after surgery, so if the clinic suggests flying home sooner than this, you might want to consider whether they have your best interests at heart.

Why is cosmetic surgery cheaper abroad?

In the United Kingdom, surgeons pay a lot of money on insurance, so that in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, it can be rectified quickly and without additional charge. A lot of money also goes on ensuring that the operating room is kept clinically clean, and on additional operating staff, including the anaesthetist, who is on hand to monitor the patient’s wellbeing during and after surgery.

In the UK, you are also paying for aftercare, and for any potential consultations with your surgeon after surgery has taken place, to deal with any concerns you may have.

It is worth considering whether all these things are covered in the cost of your cosmetic surgery abroad.