I have just read another article about the dangers of medical tourism.
Medical Tourism is a thriving industry and many people from the UK travel abroad to have cosmetic procedures. I completely understand why they do this because it can be seen as having a holiday or having a trip overseas, not to mention the significant saving in costs with the surgery.
However, I cannot recommend it and this is why.
When I get referrals from patients who live overseas or even in other parts of this country, I always recommend that they seek a surgeon closer to home, because whilst there are not that many plastic surgeons in the country, we are represented in most towns and cities. If you know what qualifications to look out for, you should be able to find someone who is appropriately skilled and qualified to do your surgery. In fact, I dedicate a chapter of my book to the risks and benefits of medical tourism or having surgery far from home.
I have read a recent report about patients in overseas cosmetic surgery clinics suffering significant infections following surgery. One of the many problems with having surgery overseas is that the standard of training of the doctors and the standard of cleanliness cannot be guaranteed. The processes and checks that are performed in the clinic may not be to the same level that they are in this country.
Clearly there are many well trained surgeons and excellent clinics overseas but the issue is in knowing who and where they are. The surgery is often significantly cheaper and you should ask yourself why this is?
It may be that the level of indemnity insurance of the surgeon is much less than required in the UK which means that if you do have a problem, you will have less comeback on the surgeon.
It may be that the clinics and the hospitals do not need to invest in stringent and robust infection control procedures and safety checks that are required in UK facilities.
It may also be that the level of aftercare and support following a procedure could be affected as I always stress that it is best to see your surgeon, not only before but after your surgery to put your mind at rest and to make sure things are progressing satisfactorily.
At the end of the day, it is up you, to the patient to make the decision as to where to have surgery, whether it be at home or abroad and the onus is on us as practitioners to make sure you are fully informed about all the risks and the benefits of each.
I go back to my mantra I will always tell patients, which is:
“Do your research and do not be afraid to ask questions”
If you would like a copy of my book which is available now click the link here.
I talk about why Plastic Surgery is cheaper overseas in one of my LIVE Q&A sessions on Facebook every Tuesday night at 7pm, watch it here:
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