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Plastic surgeons and lawyers warn against travelling abroad for cosmetic surgery

August 22, 2008

Leading plastic surgeons and lawyers have warned that more Scottish women are going abroad for operations and are putting their health and looks at risk in the process.


The overseas cosmetic surgery industry is booming as holidaymakers combine nip and tucks with a sunny break to recuperate.

But Ken Stewart, consultant plastic surgeon at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian, said: “I would strongly advise against going abroad for surgery.

“The risks are far greater and, if there are complications, there’s often no comeback.”

Plastic surgery is more popular than ever – a survey revealed more than 73 per cent of Brits have considered going under the knife – with people travelling to Spain, France and the US.

Some even go as far as South Africa – and combine their surgery with safari.

Last year as many as 50,000 Britons went abroad for surgery, including cosmetic operations.

But Mr Stewart, a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), has seen many cases where patients need costly treatment after botched foreign operations.

He said: “A woman recently came back from LA on an economy flight after she’d had surgery on her buttocks and an abscess formed.

”I’ve also seen patients lose nipples following surgery abroad. Ultimately, you get what you pay for with plastic surgery and what might seem like a cheap deal can end up costing a fortune.

”People buy cars in this country because they know they’ll get a guarantee and insurance. Surely a body is more important than a car?”

Tanveer Jaleel, founder and senior partner of TJL Solicitors, said his firm was handling an increasing number of claims from women who were left disappointed and, in some instances, badly injured by botched cosmetic surgery in foreign countries.

‘Going abroad for a nose or boob job may seem like a cheap way to transform your looks and enjoy a sunshine break, but the reality is often far less appealing,’ Mr Jaleel said.

‘Clinics abroad often do not match the standards we are used to in the UK and, in many cases, women are forced to fly back home too early with complications.

‘Although sometimes the NHS does foot the bill, in others patients will be forced to fork out twice for any necessary corrective procedures.’

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