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Cosmetic surgery has become increasingly popular over recent years, due to its affordability and regular documentation across social media. Celebrities and influencers have helped make this growing trend a desirable one for the average person, meaning that some are willing to cut corners to receive the results they are hoping for at prices as affordable as possible.
This has resulted in an increase in the amount of people travelling overseas with the intention of undergoing one or more cosmetic procedures in order to save money.
With travel restrictions easing as we start to see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, trips abroad for cosmetic surgeries are on the rise again.
Thousands of Britons each year are booking flights to the world’s cosmetic surgery capitals in search of a new body at a reduced price tag. However, those who engage in this kind of medical tourism are often unaware of just how serious the risks can be when committing to cheap surgery abroad.
In recent months, the incredibly dangerous yet desired Brazilian Bum Lift has reemerged in the spotlight, with more young women taking the risks that come with this potentially harmful procedure and suffering unwanted, sometimes even fatal, botched consequences.
It’s well known that any medical procedure can carry a certain degree of risk, but having overseas surgery can pose even more harm than you might realise. These potential problems must be identified and carefully considered before making a decision to go under the knife whilst abroad.
As previously mentioned, the price of having cosmetic surgery abroad is often much cheaper than it would be to have the same procedure in the UK.
Since there are more regulations around cosmetic surgery and its effects here at home, most cosmetic surgery procedures are elective, meaning that they cannot be easily obtained on the NHS. People who are looking to make aesthetic amendments will need to turn to private treatment, which can often be costly here in the UK.
However, it’s noted that going abroad can drop the costs of a procedure by 40-80%, depending on the country of origin. These results have been generated by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).
Another reason for people wanting to travel abroad for cosmetic surgery is the range of procedures that are offered in other countries. Whilst some procedures might be banned in the UK due to their dangerous nature, other countries might be able to offer them, and at a much cheaper rate.
There’s also usually a reduced wait time for overseas surgeries, meaning that you won’t have to wait as long for the results you’re hoping for.
Surgery abroad isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Some people opt to travel due to specialist surgery that they might not be able to receive at home. They might have their heart set on a specific surgeon who has the utmost respect within their field as well as many client recommendations.
Travelling abroad for your cosmetic surgery might offer short-term savings, but the risks that come with having these procedures away from home can be in their plenties. You might find yourself paying for your surgery in ways that you’d hoped not.
Travellers should be aware that after surgery, or any kind of body trauma, your immune system is compromised and your body becomes more susceptible to illness.
This could potentially mean that it would be much easier for you to contract the COVID-19 virus on your way to or from the country which your procedure is booked in.
Results of a virus could prolong your surgery healing time, possibly prevent you from travelling back home to relax and repair, and could even cause lasting, irreversible damage.
Other European countries that offer similar surgeries are unlikely to produce high savings like those further afield. Those who travel in search of low-cost treatments and procedures will often visit countries like Turkey, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
In recent years, South American countries have also become a popular destination for overseas surgeries. Countries include Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia. Other well-known areas that people travel to for cosmetic enhancements include India and Thailand.
If you are still thinking of going ahead with an overseas cosmetic surgery, you should thoroughly research the clinic that you are going to beforehand, and ensure that you have asked every necessary question to put your mind at ease.
There are some steps that you can take to help minimise the risks associated with undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad, such as educating yourself about the implications that could occur with your specific surgery and contacting your airline or travel provider to make sure that you are covered with travel insurance.
You’ll want to have a clear plan in place in case anything goes wrong - expert advice of organisations like ISAPS and the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAAPS) can help with this.
Patients should thoroughly research both the procedure and the practitioner they have chosen, taking the time to look at the credentials of their surgeon and talk through any worries they may have.
However, the potential pitfalls associated with overseas cosmetic surgeries could ultimately outweigh the advantages.
Patients undergoing any invasive medical procedure deserve to have the right knowledge provided by their practitioner and confidence in the care that they will receive throughout - the risks that can come with medical tourism mean that this isn’t always possible.
For maximum safety and understanding, it would be recommended that you save up the necessary costs to have your surgery performed in the UK instead, where you are covered in case of any injuries or issues that could occur as a result.
Read our guide on how to find a safe cosmetic surgeon in the UK. Alternatively, if you have been a victim of clinical negligence as a result of a botched cosmetic surgery, get in touch with us and we will assist you with your claim. Call 0808 189 7709, or request a callback by completing our contact form.