The dangers and pitfalls of having cosmetic surgery abroad can be very frightening. A series of high profile cases over the past few years has demonstrated the rise in popularity of consumers seeking affordable deals in countries like Thailand, and the disastrous consequences that can occur when things go wrong.
British citizen Joy Williams experienced complications when her wounds became infected after a procedure in Bangkok. Sadly, she died under anaesthetic last October while the clinic attempted to correct the surgery – her surgeon has since been charged with “recklessly causing her death” as he wasn’t properly licensed.
In 2010, Helena Grace booked herself in for rhinoplasty at one of Bangkok’s best known hospitals, but became distraught after the procedure as her nose was the wrong shape and she began to have difficulties breathing through one of her nostrils. The hospital suggested expensive corrective surgery and yet would not offer it free of charge. Despite spending four years battling for compensation, a judge recently threw out her complaint.
On further examination, the BBC reported that it is very rare for the Thai courts to award compensation for medical malpractice – patients looking to sue a hospital need to pay substantial lawyer fees up front, with little hope of winning.
Mike Saul, Head of Cosmetic Surgery Negligence here at TJL Solicitors, commented: “The lack of patient protection and regulation in the cosmetic surgery industry abroad can be very frightening. Consumers are tempted by affordable deals and clever marketing but no surgery is ever without risks, particularly in countries where the standards may be different to the UK.
“Although some people may undergo surgery abroad with no ill effects, these reports show there is also a proportion of cases that go terribly wrong and when this happens, the consequences can be devastating.”