People get cosmetic surgery for a variety of reasons. In 2022, over 31,000 cosmetic procedures were conducted in the United Kingdom. Some wish to enhance their appearance to boost self-confidence. Others hope to correct physical abnormalities that they are embarrassed by.
Regardless of the reason, there’s one thing that everyone thinking about cosmetic surgery would agree on. The price can be steep. Sure, what’s affordable is largely subjective, but for the average person, it is still pricey.
Many people are hesitant about dropping several thousands of pounds on surgeries that aren’t life-critical.
This is where the concept of traveling for surgeries comes into play. Medical tourism isn’t a new concept. People have been visiting countries in Southeast Asia for a while now for more affordable medical costs. In the context of cosmetic surgery, countries like Thailand are popular destinations.
Today, we will explore the implications for Britons who desire to travel for cosmetic surgery.
Are The Costs Saved Worth The Health Risks?
Surgeries are indeed much cheaper in countries like Thailand. It would typically cost anywhere from £8000 to £10,000 for a breast augmentation in Bristol. The same surgery can be had for under £3,500 in countries like Thailand. That’s tempting, but is it worth it?
The UK has many great surgeons, and unassuming cities like Bristol are known to be great for cosmetic surgeries. A report from The Independent some time back listed Bristol among the top 20 cities to get cosmetic surgery.
For those with the means, having surgery done in the UK is a no-brainer. However, for cash-strapped individuals, the cheaper prices abroad make them take risks.
Quality and safety standards are a massive concern when you travel for cheaper cosmetic surgery. You can never be one hundred percent sure that the surgeon’s credentials are valid. If things go wrong, legal recourse can be extremely difficult.
As a side note, if you choose to travel, don’t forget that airfare will eat into your savings. Thus, you should add anywhere between £500 – £1,000 to the supposed “budget option.”
A Track Record of Danger
The internet is full of articles explaining the dangers of cosmetic surgery done in poorer countries. They aren’t wrong. However, before we look at the more striking dangers, a key concern to look at will be insurance coverage. In most cases of elective surgeries, insurance providers aren’t going to support you. You will need to specifically pay for travel insurance to get treatments abroad.
The last thing you want is to face a complication once you arrive home and deal with NHS wait times. Complications can be frightening and expensive when you choose to pay out of pocket.
Sara Platt, a mother of four, fought for her life after the cosmetic surgery she had in Turkey went wrong. Similarly, Casey Lee, who visited Thailand for cosmetic surgery, received the wrong implants and suffered severe infections.
Both women needed to spend lots of money in the recovery process due to their botched procedures.
We aren’t saying that procedures done in the UK are perfectly safe. Mistakes can happen everywhere. Surgeries handled by the best surgeons in the world will still carry some degree of risk.
According to Sherif Wilson, complications like hematomas and wound infections can occur after the surgery. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it is a possible risk. This is understandable and normal.
We are more concerned about the dangers that arise from a lack of training and poor quality standards. Let’s explore further.
What Sort of Complications Can Occur?
Cosmetic surgery complications can vary from mild to severe, depending on a number of factors. From surgeons who lack experience to inadequate post-op care, issues can arise from every corner.
Infections are probably the most common category of complication faced after a poorly handled cosmetic surgery.
They are caused by poor hygiene, inadequate sterilization, and contaminated surgical materials.
As a result, deep tissue infections can occur, which cause cellulitis and abscess formation. You also run the risk of systemic infections, which can be life-threatening if not addressed immediately.
Poor surgical outcomes are another very real possibility. Surgeons in the UK might be expensive, but they are well-qualified. This means that besides a few exceptions, the aesthetic outcome of the surgery is mostly satisfactory. Getting surgery in a less affluent country often results in noticeable scarring and asymmetry.
If you are a Briton thinking about getting cosmetic surgery, it’s crucial to conduct sufficient research. The complications and health risks that come from getting affordable surgeries in developing nations may not be worth it. Aesthetic reconstructive surgery to fix a botched procedure may end up costing far more than a procedure in the UK.
Remember, even if you manage to find a reliable surgeon abroad, it’s impractical to revisit them for follow-ups. You will have a better experience by saving a little more money and opting for professional surgery in the UK.