Overseas Surgery Risks
Considering having cosmetic surgery overseas? While the idea of a holiday in an exotic location while you recover from surgery may sound appealing, the reality is often very different. There are many risks of ‘medical tourism’ that are not well known.
It is important to ensure your surgery is performed by a fully-qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon in an accredited hospital. There are stringent standards in Australia, but this is not necessarily the case in other countries.
The decision process cannot be short-circuited over the internet, with photography and email as a substitute for personal appointments with a qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
As you will read below, your pre-operative and post-operative care are an extremely important part of the process.
Risks & Pitfalls
- You will not know how good your overseas surgeon is going to be – being trained in Australia, the UK or the USA is not a guarantee of expertise.
- The hospital you’ll be booked into may not be equipped to handle a clinical emergency, should one occur.
- The post-operative period is crucial to your recovery, yet you generally will not receive the appropriate level of after-care with your overseas surgeon.
- All surgery requires a recovery period. Post-surgery is a poor time to holiday. It is a time best spent at home with close family helping in your recovery.
- You will have very little recourse with your medical tourism organiser or overseas surgeon should something go wrong.
- Some of the worst complications we see are in patients who have travelled overseas. No medical regulation in places like Asia means the risk of post-operative problems is much higher. Such complications are not only physically and emotionally distressing, they can cause long-term trauma.
- In the case of breast augmentation surgery – if you return to Australia with an infection post-surgery, the public hospitals will remove your implants and work to clear up the infection. Implants will not be replaced in the public sector, so you will need to see a private plastic surgeon. Correcting bad surgery may end up costing you much more than if you had surgery in Australia in the first place.
So, before jumping on a plane, make sure you are fully informed.
To read more about why you should stay home for your surgery, please view the following links:
- Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) – Plastic Surgeons Warn of Overseas Surgery Risks
- Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) – Why Having Cosmetic Surgery Performed on Home Soil is Worth the Wait