Considering Cosmetic Surgery Abroad?
Cosmetic surgery takes place where a person decides to have an operation or procedure to change their physical appearance for cosmetic purposes rather than medical reasons.
All surgery has risks attached whether it is carried out in the UK or abroad. The Royal College of Surgeons recommends that potential patients carry out extensive research as standards and guidelines vary from country to country.
Cosmetic Surgery abroad may be less expensive compared with the UK but any costs saving should be compared with the possible risks in respect of complications, who will look after you and whether you will have to travel abroad again for repeat surgery.
When considering cosmetic surgery abroad, regard should be given to the following:
- Beware of any hospital which markets cosmetic surgery as part of a holiday package.
- Never agree to cosmetic surgery prior to meeting the Surgeon who intends to carry out the procedure. You should also visit the hospital where the procedure will take place.
- Ensure that the Surgeon speaks English or another language that you both speak.
- Find out about all the planned and possible future costs, especially if things do not go to plan.
- When choosing a Surgeon abroad, ensure that he or she has the same skills and experience as if you were choosing a Surgeon in the UK. You should also ensure that the Surgeon is insured to carry out the procedure and ask to see details of the Surgeon’s insurance.
- Find out if the overseas clinics have someone in the UK that you can turn to if there are any problems after your surgery.
- Just as you would if the surgery was being carried out in the UK, make sure you research what the procedure will involve in terms of consultations, the procedure itself, risks, complications and after care.
- Follow up care is a vital part of any treatment and you need to ascertain where your check ups will take place, how easily you can travel back to where the surgery was carried out and how much this will cost. Be absolutely clear what your after care package includes. Make sure you have the contact details of a named doctor who can deal with any complications rather than a helpline.
- Make sure that the Surgeon and hospital notify you what insurance they have and what it will and will not cover you for.
- In relation to travel insurance, find out what it will and will not cover you for. It is likely that ordinary travel or holiday insurance will not cover you if something goes wrong during or after planned treatment abroad.
- Most importantly, remember that the NHS is unlikely to help you unless you have a serious complication which needs emergency or life saving treatment.