Can I have breast asymmetry surgery in abroad?

This is an option. Cosmetic surgery can be cheaper abroad and the thought of having your surgery followed by a short holiday is rather tempting. There are numerous cosmetic surgery clinics in various locations around the world. These include South Africa, Thailand, Brazil, Spain and Greece.

If you are considering this then adopt the same approach as you would do here. Check the credentials of your surgeon; think about the aftercare and how you will attend you follow up visits and the cost. The quote may seem cheaper than here but don’t forget, you will have the cost of your flight and accommodation to consider. When you add that onto the quote then it can work out a great deal more expensive than here.

There have been concerns raised by BAAPS/BAPRAS about the quality of treatment available overseas. They have seen an increase in the number of patients who require ‘corrective’ surgery once they return home. This is because the surgeon was unlicensed or unqualified; the facilities and treatment were less than professional or that the surgery itself was unnecessary.

In all walks of life there are people who are less than honest and there is the risk of going to a clinic where they are only interested in profit. There are unscrupulous surgeons who will recommend a procedure, or procedures which are totally unnecessary. This is all done to make money. Cosmetic surgery is seen as a ‘cash cow’ by those people and unfortunately, some people fall victim to these bad practices.

What is happening is that people are lured in by ‘special deals’ and undergo surgery which results in them needing ‘repair’ work afterwards. Many NHS surgeons have had to undertake repair work on people who have had ‘botched’ surgery.

The advice here is to choose your clinic and surgeon carefully. Look at the standard of care and facilities available. Is it clean and of high quality? Do the staff speak English? Are the standards the same as in the UK? Is the surgeon ‘board certified’? Is he/she a member of a professional organisation which is very similar to BAAPS or BAPRAS?

A big issue is that of aftercare. Some of these providers do not provide an aftercare service which is vitally important. If something goes wrong you need to be able to access your surgeon immediately. You will require access to medical care and in these cases that isn’t available. People have the surgery and are discharged the next day to recuperate in a hotel with no follow up care. If something goes wrong and they develop complications then the hotel is simply not equipped to deal with this.

There is also the issue of having to undergo a long flight back home when you are less than well. Cosmetic surgery places a fair degree of stress and trauma on the body and the recovery time is important. You will be very tired, sore and generally, under the weather after surgery and need time to recover. Can you face a 10 or 12 hour flight back to the UK whilst feeling like this?

If aftercare is offered then do you need to book a flight to return to the clinic for your follow up visit? A better option may be one where the surgery itself is carried out in another country but the pre-surgery and post-surgery check ups are carried out here in the UK.

You need to check if the quote for your surgery includes aftercare, medical and nursing care, surgeon’s fees etc. You may find that you have to pay extra for these. If you develop a side-effect or a complication during, or after the surgery then is that covered in the original quote?

When you are discharged, are you taken to a private room within the clinic/hospital or are you sent to a hotel?

You will find that some cosmetic providers will offer a ‘holiday package’: this is where they will combine the surgery with a short break in a hotel. Whilst this sounds very nice it should detract from the fact that you are having cosmetic surgery which is a major undertaking.

If something does go wrong then can you contact the surgeon or clinic? If it requires you to have further surgery then do you have to pay for that? If it results in legal action then are you able to do this bearing in mind that this can very from country to country.

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