The era of free trade and inexpensive travel has touched every area of our lives, and cosmetic surgery is no exception. The National Health Service doesn’t perform free cosmetic surgery procedures very often, so if you’ve been thinking of improving the way you look and feel using plastic surgery, you’re probably going to have to pay for it out of your own pocket.
Almost any medical procedure is expensive, so people look for ways to save money when purchasing cosmetic surgery. So-called medical tourism has become quite popular recently, and the prices for common cosmetic procedures can be a fraction of what you’d pay in the UK. Doctors in the United Kingdom report that it’s quite possible to find excellent cosmetic surgeons in many different corners of the world, but they also caution patients that medical tourism for plastic surgery can have serious drawbacks. We caught up with Landauer Cosmetic Surgery Group, specialists in cosmetic surgery in Newcastle, to find out more:
Consultations Are Important Parts of the Procedure
If you see an all-in-one price for a cosmetic procedure advertised from an overseas clinic, you might think that you’re getting the same level of service that you’d receive if you had the procedure closer to home. While the quality of the surgeon and facility might be comparable to what you’d receive in the UK, there are important parts of procedure that have nothing to do with an operating room.
Cosmetic surgeons consider the pre-operative consultations just as important as the procedures themselves. If you’re traveling overseas for your surgery, you might have a very rushed consultation, or even none at all with the surgeon that will be performing your operation. Most doctors in the UK schedule at least two consultations for their patients. Many patients report that they have a change of heart between these two consultations, and doctors adjust their approach accordingly. This is unlikely to be possible if you’re traveling to get your surgery, and a language barrier between you and the doctor can make what consultations you do get even less effective.
Standards of Care Might Be Lower
In the UK, it’s the responsibility of the surgeon to provide follow-up care, especially if there are complications. In other parts of the world, this isn’t always the case, and if there are complications you might find yourself turning to a healthcare system that you do not fully understand. The clinic where your procedure is performed might be state of the art, but the country’s hospitals might leave a lot to be desired.
Recovery Isn’t a Holiday
The term medical tourism sounds a bit like a holiday, and many services sell their foreign plastic surgery junkets like a vacation with a one-day detour to a clinic. In some cases, the patient only deals with the equivalent of a travel agent to sign up for treatment overseas. Patients are shown pictures of sunny weather and luxurious pools and beaches, but the reality might be much different. Recovery from cosmetic surgery can take days, weeks, or even months. Even after the most minor procedures you might be in no condition to enjoy your stay in a foreign country. You’ll almost certainly receive instructions from your doctor not to drink alcohol, go out in the sunshine, or undertake any kind of strenuous activity after your operation. That’s not a recipe for a fun holiday.