Should you go on a Cosmetic Surgery Holiday? – The trouble with Overseas Surgery

Cosmetic Surgery Holidays?

Cosmetic Surgery Holidays

When it comes to plastic surgery, there are a number of factors to consider. What you should have done, which doctor you should choose, and what sort of long-term changes are you looking for. But while there’s plenty to decide as far as the procedure itself, once confirmed, there are additional factors to consider, such as location. Because of the expense and recovery time required with plastic surgery, many choose to travel out of the country for cosmetic procedures.  It pays to shop around here first, because once you add on the flights and downtime, you may find that that $4K boob job overseas plus expenses, is more than the $6K boob job in Sydney!

In theory, the idea of these “cosmetic surgery holidays” sound ideal. There are sights to see, foods to eat, and in the process, you can have a little work done. In reality, however, there are many more factors that add to this complicated trend.

First off, few can afford to take this much time off work, or life in general. While the surgery itself may be a cheaper alternative, one also has to take into account traveling expenses, lodging, etc. There’s also a strict healing process, which won’t allow for normal holiday-type activities. During cosmetic procedures the body goes through a very traumatic event, and resting and relaxing is the best way to help encourage a speedy recovery.

It’s also important to consider that eating or bathroom habits may not be the same as back home, and recovering in a country with different foods or restroom setups can cause an added bout of stress. Whether your body is unable to digest the foods or the toilets are just a little off kilter for your liking, it’s a layer of new experiences while your body is below its normal comfort levels.

Added issues could also arise from currency or language barriers, laws pertaining to medical records and so on.

Medical Standards of Overseas Countries

The biggest issue of all comes from varied medical practices. Depending on what country you travel to, there could be extremely lax medical laws. Doctors will have different training levels, as will nurses. In addition, cosmetic surgery tools could differ, as well as cleaning or surgery practices. This isn’t to say they will be unclean or unsafe, but it will be something your body hasn’t been exposed to before, possibly causing an allergic reaction.

Depending on your health insurance, overseas surgeries may not be covered. This could add another layer of fees that might not be clear upfront. And finally, if there are any complications, this could mean an added trip post-recovery. While local doctors could certainly help fix any unexpected injury, there’s no way for them to know exactly what steps your doctor took during your surgery.

Reverting to overseas cosmetic surgeries is certainly an option when committing to a cosmetic procedure on holiday. However, there are several issues that can arise from traveling out of one’s country for medical work. Be sure and check the cold, hard facts before deciding toward any steps that may cause permanent travel, monetary, or health issues in the future.

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There are no statistics that tell exactly how many Australians are travelling overseas for cosmetic surgery each year. Plastic surgery holidays are a growing trend however and it has been estimated that a figure of around 15,000 would be appropriate. The most common procedures being undertaken are either breast augmentation or reduction. The destinations are mostly within Asia with Singapore and Thailand being the most popular. It seems also that with the advent of packaged holidays combining cosmetic surgery with a luxury retreat, that the client is increasingly a twenty something year old woman.

There is no doubt that the major driving factor for this trend is cost. People are seeing that they can have the procedure of their choice combined with an overseas holiday for a price that is significantly cheaper than if the work was done in Australia. And the fact is that if the chosen surgeon is a member of a recognized international surgeon’s society and the hospital is a quality international hospital then the risks of getting complications are probably no different than if the work was done in Australia. It can however be difficult to assess the authenticity of any “quality hospital” claims and the credentials of the overseas surgeons. Regardless of this, it seems that the relative low priced procedures and the lure of a “holiday” are proving to be a successful marketing strategy.

Surgery however is risky by nature and a lot of cosmetic surgery is not minor surgery. The risks of complications such as an infection or an embolism are real. Because of this it is important that people considering plastic surgery do not treat it as though they were buying a product where price is the major driving factor. A lot of factors other than price have to be considered, the most important being the qualifications and the experience of the doctor and the quality of the facilities where the service will be undertaken.

The idea of a plastic surgery holiday sounds ideal. There are sights to see, foods to eat, and in the process, you can have a little work done. But whilst the risks associated with having the actual surgery may not be any different overseas, providing that the doctor is qualified and the hospital is reputable, there are some additional unique risks involved such as:

  • Flying home soon after having surgery can increase the risk of having an embolism
  • If complications arise after coming home then unless you fly back overseas the treating doctor will not be the same doctor who undertook the procedure
  • In addition to the second point, the additional consultations and possible rework will be an extra expense at Australian prices
  • Different country, different food, which can be unsettling in itself and can add to the risk of complications. Whether your body is able to digest the foods, or the toilets are just a little off kilter for your liking, is a layer of new experiences at a time when your body is below its normal fitness level
  • Depending on your health insurance, overseas surgeries may not be covered. This could add another layer of fees that might not be clear upfront

It makes no sense to knowingly increase the number of risks that you are exposing yourself to. So for someone who is not price driven, who wants the absolute best in doctor, hospital and after surgery care and who wishes to absolutely minimize the number of potential risks then the best solution is to have their desired procedure in Australia. And why not still have a plastic surgery holiday?

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