Dangers of Overseas Surgery

Dr Graham Sellars - dangers of overseas surgery
Dr Graham Sellars

Despite the horror stories and increased awareness, many tourists are still flying to other countries for a nip and tuck, nose job or the most popular, a breast augmentation. These patients are looking for cheap cosmetic surgery and are often lured by the idea of a “holiday” in an exotic and beautiful holiday destination. The results, however, are not always a bargain. So many Australian plastic surgeons report cases of patients who require corrective plastic surgery after they have their initial procedure overseas. Dr Graham Sellars, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in Wahroonga NSW is one of these surgeons and discusses with us the Dangers of Overseas Surgery.

Let’s Look at a Couple of Real Patient Horror Stories – Dangers of Overseas Surgery

Courtney O’Keefe’s story appeared on Nine News a few weeks ago and she’s certainly one patient who learned the hard way. This 28-year-old lady is still suffering from serious health complications due to her breast surgery in Bangkok, four years ago. Courtney fell ill immediately after her breast augmentation surgery and started suffering from seizures and several organ failures, including heart, brain, liver and kidneys. It turns out Courtney picked up a Thailand based superbug that took months of quarantine in hospital and specially developed antibiotics to fix. She also ended up having her implants out which is where it is suspected the superbug was festering.

Penny is another patient who had big problems with her breast surgery in Thailand and ended up having to have revision surgery back in Australia. It also ended up costing her much more than she thought she’d save by travelling overseas for her surgery. Read Penny’s story here.

Lack of regulation in many countries can lead to unforeseen and unnecessary tragedies such as what happened to these two women and so many more. Postoperative care is crucial for recovery after a complicated surgery and opting for plastic surgery abroad means that complications cannot easily be dealt with once you have returned home. Standards fluctuate from one hospital to another, thus making it difficult to assess the performance of a surgeon. Australia is a first world country with some of the highest medical and hygiene standards in the world. Dr Sellars concurs. “Plastic Surgeons are very well-trained in Australia and the training here is very well recognised internationally. The standard of training and Plastic Surgeons we produce in this country is excellent. Postoperative care is a critical part of any surgery. This is most important immediately after surgery where often patients can be unsure as to what to expect. Reassurance and availability of your surgeon to check on things is crucial. My staff are always very helpful regarding follow up and I like to follow up on all my patients for at least 12 months to check their final result.”

Here at the Hub we implore you to reconsider having your surgery overseas. There might be a few success stories out there, but it seems that for every success story, you’ve also got a horror story. Our Aussie plastic surgeons are some of the best in the world, indeed we have patients travelling from other countries to ensure they get the best surgeon possible for their procedure. Your body is not something you should be messing with, and we think that risking your health because of a price tag is not really a smart move.

If you’d like more information on Dr Graham Sellars check out the blogs below or if you’d like to arrange a consult with him phone (02) 9473 8577.

Trip to Tonga – Life Saving Surgery with Dr Graham Sellars
Abdominoplasty – Helping with Incontinence and Core Strength