Cosmetic surgery abroad is booming, with thousands of people lured by the cheaper prices. This beautiful tourism though isn’t always the safest option – instead of returning home with improved looks, many patients are stepping into an expensive and unattractive nightmare.
Botched cosmetic procedures overseas are on the rise with nearly half of patients unhappy with the results, and one in five needing corrective treatment when they return home. It’s a cheap attraction, with people taken in by the stunning 5-star resorts, relaxing by the pool and their new look combined with a much needed holiday. What people don’t realise though, is that you’re not on vacation and enjoying the hotel’s amenities – you’re locked away in you’re room recovering.
So what happens when something goes wrong with your procedure abroad? Will the extra costs be covered by healthcare insurance? Whilst the advantages of saving money, increased procedure choices and greater privacy outweigh the risks for many – you get what you pay for. People are trying to save a few dollars but instead they’re letting price dictate quality. We check out the procedures and risks involved, and what happens when cosmetic surgery abroad goes wrong.
One of the biggest advantages of cosmetic surgery abroad, apart from the cheap prices, is the wide choice of treatments offered. The most important thing though, is choosing whether you really should travel for the procedure that you want or not.
Some procedures easier to cope with abroad than others, whilst major surgeries require more recovery time and carry bigger complications that can be enhanced with travelling. The most common procedures overseas include facial cosmetic surgery, breast implants or breast uplift, male breast reduction and body lifts, liposuction and thigh lifts.
Numerous stories have been released over the news in recent years regarding the risks that come with cheap cosmetic surgery abroad. From physical scarring, infections, blood and silicone poisoning and decreased self-esteem, cheap foreign surgery can even lead to amputations and be fatal.
Unfortunately many countries that offer these cheap attractions require no qualifications for cosmetic surgery to be carried out. Whilst some patients can undergo cheap surgery that is safe, many fall victim of risks involved with untrained or unskilled cosmetic surgeons.
Other risks can stem from clinics and services abroad that aren’t hygienic. Depending on the location of where you go, some “operating theatres” are nowhere near the hygienic standards of what they should be, resulting in life threatening infections.
The location choice should be carefully thought out to help eliminate problems. Language barrier, climate, religion and culture, infection rates and general level of facilities should all be considered. You wouldn’t go on holiday without doing extensive research first, so checking the skill and expertise level of surgeons and facilities is just as crucial.
When Something Goes Wrong While You’re Abroad
For most of us there is nothing worse than being far away from home, family and friends when something goes wrong. This lack of support during recovery time or for medical complications can be a big issue for many patients. When complications from cosmetic surgery abroad arise it usually means extra hospital stay, extra nights at the hotel and additional costs of rearranging flights. For most patients that experience these complications, the added cost of corrective surgery on top is enough for the cheap attraction to turn into oneexpensive nightmare.
If you opt for surgery overseas, you need to be absolutely clear about what expenses are covered by your health insurance should something go wrong. Its unlikely travel insurance will cover additional costs, so you need to know beforehand who will pay for these expenses. For those with health insurance, it’s vital the terms and conditions are checked before a final decision is made.
You will also need to check if the clinic pays for any issues that are their fault; this can include infections from poor quality care or bad hygiene. If complications arise that aren’t by the clinic or doctor’s fault, will you be left to pay for these? Whilst some specialist insurance can cover part of the expense, it may not assist in additional costs caused by complications so be sure to research and check the terms and conditions and fine print.
When Something Goes Wrong Once You’re Home
One of the biggest risks of cosmetic surgery – regardless of where you are – is infection. In most cases this does not develop until days or weeks after the procedure and by this time, you’re probably already home. When you get cosmetic surgery locally, you can always check back in with your doctor if something does go wrong but with surgery abroad, you don’t have this luxury.
Depending on where you live and where you travel for your procedure and the laws associated, all depends on who pays for the emergency treatments or medical appointments. The situation can get complex, and once you leave the country and clinic to go home – it’s very easy for them to wash their hands clean of any complications that arise down the track.
If you’re having cosmetic surgery abroad, health and travel insurance is a must. But, if you find yourself needing to access medical care to treat any problems once you return home, the insurance costs will escalate significantly afterwards as a result – leaving you with a bigger overall bill for cosmetic surgery than you had budgeted for and part of cosmetic surgery horror story.
When you decide you want cosmetic surgery, it’s usually to enhance your image whether face or body. Whilst everyone is striving to save money, cutting costs with your health is never a good idea. Patients want a successful outcome of a high quality service with a trained medical specialist that can guide them through the process before, during and after. Majority of the time, choosing some in your own country to take care of this provides patients with the safest and better option – even if does mean forking out a little extra.
In any case, research is vital. You should always understand where you stand with the clinic, what the procedure entails and the fine print of the contract – even more so when you’re opting for surgery abroad. If there is any doubt, qualified legal advice should be obtained to ensure your rights are made aware of and protected, and additional costs covered before you agree to any treatment.