Considering Surgery Abroad? – What Are The Risks?

Our mum blogger explores the risks of travelling abroad for your cosmetic procedures

You may be considering cosmetic surgery, and if you are, you will likely have dozens of questions from getting the right results to how you can pay for surgery. However, a fundamental question you should be asking yourself is…Have I chosen the best cosmetic surgeon?   

Many of us have considered having cosmetic surgery and some of us may even contemplate having this surgery done abroad. 

One of the fundamental reasons we are tempted to have our surgery abroad is because of the significantly cheaper costs and the fact that we can make a holiday out of it!  

Before you start buying new holiday clothes and booking your flights, there are a few things you need to be aware of. 

1.) Why is cosmetic surgery cheaper abroad?

We all love saving money… but do you really don’t want ‘cheap’ cosmetic surgery?

Surgery abroad can be cheaper because their costs are lower. The wages paid to the surgeons and staff abroad can be far less than those paid in the UK. Though when you have surgery abroad there may not be the same level of aftercare that you would get in many private hospitals in the UK. 

If you experience any complications on your return to the UK and need to see your surgeon, they are highly unlikely to have access to their team or support in the UK to assist you. 

This would mean having to travel abroad every time to receive further treatment. You would also need to take more time off work and have the extra cost of return flights and accommodation.

Paying for dedicated and accessible aftercare is a quality of a service that is reflected in the prices you will pay. Reassurance and peace of mind is worth paying more for.

2.) What are the extra risks of cosmetic surgery abroad?

With any procedure you undergo there will always be potential risks and complications that can arise.

Of course, the usual risks and complications of cosmetic surgery still apply, but there are specific risks of travelling immediately following cosmetic surgery, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). 

Generally, flying post-surgery is not advised as the risk of developing a DVT is significantly increased.  For those of you unfamiliar with a DVT, this relates to a blood clot that can form usually in the leg and can cause immobility and if left untreated can develop into a severe PE. A PE is a blockage of an artery and if you have had a recent prolonged anaesthetic or have been immobile for a substantial period, you are significantly more at risk of developing a PE. 

To decrease the risk of experiencing any of the above, it is imperative to wait at least 7-10 days post-surgery before hopping on a flight.  During the flight itself you should keep hydrated, avoid alcohol and keep mobile during your flight by regularly walking up and down, or even rotating your feet while you are seated will help.

3.) Will I be safe with a cosmetic surgeon abroad?

One of the main problems with having surgery abroad is that there are major differences in the standards and qualifications plastic surgeons are required to have. 

Here in the UK, plastic surgeons are regulated by the General Medical Council (GMC) and have adequate surgical training equivalent to that required to be a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. But abroad it is not always easy to determine the previous training and qualifications surgeons have undergone or whether they are even regulated! 

We can be forgiven for thinking a person who calls themselves a ‘cosmetic surgeon’ has surgical qualifications. But this is not always the case. Any registered medical practitioner can use this title, even those without any specialist surgical training! It is unthinkable today that any registered doctor could start performing surgical operations that are complex and risky without qualifications from an accredited surgical training body.

To summarise:

If you’re contemplating surgery abroad, make sure you are fully aware of all the potential risks and complications and don’t be clouded by the fact that you can combine your surgery with a holiday.

You also need to bear in mind that if anything does go wrong back in the UK, you’ll have to take time off work and fork out on more flights and hotels to make sure you’re reviewed and hopefully treated. Lastly- always do your research! Check your surgeon is a Plastic Surgeon and fully qualified for the procedure!

Never be scared to ask your surgeon in the UK or abroad what training and qualifications they have and specifically which organisations they belong to and are regulated by.  If you have a few surgeons that you are considering for your cosmetic surgery, it is vital that you do as much research as you can to ensure you are happy with their previous work, qualifications and training to remain up-to-date.

Mr Vummiti Krishnan at Pall Mall Cosmetics in Manchester, Liverpool and Newton-le-Willows

You can view all of our cosmetic surgeons on our website. Or you can come down to Pall Mall Cosmetics for a free of charge consultation in a comfortable and relaxed environment.

Pall Mall Cosmetics have convenient clinic locations in Liverpool City Centre and Manchester City Centre in addition to a purpose built hospital in Newton-le-Willows.

Complete peace of mind. 

Pall Mall Cosmetics have care advisors who are happy to help with any questions and queries. You can call them on 03300 58 44 55 or email for more information.

* You can read more about us by clicking here.
* You can read more about our Cosmetic Surgeons by clicking here.