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5 dangers of plastic surgery tourism

By Jennifer Ranking

Over the last 4-5 years, there has been a growing obsession with looking good and improving your appearance to appear better looking. As such, the number of people choosing to resort to plastic surgery has increased significantly and this is largely down to the influence of the media and social networks such as Instagram.

The issue is, the cost of procedures aren't exactly affordable. As a result, patients are being priced out of the surgery and are looking for cheaper alternatives to get it done. There are many countries outside of Europe and the US which are considered bargain places for plastic surgery but patients should be warned that they can come with many risks.

How prevalent is plastic surgery in foreign countries?

Although there isnít completely accurate data recorded on just how many patients choose to travel to different countries for plastic surgery purposes, it is claimed that in the UK alone there were more than 63,000 people that travelled outside of the country to gain medical care each year with a large number of them people potentially seeking plastic surgery procedures. Popular destinations for medical tourism include:

  • India
  • Mexico
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Israel

It's estimated that there will be a rise in further medical tourism in the years to come, which is making the topic a rising concern for many health experts

Reasons for medical tourism

One of the main reasons why patients choose to have plastic surgery in foreign countries is due to the price. Patients can receive savings as significant as 90% lower than the usual prices, making the procedure far more affordable for many.

There are also other reasons for patients travelling to other countries:

  • There are new procedures available in other countries other than where the patient is originally based
  • Certain surgeons have large reputations that are known worldwide
  • Travelling for surgery can also be seen as a holiday for some
  • Patients have the ability to "hide" their plastic surgery through vacation
  • Thereís a perception that plastic surgery abroad is better quality

5 dangers of plastic surgery

Aftercare issues

On some occasions, there can be complications that arise with the plastic surgery shortly after it's been performed. You're likely to only be in the country for a limited period, however, considering you would have travelled to arrive there. This means you won't be able to receive proper aftercare if there are any issues or you may find yourself making several trips to discuss the matter with the original doctor, which could become costly.

Language barrier

Going to a foreign country, there can be times where the doctors can only speak the native language and not the one that you use in your home country. Consultations normally occur before surgical procedures but if there are issues with communication, you may not be able to voice your concerns correctly. This can put you at great risk when going through the procedure.

Difference in qualifications

It's relatively easy to determine whether a doctor is qualified in established countries. Referring to a disciplinary board or checking through records can make the process rather simple. However, qualifications in one country may not be the same in others, which means doctors will have varying skills levels. There are very few disciplinary organisations that accredit physicians that are based overseas.

Quality of facility

If you do happen to discover that a physician is qualified, it could still prove difficult to determine whether the safety standards of the facility that will be used are up to scratch. Their cleanliness and sterilisation units may not be as safe, meaning youíre still at high risk of gaining infection which will stall your recovery process. Furthermore, you'd also need to consider whether the supporting staff are completely qualified and trained appropriately to handle any complications that could occur during your procedure.


There is likely to be a lower quality of service in countries that are based overseas. There will be a different lifestyle compared to countries such as the UK or the U.S. This means you could be more prone to illness or infection when you go. This is why countries such as Thailand and Mexico require jabs before you arrive as their climate will be extremely different to what your body is used to.

To conclude

It can be an attractive proposition to save money on plastic surgery by going abroad, but if it means that you're at a higher risk of getting infected and putting yourself in danger, you need to ask yourself whether the cheaper price is worth it. Although plastic surgery Manchester based may be twice the price, knowing that you can get the right aftercare and expert service will mean you may resent from getting plastic surgery done in Cambodia, for example. makes minimal use of cookies, including some placed to facilitate features such as Google Search. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to the use of cookies. Learn more here

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