Thinking of having cosmetic surgery overseas? Think again...
There is no doubt that cosmetic surgery tourism is big business. In fact in a recent media release, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) estimated cosmetic surgery tourism to be a $300 million-dollar industry with more than 15,000 Australians travelling overseas to destinations such as Thailand and Malaysia each year.
While those figures may instil a false sense of security that overseas cosmetic surgery is safe and effective, the reality is far from it with the RACS also reporting that a worrying number of patients are returning with postoperative complications that can leave them permanently disfigured and reliant on Australia’s public health system for help.
Before you decide to assume the risks of undergoing cosmetic surgery overseas, here are a few important things you need to consider.
You won’t have the same assurance of safety
In Australia, we’re lucky enough to have some of the most stringent medical standards in the world. All Australian surgeons and cosmetic surgery clinics are required to adhere to a strict framework of medical registration standards and safety regulations which are overseen by the Medical Board of Australia.
The medical and surgical guidelines as set out by the Board cover everything from managing conflicts of interests, conducting patient assessments, obtaining appropriate consent, patient management, the provision of care by other health practitioners, the prescription and administration of medications, experience and qualifications, advertising and marketing, facilities and financial arrangements.
Each of these factors play an important role ensuring patients are always fully informed about their options when seeking cosmetic treatment and that the procedure will be performed in a safe environment by appropriately qualified medical staff.
When you choose to undergo cosmetic surgery overseas, your chosen clinic and surgeon is not subject to the same rigorous medical framework and you simply won’t have the same assurance of safety as you would when the same procedure is performed in Australia.
It’s difficult to change your mind
Imagine you’ve been planning your surgery for months, you’ve boarded the plane and made your way to the clinic only to realise upon arrival that you are having doubts or don’t feel comfortable with the surgeon or clinic.
When you’ve already made such a significant investment into your surgery, you may feel pressured to proceed with the surgery even if you’re no longer entirely sure about having it.
If there is any doubt in your mind about any aspect of the procedure or the competency of your surgeon, don’t go ahead with it. At Me Clinic, we’ve often been tasked with the job of fixing problems which have resulted from budget overseas cosmetic procedures gone wrong, highlighting the importance of choosing a highly experienced and reputable surgeon from the beginning.
You’ll be on your own if something goes wrong
It only takes a quick online search to see how often things go wrong when patients choose budget overseas cosmetic surgery clinics—then to make matters even worse, they’re usually left on their own to cover the cost of any additional medical treatment required to repair or minimise the damage.
While most of us take out travel insurance before we venture overseas, it won’t cover you for issues or emergencies which result from elective surgery. As overseas cosmetic surgery is typically considered to be ‘high risk’, they simply don’t cover it.
The same also applies to your private health insurance. While some private health insurers have previously offered policies which provided cover for overseas cosmetic surgery, they were quickly withdrawn from the market most likely due to the increased risk.
You won’t have the same level of access to post-treatment care
A major benefit of having cosmetic surgery close to home is the quality of post-treatment follow-up care you will have access to. Your recovery following surgery should be closely monitored, with round-the-clock access to medical advice or support if required.
When you have cosmetic surgery overseas, you won’t be afforded the same level of care. After you have waited out the initial recovery period and are deemed well enough to travel home, your access to medical care essentially ends there.
If any issues or complications arise after your departure, accessing the necessary support, advice and medical attention may be a challenge when dealing with an overseas surgeon and clinic. Your avenues for recourse will also be very limited if you do experience any major issues as a result of the surgery.
In addition, you will also be assuming an increased risk of developing other conditions such as deep vein thrombosis by flying internationally so soon following surgery.
Choose the safer option
Don’t put your life and health at risk by having cosmetic surgery overseas. Take the safer option and choose a local cosmetic surgery clinic like Me Clinic.
Not only do we have more than 30 years of cosmetic medicine and surgical experience to share with you, but we also boast an unparalleled safety and patient satisfaction record. We provide quality follow-up care to monitor your recovery and our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be available at any time, day or night if you have any concerns you would like to discuss.
Book a personal consultation with one of our skilled and experienced surgeons to discuss your requirements and find out why choosing Me Clinic is the better option for your health and wellbeing.