From blood poisoning to ruptured implants, stories of inexpensive cosmetic surgery abroad gone wrong are countless, often with fatal results. Dennie Lees, a 24-year-old from Birmingham travelled to Belgium for her breast augmentation. Only one week later her implants ruptured. Yet when she went back to Belgium for a second pair, the problem was not fixed, as one became infected and had to be removed. The worrying part is that Dennie is only one of thousands of women who go abroad for treatment every year, and come home dissatisfied, or worse, with their health compromised.
Clinics like the one Dennie experienced often fail to meet basic standards of care. They do not provide patients with the relevant information and have inexperienced surgeons. So, when the surgery inevitably goes wrong they have no system in place for dealing with problems and complications.
What is the real problem with going abroad for surgery?
Post-surgery complications can be common in any country, but it particularly becomes a problem if the surgery is done abroad. Going back to the same country for a second operation is unsafe and impractical if you are suffering a surgical-complication and need a second procedure, no matter how experienced the surgeon may be. It pays to remember that despite some of the recent news about the state of the UK health service the standards here and techniques and technology available are some of the best in the world.
Can going overseas for surgery ever be safe?
The responsibility ultimately lies with the patient. For those insistent on going overseas for surgery, usually for cost reasons remember to do your research beforehand. Learning the credentials of surgeons and clinics is invaluable. Taking out complications insurance is essential. But these precautions will not necessarily mean that your health can be ensured, and paying a bit more to have the surgery done at home under the proper care is safer. It means if there are post-operative complications, they can be fixed easily.