Health: Is surgery abroad safe?

More and more people are travelling abroad for cosmetic procedures, but the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons is concerned about complications that can arise as a result of the language barrier, lower standards of care in other countries than would be allowed in the UK and the potential lack of after-care. A third of surgeons questioned for a survey by BAAPS say they have seen 'much more' repair work over the last five years on patients who had previously travelled abroad for surgery, with just under half saying they've seen at least three-to-five cases in the last year alone where there have been problems.

 If you're considering a cosmetic surgery treatment or even a Botox treatment, make sure you follow the BAAPS 'SURE' advice:


S: Check your Surgeon’s credentials and qualifications. Your cosmetic practitioner should be a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), and have furthered specialised studies in plastic surgery. Check that they are on the GMC specialist register, and are a member of BAAPS (, 020 7405 2234) or a suitable professional organisation. The Department of Health website provides guidance about the ‘letters’ following surgeons’ names.

U: Make sure you Understand what’s involved, and that you are informed about the potential risks of each procedure, be it surgical or non-surgical. You should be advised of where this will take place. It should be in a supervised medical facility, not someone’s front room, hotel or at the hairdresser’s.

R: Be clear about the process of Recovery, and what the long-term implications are of any cosmetic treatment. You need to understand the nature of the ‘downtime’ required and after-care options

E: Review your Expectations. It is essential your hopes are compatible with what can actually be achieved. Someone who thinks the procedure will magically change their life may not be right for surgery.


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