Statistics released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons revealed that cosmetic surgery is still a thriving industry in the UK. According to the research taken from 2011, breast augmentation is the most popular form of treatment, followed by eyelid surgery, then face / neck lift.
In short, there are thousands of people in the UK, many of them aged 50 or above, who are seeking out cosmetic surgeons, with the aim of improving their appearance and turning back the effects of time.
Higher Costs Driving People Abroad?
Cosmetic surgery in the UK can be expensive. Of course, costs vary from clinic to clinic, but on average, a facelift can cost around £4000 to £5000, which is a significant amount of money for many people.
With prices often as much as 50% less than the UK, it’s no wonder that those seeking treatment often explore options overseas. Indeed, according to recent statistics, as many as a third of patients are now seeking cosmetic surgery abroad.
Anthony Armstrong, consultant plastic surgeon and chair of BAPRA’s clinical effectiveness committee, highlights that many patients ‘who seek cosmetic surgery overseas are often looking for a cheap deal’. However, the big question is: do the financial benefits of having cosmetic treatment abroad outweigh the potential problems?
Cosmetic Surgery Abroad: The Benefits
There are, of course, many excellent cosmetic surgeons across the world, not just in the UK. Although standards and guidelines differ considerably from British practices, this doesn’t mean that all overseas cosmetic clinics offer an inferior standard of service. Indeed, many clinics abroad offer fantastic facilities and highly qualified surgeons to carry out the procedure.
Depending on where the clinic is located, overheads may be considerably lower, which brings treatment prices down, sometimes by thousands of pounds. In addition to this, patients may find that accommodation is included, and that there is also the opportunity to explore the surrounding area and enjoy a holiday at the same time.
The Problems of Having Cosmetic Surgery Abroad
Anthony Armstrong makes the point that ‘standards and guidelines are not as strict everywhere,’ and that ‘standards are not necessarily as tightly controlled.’ This is a significant issue; and should not be taken lightly. As a result, when exploring options abroad, you should ensure that the clinic has the necessary credentials and qualifications.
One of the most major problems of having surgery abroad is aftercare. It is the surgeon’s duty to provide this; but this is complicated if you are no longer in the country! Few patients want to fly back to visit the surgeon if things don’t go according to plan, as this could incur extra expense, not to mention additional time and effort.
According to research carried out by Confused.com, close to 50% of all patients are not happy with the result of their cosmetic treatment, and as many as 20% will need corrective treatment when they return to the UK.
Douglas McGeorge, a surgeon and member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons concludes: “People are trying to save a few bob but they’re letting the price dictate the quality of their surgery. You get what you pay for.”