Cairns Plastic Surgery Blog

Overseas plastic surgery: you can’t ignore the facts!

Cairns Plastic Surgery - Wednesday, December 02, 2015

It’s nearly the beginning of a new year – can you believe it?

During the last few weeks of 2015, we like to reflect on the year that was, and, more importantly, on the year that will be.

What are you thinking about? Resolutions, goals, desires, and more? Perhaps one of those desires is a certain plastic surgery procedure?

Those interested in plastic or cosmetic surgery have normally spent many months thinking about it. And what better way then to take the first step with a consultation in 2016!

If you’ve been thinking about a particular procedure, the thought of overseas plastic surgery has no doubt crossed your mind. They play into temptation: they offer cheap prices and often brand these experiences as “plastic surgery holidays”. It all sounds pretty nice… on the surface.

But there’s a hidden risk of heading overseas for plastic surgery. Things that aren’t shown on fancy websites or in pretty brochures. Read on to learn the risk you take when you head overseas for cosmetic surgery.

Plastic surgery in Thailand can be risky.
Thailand is, without a doubt, stunning. But this is hardly how you'll be spending your time there.

Overseas plastic surgery and the risk you take

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) published a media release last October warning Aussies considering overseas plastic surgery, after the death of a British woman following cosmetic surgery in Thailand.

The media release, in short, warns Australians that “many patients suffer complications requiring corrective surgery” upon their return to Australia. You can read the full document here.

In more recent news just as shocking as the previous case, attention was once again on overseas surgeries following the death of a women from the Gold Coast after she suffered a cardiac arrest while getting buttocks implants in Mexico.

The main risks you take are that:

a) Plastic surgeon regulations are much weaker overseas, so you might not truly know the qualifications, education, or experience of your surgeon

b) Materials used are also lightly regulated, particularly breast implants. Implant stickers and serial numbers used overseas are sometimes faked, luring you to believe your surgeon is using recognisable implants (approved by Australian standards). These sneaky tactics dramatically reduce an overseas surgery’s reputability.

Are these risks you are willing to take?

 

Cosmetic surgery holidays… without the holiday part

While it sure sounds nice to think of beaches, pools, and hotel service during recovery, it’s pretty obvious once you actually think about it that post-surgery recovery looks very different. Depending on your procedure, you will likely need to limit movement and activity, avoid waters that could infect wounds, and avoid any strenuous activity (even something so seemingly trivial like carrying shopping bags or luggage cases).

So while from afar a plastic surgery holiday might sound like a perfect way to recover, reality tells us that recovery is a lot different. (Read this blog to learn a little more about breast implant recovery or this blog to learn about liposuction recovery.)


Plastic surgery in Thailand – breast implants and augmentation

When you elect for local surgery, here in Australia, you’ll likely meet with nurses as well as your plastic surgeon several times to discuss in great detail your wants, his or her expert opinion and recommendations, and much more (including payment options, a carer to take you home, hospital plans, etc.)

Overseas, particularly plastic surgery in Thailand, there seems to be a real lack of face-to-face discussions: horror stories have told us that you might only meet with a surgeon on the day of surgery – for mere minutes! It’s enough to make you question your choice, and wonder if the surgeon even fully understands your requests.

When it comes to Aussies travelling to Thailand for breast implants or augmentation, they’re often unaware that overseas practises may not meet Australian standards.

We have very strict rules when it comes to safety and effectiveness, while other countries are more lax. (And did you know labels and serial numbers can be feigned to make them look authentic? It’s a scary thought!)

But Aussies are getting smarter, according to the stats. This article says that previously, around 15,000 Australian women ventured to Thailand for surgery, but that number has dropped by 20%. 

That same article quotes Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery chief censor Dr John Flynn, who says, “at least 15 per cent of my breast surgery practice is correcting problems from overseas.” That’s not a great stat.


Where does the key lie?

Simply put: the key lies in education.

Getting the realistic facts, instead of pretty pictures of beautiful beaches and fluffy white towels in classy hotel rooms is how you will make a smarter and safer cosmetic surgery decision.

A truly qualified plastic surgeon will not cut corners or rush a job to get as many patients as they can through their doors.

But plastic surgery at the best of times is still a fickle endeavour. There is no such thing as guaranteed results – if your surgeon promises this or that from a procedure, they’re not being truthful (and that is your cue to run!)

Thinking about overseas plastic surgery? Get the facts.

And, if something does go wrong?

Cutting corners, which is, unfortunately, not uncommon in these popular overseas cosmetic destinations, often result in rough and imprecise technique.

While your health and safety is, of course, our main concern, there’s no avoiding the uncomfortable thought that if something were to go wrong, further surgery – here in Australia – might be required, and that means shelling out even more money than you would have, had you elected to choose an Australian plastic surgeon.


Book a consultation!

The best thing about choosing a local plastic surgeon like Cairns Plastic Surgery means that every point of the process – from initial consultation and surgery to post-care and communication down the road – is done with one team. We’re with you the whole way, offering you advice, help, and care whenever you need it.

Reach out to us and let’s take the first step of this journey! Book in a complimentary consultation with one of our friendly nurses – let us know your thoughts, wishes, and questions. Here’s to 2016!


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