It pays to stay at home for cosmetic surgery

Spire Cheshire Hospital’s cosmetic consultants have seen a sharp rise in the demand for corrective surgery following substandard cosmetic surgery abroad. They are warning patients in Cheshire that are lured by reduced cost, minimal waiting times and the accessibility of ‘surgery safari’ are risking infection which is often a false economy which may cost them their health as well as a lot more money.

Mr Douglas McGeorge, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Spire Cheshire Hospital comments:

“There are clear guidelines in the UK regulating cosmetic surgery. We have seen an increase in the amount of corrective cosmetic surgery at our hospital, which is worrying, as it means that more and more people are going abroad for surgery. It is difficult to judge the qualifications of the surgeons, or gain access to aftercare, vital if there are any complications. We offer extensive support following surgery, meaning that patients have access to assistance 24 hours a day.”

With the UK cosmetic surgery industry predicted to grow by 52% over the next four years [i], foreign clinics are taking advantage and are heavily targeting UK patients over the Internet with spurious cut-price holiday surgery offers. This, combined with the fact that a quarter of Brits are considering having cosmetic surgery abroad because of lower prices [ii], means that patients are exposing themselves to unnecessary risk due to the lack of the surgeon’s experience or qualifications and the inadequate aftercare provided.

According to Mr Douglas McGeorge, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon the risks associated with surgical procedures are dramatically lessened when patients choose properly trained and qualified practitioners. He has the following tips and advice to help people make an informed decision.

  1. Check your surgeon’s credentials: All reputable UK surgeons are registered with the GMC (General Medical Council) and industry bodies such as BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) and BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons). All members undergo thorough screening and are annually audited.
  2. Continuity of care: Gold standard aftercare is essential following any surgical procedure. Don’t forget that the cost of surgery in the UK includes follow-up visits and all remedial work. It is therefore important to check what post-operative support that you will get as part of your care package.
  3. The importance of Consultation: The consultation process is vital in helping the consultant to moderate client expectation to ensure a successful outcome. The consultant’s role first and foremost is to protect the patient and to determine the most suitable procedure that will have the desired outcome. Any reputable surgeon will explain the risks of surgery and how these can be overcome.

(i) BAAPS Keynotes Mar 2008 Cosmetic Surgery report
(ii) Mintel’s Health and Wellness Holidays report  2007

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