British surgeons condemn cheap ‘holiday cosmetic surgery’

History

Brits who travel overseas for cheap „holiday surgery” are turning to surgeons at home to fix things up when it all goes wrong.

According to a survey by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) doctors have had to deal with severe wound infections and tissue loss and in one instance the stitches had not been removed from a facelift patient. BAAPS is a non-profit organization based at the Royal College of Surgeons and says its members are disturbed by the amount of ‘botched’ work they are seeing.

The survey found that 14% of members had seen nine or more patients in the past year alone with problems as a result of cheap cosmetic surgery abroad; some 44% had seen at least three to five cases. BAAPS says a third of the surgeons said they had been asked to carry out „much more” repair work over the last five years. The survey showed that 53% of surgeons had seen dissatisfied patients who were treated in Poland, 44% saw patients from South Africa, and 36% had seen problem cases originating in Belgium; Hungary, Turkey, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Thailand and Malaysia were also mentioned.

It seems the main areas for concern are aftercare, language barriers that may mean some patients do not understand what they are told or are unable to communicate own needs, and in some countries, lower quality standards. Dr. Douglas McGeorge, the association’s president who is a consultant plastic surgeon, says counseling is often inadequate, individuals have no idea of the standards of care in the country they are visiting, and no knowledge of the abilities or experience of the surgeon.

McGeorge says follow-up is difficult and complications do occur that are usually left to the British system to treat. BAAPS says the survey indicates how important it is for patients to thoroughly research every aspect of the procedure they are considering, the benefits and the risks and also to consider the surgeon and their own expectations. BAAPS says patients should be careful not to base choices on discounts, price and other marketing tactics, but should make the best choice for their individual needs. (news-medical)

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