These days, it is common for Australians to take what is called a Medical Holiday to lower the cost of their medical expenses.
A medical holiday involves travelling overseas to a country such as India or the Philippines for a short period of time to receive surgery. The types of surgery that people have on a medical holiday varies from dental surgery to eye surgery, and also cosmetic surgery, which is what I’ll be focusing on.
Below I have outlined some of the issues to consider before choosing whether to have cosmetic surgery overseas.
1. Lack of Regulation
Cosmetic surgery overseas is often poorly regulated, especially compared to over here in Australia. Here there are strict processes and guidelines which aim to reduce risk for patients, and result in a quality outcome. In order to ensure that patients are looked after at each step of the process, Australian surgeons have multiple meetings with the patient before the procedure to ensure they know exactly what is going to happen, and to ensure that the surgery will be safe for them.
Unfortunately, overseas surgeons are not required to follow these strict guidelines, which can result in a riskier surgery, with a greater chance of unsatisfactory outcomes.
2. Qualifications and Experience
Because of this lack of regulation, it’s also possible that the person who is performing the surgery on you does not have appropriate qualifications and experience in the field.
I would also like to add here that in most cases, the patient will only meet with the surgeon for a very short period of time before the surgery, and often on the same day. This does not allow the surgeon enough time to properly analyse the patient and ensure that it is safe for them to undergo the surgery.
3. Communication Breakdown
When getting overseas surgery, you risk experiencing a communication breakdown between yourself and the surgeon. Keep in mind that in many cases, English may be their second or third language.
You should carefully consider whether you want to risk a communication breakdown with the person who is performing surgery on you. In the past, people in this situation have had surgery performed on different body parts than requested because there was an issue with communication at some point in the process.
4. After-Surgery Care
Something people also need to be aware of when getting surgery overseas is how their after-surgery care will occur. It is assumed that once your surgery is finished, after a week or so, you will return to your home country.
Cosmetic surgeons in Australia will generally perform any check-ups or revision surgery for either a minimal fee or no cost. However if you have had your surgery overseas, and you require further care and in some cases, further surgery to fix any complications, you will need to use an Australian cosmetic surgeon for this. In some cases, this can result in surgery that ends up being more expensive than if you had stayed in Australia.
5. Implants do not meet Australian standards
Australia have strict standards on the types of breast implants that can be used in cosmetic surgery. The implants that surgeons use overseas may not meet these standards that are in place in Australia. Because of their choice to have overseas surgery, many women today are walking around with implants that may cause them future harm because of the materials that were used in the manufacture process.
As you can see, there are many risk factors to consider when having your cosmetic surgery performed overseas. These can not only affect your appearance after the surgery, but also your overall well-being in the short and long term. In many cases, the patient will end up spending more money to have the surgery performed overseas because of the follow-up care and surgeries after the operation when they return to Australia.
If you are considering taking a medical holiday for your cosmetic surgery, I strongly urge you to approach it with caution and take into consideration the points which I have mentioned above. Consider speaking to a local surgeon first (some offer free consultations) to get a professional opinion, and always research your options thoroughly before making a decision about your body and your health.