While the allure of cheap cosmetic procedures and cosmetic holiday packages might seem like a great way to ‘treat yourself’ or ‘improve your look’, Australian doctors are concerned about the rising number of complications from patients returning home from treatment.
Google “breast implants” and you’ll find an range of cheap overseas procedures and ‘holiday makeover packages’. It’s no doubt that Internet accessibility and exchange rates has bridgedthe gap in getting cosmetic surgery for many Australians, but this one trip you might want to skip.
In 2011 the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) published a media release strongly advising Australians to think twice before traveling overseas for cosmetic surgery.
The survey shown to ASPS revealed that “over half of those conducting cosmetic tourism revisions are seeing more patients requiring assistance in the last 12 months compared to the previous year. In fact, the average rise of cases for these surgeons is a staggering 38 per cent.” – with the most common kind of surgery conducted overseas requiring corrective treatment being breast surgery (representing 68 per cent of all revision procedures).
ASPS President Associate Professor Rodney Cooter warned that cosmetic surgery is no different to any other kind of surgery in that it carries serious risk and should be carefully considered. “Cosmetic surgery is no holiday. Cosmetic surgery packages sold as holidays downplay the importance of the post-operative period. Any kind of major surgery, cosmetic or otherwise, requires a high level of post-operative care. That means rest and healing time to reduce the risk of complications. It’s not about sunbathing, drinking cocktails, swimming and snorkeling before jetting home,” explains Associate Professor Cooter.
While the ASPS and Australian doctors strongly advised to carefully consider the risks of overseas treatment, it is important to note that some of the surgeons in these areas are highly skilled professionals.
It’s not to say that anyone who travels overseas for a procedure is going to come into complications, however they do urge people to consider the after-care and monitoring they will receive overseas compared with Australia – and who will help them if something goes wrong?
After all, despite the warnings in 2011, online searches seem to be on the rise, with the peak search volume increasing 20%.
It’s an increasing concern, especially considering the survey found some staggering results:
• 72 per cent of plastic surgeons conducting revisions on cosmetic tourism patients have had cases they were unable to completely correct.
• Almost half say they have seen cases that would have been life threatening without corrective treatment.
• 62 per cent have seen cases which have involved permanent disfigurement despite the surgeon’s best efforts because some complications can result in irreversible damage.
• A similar number have seen cases where the patient has been severely psychologically impacted as a result of their experience.
Although the initial price lure of overseas cosmetic surgery, Australians can also be in for a nasty financial shock after complications arise and reconstructive or revision surgery is needed.
The findings of the survey also show that the average cost of cosmetic tourism revisions to the patient to be an additional $5,754. In addition to that, recovery time can mean an additional two to three weeks, potentially meaning a loss of income for the patient as well.
At first glance a cosmetic holiday might seem like a nice idea, but maybe it’s time for Australians to reassess their options and think twice before traveling overseas for cosmetic treatment. Visit this website for more information on where you can find a trustworthy clinic overseas.