The Perils of Overseas Surgery
by Dr Ashley Granot
It's enticing - Cheap cosmetic surgery and a holiday as well.
It sounds too good to be true because it is too good to be true!
Would you take your child on an overseas trip for surgery because It's cheaper and there may be five star accommodation and a holiday thrown in? Of course not! So why subject yourself to the risks involved.
The trend of going overseas for cosmetic surgery is a passing phase. It cannot last the test of time because it has basic flaws in the concept and increases the personal risks for the patient.
Surgery is a serious matter which requires research, investigations pre operatively, good health department accredited facilities and an ethical and skilled surgeon with expertise in the type of surgery that the patient is asking for.
A Skype or telephone consultation is a poor alternative to a thorough face to face consultation with your surgeon. Often a second or third consultation is required to establish a rapport with your surgeon and his/her staff. Nothing compares to a physical examination and thorough pre surgical medical testing. This is not possible with surgical tourism.
The quality and training is often in doubt with the overseas surgeon and pumped up internet stories do not prove the surgeon's skills and competence with the patients specific surgical requirements.
We have skilled surgeons in Australia and the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgeons (ACCS) is there to train and accredit doctors specifically in cosmetic medicine and surgery.
What about the aftercare? This nonsense about 5 star hotels close to the operating suite does not substitute for 1st class management at home with the support of loved ones and the surgical team. One or two weeks of aftercare is grossly negligent. Patients should be monitored for at least six weeks post op and often 12 month post op to look for problems and progress. This cannot be done in the tourism set up. Even the flight home after surgery increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
What about problems and revision surgery, whatever the cause!? What? Another one or two trips overseas for revision surgery?
With every surgery there is always a potential for the need for touch ups or a substantial revision.
At the me clinic we are constantly (a number of times each month) asked to repair a botched cosmetic surgical outcomes from overseas surgery.
My advice €" Surgery is not a holiday and the post operative period is not for playing but for recovering under the watchful eye of the surgeon and his staff.
Do not play surgical Russian Roulette; stay home where your health is the primary concern.