What are the risks of having cosmetic surgery overseas?

January 26, 2018

There’s no question the idea of having cosmetic surgery overseas can seem appealing. The prospect of undergoing a cosmetic procedure for a fraction of the price you would typically pay in Australia in a location where you can recover pool-side in a luxurious resort seems like a win-win scenario.

However, before you book your tickets, there are a few factors you need to consider before deciding if it is ultimately going to be a smart decision.

Do you have any assurance of safety?

While the websites of overseas cosmetic surgery clinics will no doubt paint a beautiful picture of what to expect with pictures of sleek and modern facilities and glamorous resorts you can stay at while recovering, you won’t be afforded the same safety assurances as you would in Australia.

Not only are the qualifications, experience and safety records of the surgeon and clinic highly important factors to consider when deciding where to have the procedure performed, it’s also important toconsider the safety assurances from the regulatory framework they are operating under.

In Australia, we are lucky to have very stringent medical registration standards and safety regulations, which are overseen by the Medical Board of Australia. To give you an idea of what that includes, their set of Guidelines for registered medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures provides anoverview of the standards your Australian medical practitioner would be required to adhere to.

As the guidelines only apply within Australia, if you opt to have cosmetic surgery performed overseas, you won’t be afforded the same protections as you would when undergoing the procedure in Australia.

Are you covered if something goes wrong?

All surgical procedures carry an inherent level of risk, no matter how safely they are performed. Even if you choose a surgeon and clinic with an unblemished safety record, there is always a risk of complications.

In the case that something does go wrong during or following the procedure, most travel insurance companies won’t cover it. Most travel insurance companies will only cover ‘unforeseeable medical emergencies’, which excludes emergencies resulting from an elective cosmetic procedure.

This means you will be responsible for the cost of any additional medical treatment or medical evacuation that is required, making what started out as the ‘cheaper option’, the ‘far more expensive’ option.

What happens once you return home?

When you have cosmetic surgery overseas, it’s important to consider the added level of risk you are exposing yourself to by not having access to the same post-treatment follow-up and after-care you would have if the procedure was performed in Australia.

Imagine this scenario: You’ve had a successful procedure overseas and waited out the initial recovery period to ensure everything is healing as expected, before returning home to Australia. A few weeks later, you suspect something is not right and think you need medical assistance. What do you do?

If you do experience complications following cosmetic surgery, it is integral that they are addressed quickly and adequately to ensure they don’t result in more significant complications down the track. However, because your surgeon and the clinic is overseas, it’s not as simple as making an appointment to have the issue reviewed by your doctor.

Instead, you’ll need to seek advice from a local doctor who did not perform the procedure and doesn’t have the same in-depth knowledge of your individual circumstances. In the case they do they identify something significantly wrong, you won’t have many avenues for recourse with your surgeon given they are overseas.

Don’t take the risk

At ME Clinic, we’ve often been tasked with the job of ‘fixing’ problems which resulting from budget overseas cosmetic procedures that have gone wrong, so we know too well just how important it is to have your cosmetic procedure performed in Australia by a highly qualified and experienced surgeon.

At ME Clinic, our friendly team have more than 30 years of cosmetic medicine and surgical experience to share with you, along with an unparalleled safety, after-care and patient satisfaction record, giving you added peace of mind that your procedure will be performed with care, diligence and to the highest standard.

To discuss your requirements with one of our highly skilled doctors or clinicians,

book a no obligation consultation with ME Clinic today.


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