At first glance, you can see the appeal of jetting off somewhere exotic for a spot of cosmetic surgery. If youâ€™re looking to have a surgical treatment such as a facelift, why not do it in a tropical destination such as Bali or Thailand, and recover poolside in a resort? Of course, surgery is not a holiday, and if you are considering a cosmetic procedure, itâ€™s vital that you have all the facts.
International cosmetic surgery
Over the last decade, there has been a surge in overseas clinics offering medical and dental treatments for Australians. Itâ€™s often sold along the lines of a package holiday, so you pay for the medical treatment (including pre and post-op appointments) and a set number of nights in a nearby resort. Most people who opt for overseas medical treatments tend to stay for a couple of weeks. The major appeal for many people is the cost, with the price of procedures often much lower than here. Add an exotic destination, and you can see why many would be swayed at the idea of medical tourism.
So whatâ€™s wrong with it?
We have no doubt that some people may have cosmetic surgery overseas and have everything go to plan. There are certainly potential issues, however, and while those offering overseas medical tourism would sell their services as professional, the fact remains that even if the practitioners are qualified and experienced, they are operating in a different health field to ours. The quality of service should be your first consideration if you are looking to have cosmetic surgery. Other issues include the potential for follow up should something go wrong once you are back home, and the fact that many practitioners here would not recommend a long flight after an operation due to the chance of DVT (deep vein thrombosis).
How serious is it?
As mentioned, many people may head overseas for cosmetic surgery and achieve their desired outcome. While itâ€™s hoped any issues people do encounter with overseas procedures are minor, tragically there have been a few reported instances of traveller deaths in overseas clinics. The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons has also issued a warning for Australians to be very cautious about travelling overseas for cosmetic or medical-surgical procedures.
What are the alternatives?
If age is starting to take its toll on your face, there are choices, and they donâ€™t all involve surgery.
Anti-wrinkle injections and cosmetic fillers are now some of the most popular procedures around the world, and for a good reason. These treatments may help plump the skin and soften visible lines, and they may be used in various areas of the face, including the brow, lips, and around the eyes.