Surgeons in the UK have warned about the possible dangers of having cosmetic surgery procedures performed abroad.
The warnings come after a British patient died under anaesthesia during an operation in Bangkok to correct a botched cosmetic surgery procedure that had ended with her wounds becoming infected.
The Bangkok clinic where the plastic surgery procedure took place has now been closed down and the surgeon involved, who it transpired was not licensed to perform the surgery, has been charged with causing her death by negligence.
The woman was one of thousands of Britons who travel outside of the UK and EU every year for cosmetic surgery, many of whom book a “cosmetic surgery holiday”.
Although Thailand in particular has become a hub for cheap cosmetic surgery as prices are typically a third of what similar procedures might cost in Europe or the United States, the woman’s death has exposed the country’s lack of regulations.
When people are considering getting cosmetic surgery abroad, it is extremely important to do some thorough research beforehand.
Patients need to be sure the plastic surgeon is properly qualified to carry out the procedure they are considering and that any cosmetic surgery clinics they plan to visit have the qualified staff and equipment to cope with medical emergencies.
People who want to have cosmetic surgery abroad are often looking for a cheap deal but they need to have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery they want. It only takes a minute of searching online to find photos of bad cosmetic surgery procedures that went wrong.
Standards and guidelines are not always as tightly controlled as they are in the UK and although it is true cosmetic surgery abroad often costs less than it does here it is crucial to weigh up any possible savings against potential risks.
Plastic surgery wherever it is performed, is never risk free. If complications arise during or after a cosmetic surgery procedure in the UK, it is part of the surgeon’s duty of care to their patient to provide follow-up treatment.
This kind of aftercare is not always so straightforward following cosmetic treatment abroad.
There are many cases where the idea of cosmetic surgery abroad is sold as a treatment plus a holiday. People will often hand their money over to sales people without first meeting or visiting the surgeon or clinic involved. This is madness.
Cosmetic surgery is a serious undertaking and people need to be fully aware of what the procedure involves and what the potential complications may be.
Choosing a fully trained plastic surgeon abroad can prove difficult due to language barriers and varying standards and qualifications. It is thus vital that surgeons are able to explain all the issues involving a person’s treatment and answer any concerns they may have.
Paul Sankey is a Senior Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
For a free consultation about how to claim compensation for botched cosmetic surgery either done in the UK or abroad, call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we will call you. From outside the UK call +44 20 7657 1555
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