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Why Are People Still Travelling Abroad For Cosmetic Surgery?

Medical tourism has been increasing for many years, even before Covid, yet now that restrictions have eased again, interest in cosmetic surgery overseas has spiked again. With the number of revolutionary cosmetic surgery options available, you can nip, tuck, enhance or inject your way to a slimmer and more youthful you and although the majority of people would like to alter some aspect of their body, not everyone can afford costly plastic surgery. 

If you do a quick search on Google for “cosmetic surgery abroad”, you can quickly find many horror stories of cosmetic surgery gone wrong, which is enough to put anyone off. Although every cosmetic surgery carries some degree of risk, if you travel abroad for cosmetic surgery, then you are more likely to experience complications or a higher risk of infection. So, why do people still travel abroad for cosmetic surgery? Let’s find out some more as to the reasons why. 


Why Do People Travel Abroad For Cosmetic Surgery?

Medical tourism is hugely popular. Thousands of people each year travel abroad to receive cosmetic surgery treatments, but at what cost? One of the main reasons why people travel abroad for plastic or cosmetic surgery is down to the low cost, which makes it much more appealing. 

In the UK, there are many different guidelines and regulations in place to protect patients from complications from cosmetic surgery, but this also makes procedures more elective. This makes it difficult to obtain aesthetic and cosmetic treatments on the NHS, leaving many people seeking out private cosmetic treatment, which can be very expensive, thus driving more and more patients to cosmetic surgery abroad. 

Compared to the UK, cosmetic surgery treatments in these countries are much cheaper, making going abroad for cosmetic surgery more appealing to patients. By opting to have cosmetic surgery abroad, you can bring the cost down by up to 80%. Another reason why more people are choosing to travel abroad for cosmetic surgery is down to the wider range of surgeries on offer. Certain cosmetic procedures are banned in the UK, but are more accessible in other countries and at a cheaper cost. 


Where Do People Travel To For Cosmetic Surgery?

Those who travel abroad for cosmetic surgery often choose to visit a country that is renowned for certain treatments. Some of the most popular destinations for cosmetic surgery include Turkey, Poland, Thailand and the Czech Republic. Another of the attractions of travelling abroad for cosmetic surgery is the fact that so many facilities offering cosmetic surgery create bundle deals that include a “holiday” package, so many patients feel as though they are getting a good all-round deal. 

However, most patients are having quite large surgery treatments which require long periods of recovery, but when you travel abroad, often the healing process is rushed and, in some cases, patients can be on the journey home in as little as 3 days. This then opens patients up to further complications, such as DVT (deep vein thrombosis) during the flight, uncomfortable sitting positions that can put pressure on stitches and healing delays. 


What Treatments Do People Have Abroad?

Women often travel abroad for breast-related cosmetic surgeries, such as breast augmentations, which are the 2nd most popular cosmetic procedure in the world. This is closely followed by liposuction, then rhinoplasty and abdominoplasty. 

But, it’s not just women who are travelling abroad for cosmetic enhancements. Around 14% of all cosmetic surgeries are performed on men, with the most popular male cosmetic procedures including hair transplants, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty and liposuction. 

This breakdown between genders confirms something that many regulated surgeons already know – that the demand for cosmetic surgery is higher than ever. Around the world, more and more patients are looking to make the most of the innovative cosmetic surgery procedures available. 


What Are The Risks Of Having Cosmetic Surgery Abroad?

For some, the offer of cheap plastic surgery is far too good to resist. Although getting cosmetic surgery abroad may be cost-effective, it comes with risks and, in the most severe cases, can prove fatal. Before you start arranging flights and booking accommodation, you should familiarise yourself with the risks involved with having cosmetic surgery abroad. 

Air Travel 

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether you can safely fly following cosmetic surgery. All surgeries come with risks, but when you combine major surgery and air travel, this can be a disastrous mixture. Travelling long-distance immediately after surgery can be particularly dangerous, particularly when flying, and as air travel includes sitting or standing for long periods of time, this can be hugely uncomfortable and can cause untold stress to your surgical site. 

The biggest risk that comes with travelling too soon following surgery is an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis and, in the worse case, pulmonary embolism. This happens when you remain seated for long periods of time, which is common with long-distance air travel. 


Different Standards

One of the reasons why cosmetic surgery is more costly in the UK is that British surgery practitioners have high standards to adhere to as they report to boards and regulatory practices. There are costs associated with gaining accreditation, particularly in a highly regulated practices such as medicine and surgery. But, these accreditations aren’t the same in each country, meaning that in some, surgeons don’t need to be held to such high standards, meaning that the costs can be lower. That’s why it is much safer to visit London-based or UK-based cosmetic surgeons to reduce the risks to the absolute minimum. 


Considerations To Take Before Getting Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

Before you decide to undergo cosmetic treatment abroad, you first need to consider as to whether the benefits will outweigh the risks involved. Do your research into the clinic that you are interested in visiting and read reviews from previous patients. If you can, do some research into the surgeon who will be carrying out your surgery and see what accreditations they have and, if they don’t add up or they seem underqualified, avoid them at all costs. Remember, you’ll need time to heal, even if the clinic sends you on your way a few days after your surgery, so be sure to book a week or two off work depending on the surgery you choose. 

As well as this, consider as to whether you are making a hasty decision in deciding to go abroad for your cosmetic surgery. If the procedure you are considering is quite a big one, or comes with risks, then it may be a better decision to have your treatment locally. For cosmetic surgery in Manchester, there are many fantastic surgeons who are amongst the best in the country and, with this, you can be assured that you’ll get the best treatment in a relaxing and comfortable environment.  


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