It sounds too good to be true. A holiday and getting the cosmetic plastic surgery you’ve been longing for may seem a good plan, initially. But as you no doubt hear regularly in the media, many people end up discovering that cheap overseas surgery or overseas medical tourism is not the bargain they hoped for.
No matter the procedure you are seeking, cheap overseas surgery comes with higher risks than choosing a qualified local plastic surgeon.
Here’s why discount surgeries are often not the bargain you’re expecting.
Do Not Take Plastic Surgery Lightly
Many factors go into getting a good result from a plastic surgery procedure. Cheap overseas surgery brings extra risks and potential complications, especially compared with choosing a well-known Surgeon in your local area. To quote Dr Barnett, “Surgery should not be viewed as a purely commercial transaction.”
And if you end up with botched surgery from an overseas tourism group, not everything can be fixed. Revisions are costly and emotionally draining.
Despite this, great surgeons still strive for excellence. In general, most specialist plastic surgeons find that the following aspects impact satisfaction with the final surgery result.
Patient expectations need to be reasonable. Surgery isn’t about performing miracles or full-life transformations. Every patient is unique which is why results can vary significantly. Your “dream look” may not be what you end up with. Discuss with your surgeon what is – and what isn’t – possible via surgery.
Patient and surgeon need to collaborate as a team, through pre-surgery discussions to determine the best surgery approach. Collaboration is also important during the post-op healing phase. The patient and the surgeon need to do their individual parts in a collaborative way, to a great result and minimise risks. This might mean wearing garments post-op, not overdoing it during recovery, not smoking, and keeping the communication channels going if any questions or discomforts arise. Remember, no question is a silly question.
Understanding Recovery and Risks
It is also important to understands risks, healing, recovery times and processes. You will need to have time to recover as relaxing during the healing phases of surgery can help the body heal faster.
Collaboration, Planning and Post-Op Care
All surgery is serious, and requires custom planning based on an individual’s anatomy and skin condition for a natural-looking, pleasing and anatomically-balanced result.
Cosmetic plastic surgery should never be taken lightly or seen as a purely commercial transaction. Remember, you will live with your results every day of your life. Cheap overseas surgery may not be the bargain you’re looking for, and if it goes badly for you, you will likely find yourself emotionally distraught at having risked an overseas surgery.
Surgery is always a collaboration for satisfactory results. Patient and surgeon both have roles to play in the pre-surgery preparation and post-op healing period. You may need to wear certain bandages or compression garments after surgery, for example. For some procedures, you may also need to wait for several weeks before resuming certain exercises or lifting children or grandchildren.
Scars can also take up to 12 to 18 months to reach maturity. There are some treatments that might reduce scarring. A local surgeon can manage this better than cheap overseas surgery.
Why Cheap Overseas Surgery Is Not a Bargain
In view of the items listed above that help make a cosmetic surgery experience a positive one with a satisfactory outcome, here’s why cheap overseas surgery options can be fraught with problems for some patients. Read an excerpt of Dr Geoff Barnett’s recently submitted answer to a patient’s question about a face lift.
“The decision to have a face lift should not be taken lightly. Do not compare it to purchasing a commercial product or item. You have to choose and assess your surgeon to be sure that he will address your individual ageing features adequately.
Your surgeon’s assessment of your unique anatomy and individual ageing features, and the methods to rejuvenate your face are critical factors. 1 to 2 consultations are usually necessary prior to proceeding with surgery; which is also important for fully understanding the surgery and risks (informed consent).
There are multiple ways to carry out a face lift; hence it is very important that you discuss your options thoroughly with your Surgeon, to collaboratively choose the most appropriate operation to achieve the best possible result.
Local Plastic Surgeons
I recommend local surgeons for two key reasons: (1) Face lifts also often need ongoing post-operative care, especially throughout the initial recovery period of approximately 6 to 12 weeks, to ensure no complications develop, such as hypertrophic scarring behind the ear; (2) Post-op flying risks, infection risks and potential language differences might impede communication, safety and results.
It is also ideal if your surgeon can help you with post-op scarring reduction and hence, you may require ongoing treatments such as Healite II or Fraxel to get more minimal scarring; and having cheap overseas surgery may limit consistency of care and your options for ongoing scar management.
These are just some of the key reasons why it is extremely important to do your research and think carefully before deciding on your Surgeon, including ascertaining their FRACS qualifications and hospital operating privileges.
Ask to see Dr Geoff Barnett by submitting an enquiry form phoning us on (03) 8849 1467. Dr Barnett’s offices are in Hawthorn East at 759 Burwood Road.