It may be cheaper but is it worth the risk? The dangers of Cosmetic Surgery tourism

It may be cheaper but is it worth the risk? The dangers of Cosmetic Surgery tourism

18 August 2015

We all love a bargain. Whether it’s 50% off the designer hand bag you’ve been lusting after for months or a last minute deal on a weekend away, getting the best value for your money feels fantastic.

But a cheap price can often mean compromising on quality – and this makes discount Cosmetic Surgery, offered by over-seas clinics, a bit of a gamble.

More and more Brits are heading to foreign Cosmetic Surgery clinics, lured by the cheaper prices they offer. In a bid to capitalise on the trend – and boost tourism to the area – South Korea has announced new plans for tax breaks on Cosmetic Surgery.

Not only is the South Korean government excluding Face Lifts, Breast Augmentation and Liposuction from VAT charges, but the country will also refund visitors 10 percent of the cost of their Cosmetic Surgery as of April next year.

The South Korean government hopes to make 3.5 trillion won – that’s almost £2 billion – from medical tourism by the year 2020, after the number of procedures performed on tourists tripled in 2010.

British surgeons, however, are warning patients to be wary about the standards of procedures performed abroad. According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) the number of patients complaining about procedures performed abroad is increasing, with most BAAPS members stating a rise of between 25 and 35% in the past five years.

A primary concern is the lack of regulation for Cosmetic Surgeons over-seas. In the UK a Surgeon’s performance is strictly monitored, with regular training and independent reviews. A British Surgeon must also be specially registered to carry out Cosmetic Surgeries and perform over 5,000 procedures in order to be considered as ‘highly qualified’. None of this is compulsory for foreign Surgeons however, and so standards vary or one destination to another.

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