UK patients warned of cosmetic surgery tourism dangers
18 September 2009Patients in the UK are been warned against the dangers of travelling abroad for cosmetic surgery treatments from unethical clinics, following an increase in the number of patients reporting complications from their surgery abroad over the last 18 months. According to the Guardian, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) conducted a poll of its member surgeons and found that a quarter of respondents were reporting a rise in the number of patients complaining about complications from surgery undertaken abroad. One surgeon claimed that he had personally seen more than 16 cases over the last 18 months. The top five countries that were implicated in rising patient complications were found to be South Africa, Poland, Belgium, Turkey and Thailand. Some of the most popular procedures carried out abroad are tummy tuck and breast enlargement procedures, which can lead to complications if carried out by unskilled surgeons. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons represents approximately one in three plastic surgeons in the UK, and aims to promote ethical cosmetic surgery and combat the dangers of unethical practices. Research of unethical overseas clinics published during the Association's annual three-day conference in Cardiff found that 90 per cent of clinics did not mention the risk of complications, 39 per cent did not disclose details of the surgical procedure, and more than half only offered consultation prior to surgery down the telephone or online. However, it has been claimed that the growing number of patients reporting cosmetic surgery problems is partly due to the increasing popularity of surgery, which is seeing more operations performed each year. BAAPS president Nigel Mercer explains: "There's no doubt we are seeing more problems because more people are having cosmetic surgery. The number of firms set up to organise packages is also increasing." Patients can ensure that their cosmetic surgery procedures are carried out by skilled practitioners by avoiding unethical clinics overseas and insisting on fully qualified clinics and surgeons.