Over 15,000 Australian’s have taken the risk and travelled overseas for cosmetic surgery.
Medical and plastic surgery tourism is a growing trend across Australia. The cost of plastic surgery overseas is the main reason people chose to go abroad for their surgery. The number of botched or disastrous surgeries however is hard to ignore with some incidences resulting in death.
There are several factors which contribute to the questionable safety of low cost plastic surgery holidays. These including a lack of international regulatory frame works, uncertainty with regards to accountability as well as language and knowledge barriers. Language and knowledge barriers can potentially cause patients to not understand what they will undergo during their surgery.
Differences in regulation
Cosmetic surgery and medicine in general, is strictly regulated in Australia. This is to safeguard the safety of the public and ensure that there is no unnecessary risk or danger in undergoing a cosmetic procedure.
Although any surgical procedure carries some type of risk, there are laws that prohibit surgeons from performing surgery outside the bounds of reasonable safety.
Traveling overseas means forgoing these standards and forfeiting the protection of Australian medical law and regulations in terms of the surgeons practice – as well as products used.
The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons regulates the practice of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in Australia. However it is powerless to intervene on your behalf should you choose to have your cosmetic surgery done overseas.
Limited after post-surgical care
One of the most common implications of overseas plastic surgery is infection. This could be due to inappropriate surgical practices, unsuitable surgery conditions or poor post-surgical care.
Some traveling patients are able to maintain contact with their surgeons after surgery and keep-up with their post-surgery consultations and treatments. Although many end their holiday immediately after they have been discharged from the medical facility.
Post-surgery consultations are important for your recovery. They give both you and your surgeon the opportunity to discuss concerns and ensure that your recovery is on track.
Watch: Post-surgery consultation with Dr Moradi after breast implant surgery.
The strain of traveling after some surgeries can trigger a major setback, language barrier preventing patients from properly understanding their aftercare routine and lack of medical attention.
Cosmetic and plastic surgeons practicing in Australia are held accountable by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons for any danger they may place their patients in. This includes both negligence or accidental danger. Any case of medical negligence or endangerment happening outside of Australia is outside the derestriction of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. This makes accountability far more unlikely or difficult to pursue.
Choosing a plastic surgeon
Whether you chose to go overseas or have your cosmetic surgery done locally there are considerations you should make when choosing a surgeon. While cost is an important consideration, the risks of cheaper, unregistered ‘surgeons’ may cost you even more in corrective surgery and medical costs.
Is your surgeon registered?
The ASPS has a list of registered list of cosmetic plastic surgeons. The listed surgeons are both qualified and adhere to strict ethical and professional rules. This ensures qualifications are kept updated as well as working from certified medical facilities.
If you are still considering going overseas for your surgery it is advised that you find a similar regulatory body in the country where your surgery will be done. You should make sure your chosen surgeon is certified.
As an additional safety measure, you should contact the regulatory body and find out about the protection of the rights and safety of traveling patients.
Your surgery must be performed in a medical facility
Many people consider having mild surgery done at a salon or hotel room. Ensuring your procedure is performed in a certified medical facility will minimise the potential for greater danger of infection. Any level of surgery must be performed in a sterile environment with sterile equipment.
Make sure you and your surgeon understand each other
A language barrier before, during and after surgery places you at a great disadvantage. It can prevent effective communication with your surgeon or other medical staff. This is extremely dangerous in an emergency situation and can also result in your surgery not being done to your specifications.
Watch: Dr Moradi demonstrates the necessary depth of a pre-surgery consultation.
Always get a second opinion
Whether you choose to have your surgery done locally or you want to go overseas it is always good to get a second opinion. Research the cost of your surgery as well as the type of surgery that is best for you. While it is elective, cosmetic surgery is still a medical procedure with consequences for your health. Following the same process as with any other surgical procedure to ensure you are getting the best surgery for your needs is essential.
Certified Cosmetic Surgeon in Sydney
Dr Pouria Moradi is a qualified and certified cosmetic plastic surgeon registered by the ASPS. Esteemed by his patients and colleagues across Australia for his work and informative and open manner of consultation.