BAPRAS warns patients will not get continuity of care if they go abroad for cosmetic procedures

16th October 2008


Hamish Laing, Honorary Secretary of BAPRAS today said that patients must think carefully before deciding on having cosmetic surgery abroad.

A paper published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, highlights that NHS resources are being used to treat patients who have gone aboard for cosmetic surgery because of deficiencies in post-operative care.

Commenting on the paper, Hamish Laing said:
“When patients choose to have a cosmetic procedure in the UK, the consultant who conducted the surgery would provide the patient with any necessary aftercare. If something does go wrong, either a complication arises or the outcome of the procedure is unfavourable, it is relatively easy for the problem to be rectified.

“While in some cases, it may seem more cost-effective to have the surgery abroad, we would urge people to satisfy themselves that the surgeons and facilities are subject to the same level of independent oversight as in the UK.

“No surgery is without risk or potential complications, and patients need to know how they would deal with this when they are back in the UK. This should be balanced against any cost savings that might arise from travelling abroad. There is also a greater risk of deep venous thrombosis in people taking long flights and having operations and this too should be considered.

“Unless it is an emergency situation the NHS would refer the patient back to their original consultant.  This is not a possibility if the procedure was conducted by a surgeon overseas.  The benefit of having the same consultant throughout your care should not be underestimated.”

Patients considering undertaking a procedure abroad can read our information guide here


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