Within the UK, and particularly with regards to plastic surgery, there are more and more people turning to what is known as medical or ‘health tourism’. That is traveling abroad to have work carried out, lured by the incentive of cheaper prices and the prospect of a holiday thrown in.
Last month’s ‘Health Tourism Show’ at Kensington’s Olympia was proof of its growing popularity, with seminars and exhibitors enticing visitors by highlighting the massive savings that could be made compared with current UK prices.
But what might seem to be an attractive proposition at first can often wind up costing far more than it would to have stayed at home.
Leading consultant cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon, Mrs. CC Kat highlights the case of 42-year-old mother-of-two, Jacqueline Evans whose dream cosmetic surgery holiday to Poland for a tummy tuck quickly turned into a living nightmare.
“Mrs. Evans, like many others, took the perfectly reasonable decision to have a tummy tuck to improve her self-image and boost her confidence. She discovered that it was possible to get the operation done in Poland for half of what she would pay here and naturally decided to go ahead with it.”
But for Mrs. Evans, what had seemed like a financially sound deal was to turn very sour indeed.
Despite researching the surgeon’s credentials beforehand and finding those to appear more than satisfactory, nothing could have prepared Mrs. Evans for either the treatment she received or the outcome of the surgery.
The morning following the operation she was put in a taxi and sent to her hotel from where she had to travel back to the hospital on a daily basis for check-ups and dressing changes. An infection quickly developed which became swollen and left Mrs. Evans in an enormous degree of pain. The holiday aspect of the trip was never even entertained.
Once back in the UK, Mrs. Evans’s condition failed to improve when she found herself unable to show off her new, flatter stomach due to the horrendous, lumpy scar left there.
Mrs. Kat explains: “When Mrs. Evans came to me for the initial consultation I must say I was horrified by the state of the scar. The unfortunate and sad aspect of this is that nowadays it’s not at all rare. I am seeing more and more cases of corrective surgery being necessary as a direct result of botched ‘holiday surgery’.”
With the cost of the original operation and the corrective surgery needed to remedy the problems that arose, Mrs. Evans ended up spending twice as much as she would have had she had the procedure on home soil.
“For those choosing to have cosmetic surgery in the UK, as with anywhere else in the world, it is a major decision and those companies shouldn’t trivialize this by advertising the process as a so-called ‘holiday’.”
Mrs. Kat went on to warn: “They can’t provide sufficient aftercare, as once you’re back home there’s nobody to turn to if things go wrong.”
A lesson Mrs. Evans unfortunately learned to her own cost.