Australian plastic surgeons recently reported a 38% increase in the number of Australians needing revisions after having cosmetic procedures done overseas. More concerning is that almost two-thirds of these surgeons saw patients whose results were so bad that the “victims would remain permanently disfigured”. These finding underscore the risks involved with going abroad for cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery. While in some cases, the cost of the procedure itself may be lower, the risks involved and total travel costs may not be worth it.

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons are not the only ones concerned about “cosmetic tourism”. American professional organizations have also issued warnings and recommendations on the potential risks of having surgery, cosmetic or medically needed, done in other parts of the world. 

The lack of proper recovery, follow-up and an established patient-surgeon relationship may contribute to the risks and poor results.  

The Australian report also found that:

  • 72% of botched overseas surgery cases could not be entirely corrected
  • Almost half of these cases could have led to life-threatening complications
  • Almost 70% of botched jobs were breast related and 15%t were facial procedures
  • Though cheaper, many overseas operations were not performed by fully qualified professionals
  • The average cost to attempt to fix errors was A$5754 (US$5840)

As with any other health-related decision, it is wise to get more than one opinion and research your options. A choice made on cost alone is not always wise.