UK warning on cosmetic surgery abroad

With the further easing of travel restrictions coming into effect, UK surgeons are issuing caution to those considering cosmetic and medical procedures abroad.

Bessam Farjo at the Farjo Hair Institute, Manchester has stated he is concerned about seeing vulnerable patients attracted to cheap cosmetic surgery offers abroad, now the travel industry is opening up. His views were mirrored by Naveen Cavale of London-based Real Plastic Surgery.

They contend that UK surgeons have seen a marked decline in revision surgery in the NHS and private sector, required for patients who received ‘botch jobs’ performed abroad over the past 18 months. They are now cautioning patients considering post-lockdown medical tourism deals and offers.

Farjo asserts: “Hair transplants when performed correctly by a doctor in a safe setting can be transformative for the patient. Certain destinations abroad have been at the heart of a growing market of cheap medical tourism targeting vulnerable hair loss patients. I am not looking forward to seeing poor patients who have had cheap surgery abroad coming in with serious health complications. It is important that people considering surgery abroad are fully informed. There are absolutely qualified and reputable surgeons based in medical tourism hotspots, such as Turkey. I have colleagues based there who are just as upset by the situation and are actively lobbying the Turkish government to bring in stricter regulations to improve ethics and standards. Sadly, there are still a lot of cowboys so patients need to be extremely vigilant when choosing a clinic, in the UK or beyond.”

Cavale adds, “The cost of cheap surgery abroad can be life-threatening. If there is a complication post-surgery once the patient is back home, it can have devastating effects. If someone went abroad for a cheap breast augmentation, but once back in the UK there is an issue of blood collection around the implant which may very well require urgent surgery and care. A surgeon in a different country isn’t necessarily going to be much help because of the distance, whereas if it was in the UK with an experienced surgeon, we would be able to get the patient back in quickly to remedy the situation.”