NHS spending millions on corrective surgery for botched plastic surgery abroad

23 February 2018

NHS spending millions on corrective surgery By Plastic Surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer

The issue of cheap plastic surgery abroad is something I’ve touched upon in some detail in previous articles, and I’ve always aired on the side of caution; yes, plastic surgery can often be cheaper in other countries when compared to the United Kingdom, but often at the expense of safety, which should always be paramount. Now, a new report conducted by the Mirror has found that the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is paying out millions of pounds to correct botched cosmetic procedures performed abroad, with the average cost of a corrective procedure in the UK coming in at around £6,000.

According to the report, more than £30 million has been spent by the NHS on corrective procedures to fix botched surgeries which have often been performed by unqualified surgeons in other countries, leaving some patients permanently scarred. It was revealed that more than 1,000 women each year arrive back in the UK following botched plastic surgery with numerous issues, such as holes in their skin and wounds that do not heal adequately. The report went on to say that four out of five surgeons in the UK are dealing with more and more corrective surgery cases each year, with some even saying it accounts for nearly 40% of their entire work.

In the newspaper’s report, it was revealed that Turkey was the worst place for botched cosmetic procedures on UK nationals, with one surgeon who operates from a room above a supermarket highlighted the most due to a series of complaints from a string of women who claim he has caused both physical and mental damage because of his surgeries.

Dangers of cheap cosmetic surgery abroad

As a result of the report, British cosmetic surgeons have once again warned people about the dangers of cut-price plastic surgery procedures abroad as they’re often performed by surgeons who are not experienced enough, or worse, not qualified and regulated to be performing surgery.

I have always advised my patients to do their research before undergoing any form of cosmetic surgery in a foreign country - if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Many of the countries mentioned in the report don’t have the same strict medical regulations found here in the UK or other countries such as Australia or the USA. This means that patients return needing corrective surgery, which ultimately costs more than the original procedure would have cost in the UK anyway.

The president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, Simon Withey, said that he has seen numerous people who were not the correct fit for plastic surgery, and yet unscrupulous plastic surgeons have endangered their health in the name of profit.

He added that affordability was one of the biggest reasons for the continuing rise in ‘cosmetic medical tourism’, with adverts promising high-quality services at heavily discounted prices. Ultimately though, these adverts fail to mention the lack of regulations, the risk of post-op complications and the lack of post-op follow ups, resulting in thousands of patients returning to the UK needing costly corrective work.

If you are thinking about a cosmetic procedure, I would highly recommend taking the time to research the procedure and surgeon extensively before making any decisions. I would also recommend avoiding plastic surgery abroad as often the deals are simply too good to be true. If you’d like more information about the plastic surgery procedures I offer here at Harley St Aesthetics, please do get in touch today either through my online enquiry form, calling 0845 519 7232, or emailing: info@harleystreetaesthetics.com.


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