September 17th marks World Patient Safety Day 2023. We wanted to use this day to highlight the dangers of Cosmetic Tourism and how to keep yourself as safe as possible when opting for cosmetic surgery.

If you are interested in the world of cosmetic surgery, chances are you’ve seen at least one influencer or celeb promoting surgery abroad. Travelling to another country for a cosmetic or elective procedure is known as Cosmetic Tourism. The practice has seen a huge boom over the last decade rising by a staggering 94 percent in the last three years.

Turkey has become one of the most popular destinations for those seeking procedures like BBLs, liposuction, and weight loss surgery. What makes travelling overseas so attractive is the considerably cheaper price point and the luxurious all-inclusive experience these clinics claim to offer.

But while these clinics may seem safe, professional, and cost-effective on the surface, there are potential dangers and risks associated with travelling abroad for cosmetic surgery:

1.     Difficulty determining whether your surgeon is properly qualified

As the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) highlights, there are excellent surgeons outside of the UK. But it can be difficult to check their credentials. In the UK, all qualified plastic/aesthetic surgeons will be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC).

Other countries use different systems and due to varying standards and qualifications, it is not always easy to discern whether your plastic/aesthetic surgeon is fully qualified.

All surgeons who work with La Belle Forme are fully accredited on the GMC register and belong to professional bodies such as BAPRAS and BAAPS.

2.     Less robust regulations

Some countries may have less stringent regulations and oversight of cosmetic surgery practices, which can increase the risk of complications and malpractice. For example, in the UK all private hospitals and clinics are regulated by bodies such as the Care Quality Commission and Health Improvement Scotland which ensures facilities adhere to strict standards and are inspected regularly.

3.     Aftercare concerns

No surgical procedure is free from risk. However, choosing to undergo surgery at home in the UK means you will have continued access to aftercare following your procedure.

Data compiled by BAAPS reveals a growing number of people are returning to the UK with complications ranging from wound healing problems to life-threatening sepsis. There is no guarantee the NHS can fix your issue if it is not life-threatening. You will likely be directed to having your complications treated by your original surgeon for which travel can be expensive or impossible. Having surgery done in the UK means that any complications can be seen to quickly and by the surgeon and medical team who performed your surgery in the first instance. La Belle Forme has a dedicated pre and post-op nurse who sees patients on a daily basis throughout the week as well as nursing staff on hand 24 hours a day to assist our patients.

4.     Travel related risks

The NHS highlights that air travel and major surgery increase your risk of developing a blood clot. It is recommended that you should wait 5 to 7 days after procedures such as breast surgery and liposuction, and seven to 10 days after facial cosmetic procedures or tummy tucks before flying.

You should ask your surgeon about this risk before deciding to travel abroad.

The main takeaway

The purpose of this post is not to shame cosmetic surgery providers located overseas, it is to keep the public as safe as possible. To minimise the risks associated with cosmetic tourism, individuals considering procedures abroad should thoroughly research the destination, medical facility, and healthcare provider, seek recommendations from trusted sources, and consult with qualified healthcare professionals at home. Additionally, carefully weigh the potential cost savings against the risks involved and consider the long-term implications of undergoing cosmetic procedures abroad.

Why choose La Belle Forme ?

La Belle Forme is a premier cosmetic surgery and aesthetic clinic in the UK, led by Clinical Director and Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Mr. Shoaib. The clinic prides itself on providing the highest level of care and expertise to all its patients.

We are fully regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS). Read more about our recent inspection. All of our surgeons are also fully accredited on the GMC specialist register.

If you would like to book a consultation or find out more about cosmetic surgery at La Belle Forme, phone us on 0141 552 0828, email us at enquiries@labelleforme.co.uk, or submit an online enquiry for a call back from one of our dedicated team.