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Surgery Overseas & Abroad


Why go overseas for surgery?

Going overseas for your surgery has become more popular in recent times, mostly in Plastic surgery, but also in other specialities such as heart and bowel surgery.

Occasionally this may be because a strong family network exists abroad and will be Overseas surgery is increasingly popularavailable to help you recover after the surgery. Alternatively, a surgeon may be highly recommended or be an expert in their field, making overseas travel worthwhile.

Often, though, overseas surgery is sought because of cheaper prices or the thought of having a holiday whilst having surgery, returning to your friends and family back home as 'the new you'. Whilst this certainly seems attractive, a number of points should be kept in mind.....



What are the risks of surgery overseas?

The 'usual' risks


  All surgery carries risks, whether performed on home territory or overseas. You should discuss all risks carefully with your surgeon




  When considering overseas surgery, language is a very important factor. Even if your surgeon can speak your language, will the nurses and other team members also be able to communicate easily with you?



Clinic Location



Whilst it may be relatively simple to get to the overseas destination, will you be comfortable getting back? Flying for 12 hours with wounds and dressings may not be everyone's idea of a good time!

- Will you have any follow-up consultations? Overseas surgery makes this less likely. If you do need to return, then consider the costs of travel for this - this may quickly outweigh any benefits of cheaper surgical fees.



Surgical complications


  This is one of the main problems of overseas surgery. If you have any problems or complications, will you be able to easily return to the overseas clinic to be seen? If not, then do not necessarily rely on your local hospital to solve the problem - in the UK, for example, the NHS will tend to treat patients with life or limb threatening problems only. Any other problems such as breast implant complications may be refused by the NHS and you will then need to return to the overseas clinic or pay for private care, which can be extremely costly.





  Make sure you are clear about the care you will receive after surgery. Will you stay in the hospital until you are well, be sent to a 'hotel' with potentially no trained staff, or be ushered onto the airplane regardless of your condition?



Surgical Training


  Many overseas countries offer excellent training to their surgeons and regulate them closely. Some countries, however, require much less of their surgeons to allow them to operate. Make sure you research your surgeon, and read our guide on how to choose a surgeon



Lack of friends and family


  Having surgery near your home will allow friends and family to visit, and be available should any complications occur. Surgery overseas, however, means that such a network may not be available. If possible try to travel with a close friend or family member you trust in case any problems occur.



Overseas surgery....a summary

Make sure you fully research your surgeon, the clinic and the aftercare you will receive. Try not to be influenced purely by the offer of cheaper surgery or exotic destinations - the most important factor is choosing the correct surgeon and clinic that will give you the best outcome. If you are unhappy with any plans, never be afraid to ask more questions or seek a second opinion.


The information provided is as a guide only. Please also read our disclaimer




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