Three Chinese women have hit the headlines after being detained at an airport following cosmetic surgery. The procedures left the women looking nothing like their passport photos, leading them to be detained by the South Korean Immigration Office.
So, could cosmetic surgery alter your appearance so much you might not get recognised and is it ever a good idea to seek treatment abroad?
Is it possible to look completely different after cosmetic surgery?
The aim of good cosmetic surgery is not to alter your appearance beyond recognition – leading London cosmetic surgeon Mr Paul Tulley’s aim is always to enhance your natural beauty by subtly improving or rejuvenating the face or body. In fact, the three women who were detained looked nothing like their passport photos because their face was severely swollen and wrapped in bandages. So, it was more to do with the side effects of the procedures, rather than the results.
However, this recent story is a good reminder of the dangers which can come from heading abroad to have cosmetic surgery. One of the UK’s leading independent plastic surgery associations, BAAPS, of which Mr Tulley is a member, recently released shocking figures relating to the amount of botched cosmetic surgery procedures that members are having to deal with.
Understanding the risks of having cosmetic surgery abroad
A lot of people consider having cosmetic surgery carried out abroad. This is because it can be significantly cheaper. However, that’s often because there are fewer regulations abroad and many surgeons offering low-cost treatments do not meet the standards that British plastic surgeons adhere to. This significantly increases the risks of surgery.
Aftercare is also a key component of the cosmetic surgery journey and can be as important as the surgery itself. Returning to another country soon after your procedure means that it is impossible to receive the same level of surgeon-guided care as you typically receive from a UK plastic surgeon. Also, once you take into account the travel, accommodation and spending money required to go abroad for surgery, it often doesn’t end up much cheaper than having it done at home.
As BAAPS indicated in their latest research, almost 80% of their members had recorded a rise in requests for revision plastic surgery, which means fixing ‘botched’ surgery resulting from the work of another practitioner. There were three broad reasons why this revision surgery was on the rise and they indicated that 30% were a result of patients undergoing ‘cheap’ cosmetic surgery abroad.
Many people don’t realise the dangers of seeking cosmetic surgery abroad. Therefore, it’s advised patients do as much research as possible before deciding whether or not it’s worth the risk. Remember, the results of the cosmetic procedure are something you’ll have to live with for a long time so you need to be confident you’re getting the very best care.