Many prospective patients considering cosmetic surgery increasingly choose to travel overseas for many different types of cosmetic surgery including liposuction. Patients often say that they chose to have liposuction overseas because the prices were significantly cheaper compared with the UK. At Centre for Surgery in London, it is our view that choosing to have cosmetic surgery overseas is not recommended due to the significant risks of complications occurring which may not be managed adequately. Many patients incur huge risks by choosing to have liposuction by surgeons who may be underqualified and lack the proper credentialing and cosmetic surgery clinics which may not be up to the same standards as those to be found in the UK.
Is it safe to travel abroad to have liposuction?
There are a number of risks associated with having liposuction and these risks are massively increased when patients choose to travel abroad to have liposuction. Although there are a number of very well-known and highly qualified surgeons outside the UK, it can be difficult especially with potential language barriers to carry out proper research on surgeons and clinics overseas. The General Medical Council in the UK holds a register of all qualified plastic surgeons which is easy to check online. There is a great variation in the levels of plastic surgery training and experience required to gain full registration in other countries and it can therefore be very difficult to compare the levels of experience of your chosen surgeon outside of the UK.
It is vitally important to carry out extensive and thorough research on the cosmetic surgery clinic and the surgeon before deciding to proceed further. In the UK, the Care Quality Commission is the regulator of all healthcare providers including cosmetic surgery clinics and regularly carries out inspections to assess safety, effectiveness and standards of care. In many cases, other countries may not have the same level of rigour in inspecting private healthcare facilities.
Many clinics in Turkey that hold consultations in the UK often use patient coordinators and many patients will be required to pay in advance without seeing their surgeon or viewing the clinic. The quality of the information provided can be reduced by language barriers. Many overseas surgeons may have little understanding of English and the ability to assess your expectations for treatment can therefore be significantly compromised. After having a liposuction procedure overseas, patients may develop a severe surgical site infection which may be a result of inadequate infection prevention measures at the clinic. These problems may only be picked up once patients arrive back in the UK. The original surgeon who carried out your procedure may be unavailable or unwilling to see you again and this, therefore, means you may have to seek treatment in the NHS or incur further costs by having treatment at a reputable private cosmetic surgery clinic in the UK.
In many cases, patients have to travel considerable distances via both air travel and long car journeys. Being immobilised for long periods of time after surgery significantly increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism also known as venous thromboembolism. The post-operative care instructions given to you after surgery can often be inadequate in detail which can leave you uncertain about how long you should wait before making the journey back home via aeroplane.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) recommends waiting at least one week before travelling home via aeroplane after liposuction surgery. Travelling overseas will often require taking out adequate travel insurance. Most travel insurance policies will not cover the risk of complications occurring during surgery overseas. Patients may have to incur the extra cost of purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance policy that covers having liposuction overseas.
Is it safe to have liposuction in Turkey?
Many patients from the UK choose to have liposuction in Turkey as a result of the significantly cheaper prices compared with the UK. As with all types of cosmetic surgery it is important not to base your decision purely on cost alone. They have recently been a number of cases where patients have sustained serious injuries and even death following liposuction in Turkey.
Many Turkish clinics will employ salespeople who employ high-pressure tactics to get patients to sign up as quickly as possible and will often include a number of features such as complimentary flights and accommodation. These clinics are often used by underqualified and inexperienced Turkish surgeons.
Our surgeons regularly see patients who have had botched liposuction in Turkey and in many cases are unable to offer further treatment due to the serious nature of the complications including skin necrosis, excessive fat removal leading to permanent skin damage and damage to internal organs. Liposuction is not the only treatment that has resulted in many British patients having complications. The Brazilian butt lift procedure also known as BBL has also resulted in a number of high-profile cases of patients developing severe sepsis and even death as a result of poor conditions in many Turkish clinics. Patients having more extensive surgery including mummy makeover surgery which involves a combination of breast lift with abdominoplasty has often gone on to develop sepsis and die due to inadequate infection control measures at Turkish clinics.
How much does liposuction cost in Turkey?
Istanbul and Izmir are two of the most popular destinations for cosmetic surgery in Turkey. Prices for liposuction in Turkey can be as low as £1000 with prices in Izmir being as low as £700. Generally, the less experienced the surgeon and clinics that are less established will charge much cheaper prices.
Why are liposuction prices so cheap in Turkey?
For many types of cosmetic surgery procedures including liposuction, patients are able to have liposuction for a fraction of the price in the UK. Often the cheapest prices are to be found in Turkish cosmetic surgery clinics. We believe this is because the standards of care are lower with many clinics and surgeons taking shortcuts with liposuction treatment. Average wages are often much lower in Turkey and the cost of medical products including equipment and consumables is much cheaper compared with the UK and this affects the overall price of liposuction in Turkey.
Why do Centre for Surgery advise against having liposuction abroad?
At Centre for Surgery, we would strongly advise against any type of cosmetic surgery including liposuction overseas. Patients are placing themselves at significant risk of developing serious complications or having liposuction results that are well below the standard of care found at UK clinics. Our surgeons are regularly asked to assess patients who have had botched liposuction in Turkey and in many cases are unable to offer further treatment due to the severity of the adverse results.
It is always important not to proceed with having liposuction overseas on the basis of cost alone. You should take into account the full range of factors including the experience of the surgeon and the reputation of the clinic. Year on year, the number of patients who choose to have liposuction abroad increases and we believe this is a dangerous trend that will eventually increase the numbers of patients who require corrective surgery once back in the UK. Patients who have botched liposuction often require complex surgical correction in the form of fat transfer or even skin excision procedures such as a tummy tuck for the most severe cases.
We would recommend that you stay in the UK and research a reputable clinic and choose a plastic surgeon who is on the GMC specialist register for plastic surgery.
We are proud at Centre for Surgery to have some of the very best plastic surgeons in the UK and strive to adhere to best medical practice in the delivery of gold-standard medical care for all the cosmetic surgery procedures we offer including liposuction. If you are interested to learn more about liposuction and how it could benefit you, please get in touch and speak to one of our friendly and experienced patient coordinators who will be more than happy to book a face-to-face consultation with a specialist liposuction surgeon at Centre for Surgery in London.