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Corrective surgery undertaken in the UK

11/01/12: 25% of plastic surgeons needed to treat patients experiencing complications related to surgery which had been carried out overseas in the last year.

The BAPRAS has published research which shows that 23% of its members carried out NHS work as a result of complications caused by surgery which had been performed elsewhere.

BAPRAS is warning that in addition to the health risks facing patients who travel overseas, they are also burdening the NHS with the necessary after care resulting in resources being taken away from others’.

The report shows that UK plastic surgeons saw more than 208 patients across the UK for complications as a result of them undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad. The operations which saw the highest incidence of problems were breast enlargement, but also included, breast reduction, neck or face lift and abdominoplasty.

Approximately 75% of these patients had complications which required further treatment to be carried out, this included 26% which needed emergency surgery.

In the UK all privately funded cosmetic surgery follow up care is the responsibility of the surgeon who carried out the original procedure. However BAPRAS has highlighted that the NHS does not have a clear policy regarding elective revisions or complications which arise as a result of operations that are carried out overseas. This results in patients relying on the NHS to provide the necessary aftercare and resources being taken away from other patients.

BAPRAS have warned that any increase in cosmetic tourism, will result in a parallel increase in waiting times for other procedures in trauma, cancer other elective surgeries.

A BAPRAS’ spokesperson has said that many cosmetic operations include major surgery. Anybody who is considering having cosmetic surgery overseas must apprise themselves of all the potential complications which can occur subsequently and think about how they will deal with them.

Patients should not automatically assume that the NHS will resolve these problems and realise that they may have to pay privately for further surgery in the UK.

A further downside of having the surgery overseas is that patients will have an increased chance of developing pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis due to flying so soon after the operation.