Cosmetic surgery – home security or Thailand cheapy?

thailand clinicI have spent up to a year at a time in Costa Rica, where a lot of expats travel for less expensive cosmetic procedures than you get at home. Turns out, Australians are doing the same thing – but going to Thailand. Today’s post comes from a well-versed Aussie expat (bio at bottom). Enjoy!

The popularity of Australian’s heading abroad to places like Thailand for cosmetic procedures has risen considerably over the past few years, so much so that there are now over 20 companies coined ‘cosmetic travel agents’ facilitating the process. Researcher of the medical tourism industry, Meredith Jones from the University of Technology Sydney estimates that around 15,000 Australians are now travelling overseas for cosmetic surgeries each year.

It’s not just the cost savings of having cosmetic surgery abroad that is appealing to those wanting improvements to their body. Many of the resident surgeons in locations such as Thailand are highly qualified with some actually even receiving their training in Western countries. It is also the idea of combining your cosmetic procedure with a warm, relaxing holiday in Thailand and recovering poolside away from the prying eyes of friends and family. There are even packages for people to head off in groups taking the ‘girls weekend away’ concept one step further with the added activity of a nip and tuck or a boob lift.

But is the cost saving and a five-star holiday worth the risk of having a procedure overseas in an under-developed country? Will the care be as good as you would receive in an Australian medical facility? What if something goes wrong? Medical tourism has opened up the opportunity for more people to undergo cosmetic surgery who in the past would not have been able to afford it, but which is right for you? Home security or Thailand cheapy?

Pros of undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad in Thailand

  • Cosmetic surgery in Thailand can be one-tenth of the cost of procedures in Australia.
  • Hospitals in Thailand have some of the world’s most qualified and experienced plastic surgeons.
  • The aesthetic procedures are safe and of a high quality as well as being much cheaper.
  • The cost of medications required after surgery cost a lot less than in Australia.
  • There are facilities with extremely high hygiene standards.
  • The process is easy and the health care system in Thailand is extremely efficient.
  • You can enjoy a relaxing, tropical holiday before and after the procedure.

Cons of undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad in Thailand

  • Unless you stay in Thailand for an extended period of time it is not possible (or quiet expensive and impractical) to have post-operative follow up visits with your surgeon.
  • In a situation where complications occur following the procedure, you will be unable to see your original surgeon and corrective surgery could prove costly back in Australia.
  • Some surgeons are only certified in Thailand or the countries they practice in.
  • The language barrier may impact on your understanding of the procedure and the risk involved with even some paperwork and consent forms in Thai only.
  • While many hospitals in Thailand are known for their word-class standards of hygiene and post-op care, there are some medical facilities that aren’t up to adequate hygiene standards or offer great after surgery care.
  • You may be required to pay for the procedures in advance.
  • If travelling with a cosmetic travel agency, you may be pushed into add-ons or additional procedures as often doctors and hotels receive kickbacks as an incentive.

There are risks of having a cosmetic procedure whether it is in your home country or in an exotic location such as Thailand. There are also world-class surgeons and others that may not be as reputable in hospitals both aboard and in Australia.

While Thailand has earned a reputation for providing high quality cosmetic surgery at a relatively inexpensive cost, before you consider any medical procedure aboard you should weigh up the benefits and risks. Regardless of whether you choose to have your cosmetic enhancements overseas or in Australia, we recommend you do a generous amount of research on the credentials of your surgeon, the medical facility and the procedure itself before committing to any surgery.

About the Author

Sarah is a writer for Cosmos Clinic. She has worked in the design industry since leaving RMIT University, and decided it was time for a break. Instead of a relaxing holiday, she and her husband sold everything, resigned from their amazing jobs and headed off with their 2 year old son to travel the world in search of a nomadic life.

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. Thailand has so many assets that the fear of the unknown is easily overcome by them … their health care system is actually quite high in quality.

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