Why are people travelling abroad for breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation, or boob jobs, are the most commonly carried out cosmetic surgery. The procedure aims to improve the size and shape of breasts and it may be carried out for cosmetic reasons or because reconstruction is needed.

Tagged: Body & Breast

Why are people travelling abroad for breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation, or boob jobs, are the most commonly carried out cosmetic surgery. The procedure aims to improve the size and shape of breasts and it may be carried out for cosmetic reasons or because reconstruction is needed.

For many women, a boob job can be life-changing. Often having breasts that do not look or feel as a woman would want them to can have serious consequences in terms of low self-esteem and even social anxiety. This can mean that women may be tempted to go to great lengths to ensure that they can have the procedure carried out and this may involve opting for a boob job abroad.

Why do people travel abroad for breast augmentation?

In the UK, you can expect to pay anywhere between £3,500 and £8,000 for breast augmentation. Even though there are various options available to spread the payments some people are drawn by the cost of getting a boob job abroad. Numerous countries advertise boob jobs as much as 40%-70% cheaper than it would cost in the UK. There are explanations as to why some of these countries can be so much cheaper such as lower costs of living, lower levels of regulation and cheaper medical training. These lower costs mean that workers in clinics, and the surgeons themselves, do not need to be paid at the same rate as someone in the UK does. 

There are other appeals with having a boob job abroad, but much of this is down to how companies market themselves to women in the UK. The idea of combining a boob job with a holiday is often floated and this attempts to glamorise the procedure. The truth is that following surgery you need to rest and recover which involves adequate aftercare. Post-surgery is perhaps not the best time to be trying to have the holiday of a lifetime.

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Is it safe to travel abroad for breast enhancement?

Having a boob job abroad may well be considerably cheaper than it is to have the same procedure in the UK, but does that make it a wise decision? Of course, cost is always going to be a factor to some degree but there are other factors to consider too. The biggest risk of travelling abroad for breast enhancement is how much you actually know about the surgeon. In the UK you are given the opportunity to meet with your surgeon beforehand as well as learning about their track record. The UK also has a clear way of checking that a surgeon is capable and competent.  They all need to be registered with the General Medical Council and any practice that offers cosmetic procedures must be registered with the Care Quality Commission. Practices abroad will no doubt have their own standards, but do they match UK expectations and can they be easily understood?

Having a boob job abroad also means that there may be issues with aftercare or complications. In the UK, aftercare is generally included in the price that you pay. This may not be the case abroad and you may find it difficult to get the assistance you need if things go wrong.

Is it safe to have a boob job in Turkey?

Turkey marketed itself, and to some extent established itself, as the go-to place for Brits to undergo any form of cosmetic surgery. Newspapers in the UK have often reported on horror stories that make you question if a boob job in Turkey is actually safe. There are women who have been left with breasts in such a way that it has caused them serious psychological distress. While it is true that things can go wrong anywhere, certainly the data indicates that you are far more likely to experience a complication when a boob job in Turkey is involved.

While it would be wrong to make sweeping statements about surgeons in any particular country (there are many excellent Turkish surgeons), it is important that women who are travelling to Turkey are aware of the risks involved. Having a boob job in Turkey leaves women having procedures carried out without the same degree of expertise and without the appropriate aftercare in place. 

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Why are prices so cheap for boob job abroad?

While on face value having a boob job abroad may appear to offer value for money, it is important that women travelling know exactly what is included in the fee. Importantly there is a need to know if accommodation is provided after the surgery and what insurances are in place that will cover UK residents. After these considerations, there are still reasons why having a boob job abroad is cheaper. These include:

  • Lower labour costs
  • Lower regulation
  • Lower training and qualification standards
  • Cheaper construction costs for clinics
  • Differing standards of clinics when compared to the UK
  • Lower taxes
  • Less bureaucracy

These factors mean that there is not a need to charge the prices that we see in the UK, but there are also reports that refer to some of these clinics working like conveyor belts. In the UK there is time to have a quality consultation with your surgeon. You are also given a 2-week cooling off time before the surgery is carried out. Some overseas clinics will literally churn through patient after patient. More procedures mean more money, but there is nothing close to the care given at UK clinics.

Why do we not recommend travelling abroad for a boob job?

We understand that great augmentation is a big step financially. However, there is much more to this procedure than the financial aspect. UK clinics follow strict guidelines and they ensure a woman is suitable for the procedure before it is carried out. After the surgery itself, there is access to first-class aftercare. Procedures can go wrong no matter where in the world they are carried out, but in the UK it is clear that this is then for the surgeon to rectify.

Having a boob job abroad means that you are missing out on the personal side of the procedure and inviting a degree of risk into your treatment. In the UK, surgeons care about their patients and are passionate about their results. The same can not be said of the conveyor belt like clinics elsewhere. Travelling abroad for your surgery leaves you exposed and vulnerable with little to no comeback should things go wrong. 

Treatments mentioned in this article

Breast enlargement surgery, or breast implants or augmentation, is one of our most regularly performed procedures at the Cadogan Clinic and our surgeons are leading experts in this field.

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