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Medical Tourism – a checklist if you are travelling for surgery

Medical Tourism – a checklist if you are travelling for surgery 

Friday, August 31, 2018

An increasing number of people are opting to travel abroad for cosmetic surgery, seeking cheaper procedures, alongside a recovery holiday.

Whilst cost can be an influential factor in choosing a surgeon and a clinic (as well as the appeal of recovering in sunnier climes) patients must bear in mind that the cost of corrective surgery and the health implications of procedures if not carried out correctly, can far out way the savings made with cheaper alternatives.

It’s important that all prospective patients who are considering cosmetic surgery abroad thoroughly research their operation, surgeon and hospital before making the decision. Mr Bryan Mayou, Founder of the Cadogan Clinic, shares his advice for those considering travelling overseas for surgery:

The same rules apply abroad as they do in the UK when selecting a cosmetic surgeon and procedure. To ensure safety, patients should do extensive homework before making the commitment. It is imperative that patients visit the clinic and have a consultation with the surgeon before committing to the procedure, so you can get peace of mind that this is the right surgeon and procedure for you. Having a consultation over Skype is not the same as visiting the clinic and having a face-to-face consultation.

Below is a checklist of questions that any patient should ask their surgeon, whether having a procedure abroad, or in the UK, to maximise patient safety and give results that meet expectations.


  • Is the surgeon fully qualified to perform the procedure?
  • What are the credentials of the surgeon – where did the training take place?
  • How many of this particular procedure have they performed? Seek evidence of before and after photos and ask to speak with past patients about their results and experiences
  • What professional memberships does the surgeon have / what organisations do they belong to?
  • What professional memberships does the surgeon have / what organisations do they belong to?Is the cleanliness and hygiene of the hospital/clinic of a high standard? Ask for a tour of the hospital and see the operating theatre and recovery rooms.
  • Be mindful about language barriers which may impede on your ability to communicate– does the surgeon and the medical team speak English well enough to communicate with you?
  • What are the risks involved with the surgery?
  • What is the recommended recovery and no-fly time? Does this match the advice given elsewhere?
  • What aftercare is provided and what happens if there is a complication?
  • What is the aftercare plan/procedure if a complication occurs when you have returned home?