RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

Sun, sea, sand and… silicone!

9th November 2013 Print

Britain is becoming a nation of cosmetic surgery tourists, with many of us now travelling abroad for lower-cost elective procedures, according to new research from
According to the findings from the leading price comparison website, nearly a third (30%) of people who have had cosmetic surgery procedures have travelled abroad to do so.
The research reveals that cosmetic surgery tourists are most likely to travel within Europe for their procedures, with Switzerland the top destination for face-lifts (29%), botox (28%) and liposuction (14%). The Czech Republic is the country of choice for boob jobs (19%), lip fillers (18%) and nose jobs (17%).
Some people are opting to travel even further afield to get their cosmetic surgery fix, with Thailand named as another a cosmetic surgery hotspot. More than a quarter of those seeking teeth-whitening procedures abroad (28%) opted to visit the south-east Asian country to get this done.
This boom in cosmetic surgery tourism can largely be attributed to people looking to save money, with cosmetic surgery tourists citing cost as the main reason (25%) for going abroad, claiming that they couldn’t afford to have the procedure done in the UK. Others claim that they opted for surgery abroad so that they could also enjoy a holiday at the same time (20%).
Brits are also travelling abroad for surgery based on recommendations from friends and family (11%), or because they had heard a celebrity had been to the same foreign clinic or surgeon (10%).
Of those who travelled abroad for a cosmetic procedure, less than half (46%) were pleased with the results, and just 15% would recommend it to others. This may be as a result of the increased risks associated with travelling overseas for surgery.
According to the research, worrying numbers of cosmetic surgery tourists are coming back from overseas with botched procedures. Nearly one in five Brits (19%) who opted for a foreign cosmetic procedure have had to have further treatments to correct a problem, compared to just 6% of people who stayed in the UK.
A concerning number of people travelling abroad for cosmetic procedures also claim to have caught an infection (33%) following their surgery or treatment, whereas only 9% of people claim that this has happened when having a procedure in the UK.
There are more obvious risks involved in travelling abroad for any type of procedure or treatment, so notifying a medical professional beforehand is crucial. However, the research findings reveal that only 14% of people notified their doctor before travelling to a different country for a cosmetic procedure.
For those travelling abroad for surgery or medical treatment, ensuring they are adequately protected should the worst happen is also highly important, which includes taking out the right travel insurance.  Yet of those who went abroad to have some form of cosmetic procedure, only a third (33%) took out travel insurance, with even fewer notifying their existing insurer (29%) of their plans.
Mhairi Edwards, Head of Travel Insurance at says: “Our research suggests that cosmetic surgery tourism is now a popular trend amongst Brits, with potential patients going overseas where prices are lower and procedures are more readily accessible. However, it is clear that there are increased risks associated with travelling abroad for cosmetic procedures.

“People considering surgery or procedures abroad should ensure they are fully protected, because they could be left in the lurch if things go wrong. Notifying your doctor and ensuring you have adequate travel insurance are a must. Travellers should also beware that normal travel insurance might not cover them for all procedures abroad, so they need to be thorough when choosing the right policy for them.

“If consumers are tempted by the prospects of a nip and tuck or a brighter smile at a smaller cost, we urge them to do their homework so that their bargain treatment does not prove to be a costly mistake.”