The Truth About Getting Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

Last Updated : June 23, 2024

If you’re thinking of getting cosmetic surgery – whether it’s breast augmentation, a facelift, or a tummy tuck – you’ve probably thought about the option of travelling abroad to have the procedure done. 

Many people living in Ireland travel abroad for cosmetic surgery, and we understand why. For most, it’s the idea of getting a holiday out of their surgery – and usually a lower price tag too. But, just like with most things, there are both advantages and disadvantages to cosmetic surgery abroad. 

In this blog, we’re going to have a look at the differences between cosmetic surgery abroad and surgery in Ireland, and hopefully help shed some light on what the best choice is for you. 

Things to consider before having cosmetic surgery abroad

What are the healthcare standards like?

In Ireland, all of our private hospitals and clinics are carefully regulated to meet a high level of health care standards. They’re inspected regularly to maintain this high standard of care. 

There isn’t a guarantee the sterilisation standards will be as good in clinics abroad. Always ask what regulations and standards the clinic has before you decide on choosing one abroad. You can also check the infection rates and see what back-up services are available if something was to go wrong during your operation. Remember infections can happen up to 6 weeks after surgery.

Is the surgeon qualified?

Different countries have different qualifications and expectations for cosmetic surgeons. 

Make sure your surgeon is fully qualified and experienced in the procedure you’re looking to have performed. 

What are the risks of having cosmetic surgery abroad?

No procedure, cosmetic or otherwise, is free from risks. Unexpected complications can occur with your surgery, whether your surgery takes place in Ireland or abroad. 

However, if you decide to have your surgery in Ireland your consultant surgeon will be able to provide you with the necessary aftercare to help you make a full recovery. You can visit your surgeon and correct procedures undertaken immediately if necessary.

If something goes wrong, whether there is a complication with the surgery or the outcome is unfavourable, then your surgeon will be able to discuss it with you and figure out how the problem can be solved. 

When travelling abroad for your cosmetic surgery, you might not have the same reassurance as you would in Ireland. Some of the clinics overseas might not be able to provide you with a referred specialist back in Ireland if things go wrong with your surgery. If you end up needing long-term care after your surgery, it’ll be incredibly difficult if your surgery was abroad. 

If you have any complications after your surgery outside Ireland, you unfortunately end up in a public hospital A&E if there are complications, and you may have to spend much more money privately to fix a problem. The outcome of surgery is always better when it is done right the first time.

So, if the problem does arrive it will be your GP that you’ll have to turn to. You could also spend extra money for private health care or flights back over to where you got the surgery. 

Cosmetic surgery might be cheaper abroad, but you do need to take into consideration that if you have to fly back over you’ll need to take time off work and pay for more accommodation and flights.

Flying post-surgery carries its own risks that need to be considered – air travel and major surgery are known to increase the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism. Flying before or after an operation combines these risks making it dangerous to travel long distances.

What is the best country for cosmetic surgery?

Some of the best countries for cosmetic surgery are Ireland, Brazil, Japan, Italy, and Mexico. They’re among the top international destinations of choice when it comes to cosmetic surgery.

Why do cosmetic surgeries abroad cost less?

Some hospitals abroad use the same equipment and instruments as most of the advanced hospitals here in Ireland. The doctors are skilled professionals and are often excellent at their job. 

So why is the price for surgery so much cheaper?

There are many reasons that enable clinics abroad to charge less than Irish clinics: 

  • Low labour cost
  • Lower real estate values
  • Lower government taxes
  • Less administrative work
  • Less bureaucracy/red tape
  • Cheaper medical supplies/equipment/medications
  • No insurance
  • Cheaper staff

However, just because something is cheaper doesn’t mean it is necessarily better. If something seems too good to be true, it often is. 

If you’re thinking of getting cosmetic surgery, get in contact with our helpful team at Auralia, where we would be happy to answer all your questions and discuss your options. Book your free consultation today. 

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