Part 10 - What If Something Does Go Wrong?
So you know it’s important to ask questions about the surgery, and to always ask questions of yourself. You’ve learnt what to look for in contracts, and may have everything documented and detailed to perfection. You know where you’re going, you have your finances in order, and you’re ripe and ready to travel. You’re flexible, you have a friend to hand, and you know to plan for complications.
But no matter how much we plan, things sometimes go wrong even if you choose surgery at the hospital down the road! I wrote this guide to help you prepare for your own surgery abroad, as when I underwent surgery myself I could have done with a clear ‘how to’ guide! I hope you’ve been able to take something from it, including these last three pieces of advice:
1. Make sure you have a GP at home who knows you’re going abroad, and will help you on return to the UK. There’s a stigma surrounding medical tourism, and I know only too well that general practitioners are sometimes the authors of it. However, if you find the right GP and express how prepared you are for every eventuality, he or she should support and respect your decision.
2. Ask the surgeon abroad what to expect post-operatively, because you should know what level of pain or discomfort is normal. Of course it’s worrying when you haven’t experienced surgery before, but knowing if something really has gone wrong is imperative.
3. Lastly, don’t worry about getting in touch with the surgery. It’s ridiculous to suffer in silence, so simply contact them to express any concerns you might have. It’ll be easier to deal with if you alert them quickly, and you’ll feel more confident once you have all the answers.
Luckily, complications due to cosmetic surgery are rarer than you might think: we perform hundreds of operations monthly, and we haven’t had a single complication to date. We monitor your progress post-operatively so we’re able to make sure you’re doing well, and – if something was to happen – we’re able to respond immediately.
I’ll finish as I started off – there will always be horror stories about botched boob jobs in the media. Research everything thoroughly, and you’ll come to your own impressions about that. If you do opt for surgery abroad, I hope you’re as pleasantly surprised as I was. Find the right surgery outside the UK, and you’ll be amazed at how wonderfully clean, professional and caring they really can be.
Dos and Don’ts
When I had surgery, reminding myself of what to expect was invaluable. I started Secret Surgery to help others considering medical tourism, and I’ve always wanted to pass on my experiences and advice with complete honesty. To save you the trouble, here’s my personal ‘dos and don’ts’ list: (more…)
The Lowdown On Contracts
Contracts are always a pain. Companies don’t expect you to read pages and pages of jargon, so you end up signing on a dotted line for something you’re not 100% sure of.
When it comes to surgery, home or abroad, this is a risk you can’t afford to take.
Ask the surgery to provide a document that outlines every legal entitlement clearly, and make sure the agreed price is stated in there as well. Check it over, check it over again, and ask your friends and family to read through it too. Three points to look for are:
1. The Refund Policy – Make sure you’re able to get one. If you change your mind once you arrive, you’ll be upset if you’ve lost thousands of pounds for nothing. Even if you don’t have second thoughts, something else might come up that’ll stop you from going ahead. You never know what’s around the corner, so it’s important to know what options are open to you. Make sure you’ll receive a refund if the surgery doesn’t go ahead with the procedure; if the surgeon becomes ill or something happens to the building, you don’t want to be left out of pocket through no fault of your own. (more…)
Things to Ask the Surgeon
There are an endless number of questions to ask your chosen surgeon before the procedure. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to ask away, because as well as being better prepared, you’ll find out how professional the surgery is.
If there’s any hint of frustration or hesitation in answering your questions, you know something’s not quite right with the surgery. This is your body, and your decision, so don’t settle for anything less than complete understanding. If you’re unclear of something, let them know. Here’s my personal checklist of questions you should ask the surgery, and the answers you should be getting in reply: (more…)
Things To Ask Yourself
Once you’ve thought about your procedure and found a reliable hospital abroad, you may think you’re ready to go ahead with the decision. You may have researched your country of choice and even calculated the costs, but you should still give the idea a once over before you opt for surgery abroad. There are always questions to ask yourself before jumping in at the deep end.
Do you really know everything about your chosen surgery?
Different materials and techniques are used across the world, so checking a UK website for guidance doesn’t always give the complete picture. You need to know everything you can about your surgery in particular: you don’t want to wake up afterwards to surprises of any kind. Ask, ask, and ask again….. (more…)
Choosing a Surgeon
Choosing a surgeon is always going to be tricky, because each and every country has different regulations. We’re not all capable of unravelling the medical jargon, and it can be difficult to gauge whether or not someone is fully qualified.
So what do you look for? Well, most other ‘surgery abroad’ guides will tell you to look for a GMC registered surgeon. Here at Secret Surgery however, we say think again.
Unfortunately, many surgeons abroad will use their GMC status as a marketing tactic, because they know it’s what UK patients look for when considering surgery. It basically means that the surgeon you’ve found is listed on the UK’s General Medical Council; it means he or she has completed a simple paper exercise. Your local GP is also registered with the GMC, but you’re not going to pop down and ask him or her for surgery any time soon for a boob job. (more…)