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Archive for July, 2013

Surgery sisters!

best-friends-best-friends-loveI’ve never been to have surgery with my sister, but sometimes it helps to have a friend by you when you’re doing something difficult. That’s why it’s not uncommon for women – and even men! – to try and get a mate on board when going for surgery.

This can either be someone who decides to come along with you for your procedure, or it could be someone who’s always wanted to go under the knife but never had the courage to by themselves!

There are some serious benefits to undergoing surgery with a friend – provided it’s right for you both. Obviously, it’s always good to have somebody to talk things through with – particularly somebody who understands what you’re going through.

But it’s more than that. You’ll recover together, heal together, and see yourselves getting more beautiful day by day together! It’s no wonder that more and more young women are make the decision to take the plunge together.

Of course, there’s no point badgering friends into having surgery if they don’t want to – you’ve got to make sure everyone else is as keen as you. If you are lucky enough to have someone else want to share the experience with you, though, I fully recommend it. You can never have enough support!

To take the next step and receive a FREE personalised info pack and quote please visit or call 0843 289 4 982 or email [email protected]

Will I still feel like me?

woman-looking-in-mirrorSome people worry that after cosmetic surgery – particularly surgery which alters they way you look fundamentally – they won’t look like themselves any more! It might sound silly, but really it’s a pretty understandable way to feel.

Remember that you’ve had your body for the last twenty, thirty, forty, or maybe fifty years! That’s a long time, and to suddenly to change the way you look can feel like a big deal. It is. That’s why it’s really important to make sure that you’re having surgery for the right reasons.

Cosmetic surgery procedures are about more than just looking your best; they’re about feeling your best, too. We all like to look good, but the question isn’t ‘does he like the way I look?’. It’s ‘do I like the way I look?’

We can’t stress enough how important it is that our patients see surgery as a way to look and feel the way they want to. Don’t get a boob job because your partner wants you to have a C-cup – get one because you want to.

We make sure that our patients are choosing surgery for the right reasons – for themselves. If this is the reason why you’re choosing surgery, then it’s unlikely that you’ll feel unhappy with the results; most of our patients find that they feel like they finally look the way they have always felt.

Just remember: It’s all about you. Don’t let anyone tell you differently!

To take the next step and receive a FREE personalised info pack and quote please visit or call 0843 289 4 982 or email [email protected]

Money, money, money: how important is the cost of your surgery?

woman-money-cash-coinsOne of the biggest selling points of Secret Surgery is that we offer high quality procedures for a fraction of the price that you would pay for on Harley Street. However, not everyone is sold on the cost of our surgeries – and we still face cynicism from the British media, despite our excellent track record.

So that leads us to the question – how important is money when you’re considering cosmetic surgery? Should you let a cheap cost put you off? Should you let a high price tag twist your arm?

Well, the honest answer is that it all depends. We always stress how important it is to ask your surgeon or consultant about anything and everything that concerns you, and money is definitely included in this!

If the prices you’ve been quoted seem much cheaper than you’ve been told elsewhere, then it’s important to find out why. If the clinic is skimping on quality, experience or safety to save you money, then no – that’s not a good saving! It might end up costing you more in the long run, and, of course, your health is far more valuable than your savings.

However, some overseas surgeries – including ours – can offer cheaper surgeries without compromising on our work. The cost of living in many other parts of Europe is much lower than it is in the UK, which means that the the cost of medical care is somewhat lower, too. This doesn’t mean the medical care isn’t good, though – it’s just economics.

Likewise, this doesn’t mean that the care you get in more expensive clinics is any better. Just as you’ll pay more to rent a flat in London than you would in Wroclaw, you’ll pay more to rent a surgeon, too!

To take the next step and receive a FREE personalised info pack and quote please visit or call 0843 289 4 982 or email [email protected]

Life after gastric band surgery

images (1)Gastric band surgery is often the last port of call for those of us who have put on too many pounds, and can’t seem to get them off again. It’s not, as a lot of media pundits like to pretend, an easy way out of obesity; there is nothing easy about undergoing serious surgery.

During a gastric band procedure, your stomach is banded in order to decrease its size, which means that you can only eat smaller quantities of food at a time. In other words, you’ll fill up more quickly and get less hungry between meals. It’s one way of ensuring that your body isn’t working against you while you try to lose weight.

However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to put in some effort yourself. It’s crucial that you don’t overeat after undergoing gastric band surgery, both for your health and for your weight loss. Regular exercise is also recommended to help the pounds keep coming off, and to make sure that your body stays strong and healthy throughout the diet.

It’s also important that when you’re cutting calories out of your diet, you don’t cut out any of those vital nutrients either. When you’re eating so much less than you used to, every bite counts – so make sure you’re eating lots of proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

If you’re thinking of undergoing gastric band surgery, then just get in touch with us. We’ll be with you every step of the way, and we know exactly how hard it can be to make this decision. Whether you end up deciding it is or isn’t for you, we’ll help you get to the answer you need.

To take the next step and receive a FREE personalised info pack and quote please visit or call 0843 289 4 982 or email [email protected]

First pics of Angie with beautiful breasts!

Angie looks totally gorgeous with her new breasts

Angie looks totally gorgeous with her new breasts

We all remember that earlier in the year Angelina Jolie made the brave decision to undergo a mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing breast cancer – and bravo to her. Well, it looks like she’s had her implants done, and she’s looking absolutely gorgeous with them!

We’ve spotted some of the first pics to come out since Angie has started dressing more like she used to – with a fabulous, loose-hanging top – perfect for this hot weather. She looks absolutely fantastic, and obviously isn’t remotely regretting her decision to go under the knife.

We’re pleased to see that the 37-year-old star has lost none of her confidence since the operations. We’re with everyone who thinks that Angie is a modern-day hero for doing something which a lot of women would be too afraid to do. She’s also highlighted what’s really important when it comes to surgery and your body – health. Being healthy and happy is better than looking like a supermodel – don’t forget it!

To take the next step and receive a FREE personalised info pack and quote please visit or call 0843 289 4 982 or email [email protected]

Julie Atkins Lancaster featured in Woman’s Own magazine!

julie lancaster womans own magazineEven MORE press coverage for us! This week, the lovely Julie Atkins Lancaster was featured in Woman’s Own magazine in a segment about her experience with cosmetic surgery abroad. Julie underwent a tummy tuck with us after losing lots of weight and giving birth to her three children by C-section. She’s a very brave lady, and she decided to tell the rest of the UK about her experience with us – and it sounds fantastic!

We’re always happy to hear when our patients tell us about how happy they are with the work we’ve done, and when it gets shared with the world like this – well, we’re over the moon. Julie deserves all the attention she gets for looking absolutely gorgeous!

You can pick up the issue of Woman’s Own magazine already, it’s the July 22nd edition and Julie’s spot is featured on the cover and inside. we hope that this article helps a lot of women to make the brave decision to go through with surgery – because, at the end of the day, being happy with your body is the most important thing about your body. Whether you’re big, small, or just right – be happy!

So, go on – read all about Julie’s fantastic tummy tuck and weight loss with Angela from Secret Surgery!

To take the next step and receive a FREE personalised info pack and quote please visit or call 0843 289 4 982 or email [email protected]

Setting the Record Straight – That Mail on Sunday Article

ImageIn an era in which everyone is connected with everything, word of mouth travels faster and further than ever before. That hair which was discovered in your soup is no longer a concern for you and your waiter: now the whole internet has to know about it, and will judge the restaurant accordingly. From anonymous Trip Advisor reviews to social media spats, companies of all sizes are only too aware of the dangers of negative publicity.

It doesn’t matter how many glowing reviews you’ve received from satisfied customers: all it takes is one disgruntled punter with a grievance to air and your reputation is irreparably harmed. Although businesses will lament bad publicity, no one is denying the right of the wronged: if you’d been sold a shoddy product or served a substandard meal, wouldn’t you feel compelled to kick up a fuss?

They say the customer is never wrong. But what about customers who are hellbent on destroying a business due to a perceived injustice they have suffered? What about customers who peddle lies to the press in the hope of settling a score?

How should the slighted business respond: should it just suck up the criticism and move on, or should it hit back with all guns blazing? This is the dilemma that Secret Surgery faces today.

When biting your tongue just won’t do

In October 2012, we were celebrating leading the Medical Tourism Industry. This was fuelled by a slew of over 100 detailed favourable customer reviews, nine months later and despite having accrued many more positive reviews, we find ourselves fighting to defend our reputation. Today, a former Secret Surgery patient has chosen to go public with her experience of treatment abroad. Her account, which appears in the Mail on Sunday, is not the sort you would expect us to voluntarily highlight. Taken at face value, it would appear to present a fairly unflattering portrayal of Secret Surgery. It is the sort of account, in fact, which has the potential to undo years of hard work spent establishing a reputation as a trusted provider of cosmetic surgery holidays.

Bad publicity is hard to take. Typically it involves taking the criticism with good grace, accepting you were in the wrong and taking measures to ensure the customer’s experience is never replicated again. But what about bad publicity that is also false publicity? How do you apologise for wrongdoing that didn’t occur? How do you brush off allegations that are simply untrue?

Publicly apologise and you’ll forever be presumed guilty. Refute the mendacious allegations however and you risk being portrayed as stubborn and dogmatic – attributes that are hardly conducive to a firm whose reputation is dependant upon being perceived as caring and compassionate.

As you can imagine, we’re not in the habit of attacking our customers. Not even when it appears that the customer in question is more interested in conducting a vendetta than settling a dispute.

Whether you are reading these words as a Secret Surgery customer, as a curious onlooker or as someone who is contemplating surgery abroad, we believe you deserve the truth. We also believe, however, that you may have better things to do with your time than read a blow-for-blow account of why we’re ‘right’ and the customer is ‘wrong’. Should there be a genuine interest in hearing our side of the story, we will gladly publish detailed documentation in a future blog post, addressing each of the individual’s complaints in turn.

As it stands however, we are reticent to do so, not least because we are not a combative company: lashing out is not in our nature. We are also reticent to set off on the warpath out of genuine concern for the complainant’s physical and mental welfare.

To cut a long story short

The woman in question, who shall be referred to as Ms J, was booked in for surgery in our Polish Award winning Private Hospital in December of last year. Having previously used our company for 2 separate surgical procedures, which was completed successfully, Ms J was familiar with the facilities and knew what to expect. However, following a consultation in December, the hospital decided to cancel the procedure, based on a pre-operative assessment of the woman’s health. Despite the surgical procedure (which she never paid for) having been aborted, Ms J elected not to return home, instead staying on in Poland to enjoy a 10-day holiday. On 18th December, she cheerily commented in an email to us

“I would like to mention the treatment I had at EMC – where else would you get a heart scan and not be charged for it?!!! You really did well finding them :o))))”.

Later, however, Miss J had a change of heart and decided to contact Secret Surgery’s lawyers to issue a formal complaint for losses associated with her cancelled trip. Even at this stage, however, she did not fault the service she had received, noting

“I would like to state that I have no complaint, and have not made a complaint about the surgery carried out by Dr Wojciech Waclawowicz at the EMC Hospital in Wroclaw Poland. You wrote of my being “unhappy with the procedure at the hospital”. Quite the contrary, the treatment I had there was first class.”

Fast forward to the present day, and the story laid out in the Mail on Sunday is quite different. In the seven months since undergoing ‘first class’ treatment, Ms J’s account has changed quite dramatically.

What, you may be entitled to wonder, could have caused a patient to go from disputing the price of a medical bill to attempting to cripple a business by attacking it from all angles – including attacks on its after-care programme and questioning the competence of its surgeons and nurses?

There is a lot of evidence we could produce to address this question. Much of this evidence, however, would paint the complainant – Ms J – in an extremely unflattering light and would certainly call into question her emotional stability. That is not something we are willing to do if at all possible. Criticising customers is not in our nature – even one whose experience with Secret Surgery may have ended acrimoniously.

Since deciding, in December 2012, that she was unhappy with the service she had received, Ms J went on to send us hundreds of emails and countless social media comments, many of them despatched within seconds of one another they targeted staff, friends, family and an estimated 70% of our precious clients too. Keeping up with her scattershot correspondence became a full-time job in its own right. In the end, we offered Ms J £400 for her expenses (her initial request) which quickly escalated to £850 and then £1050 which we agreed to if she would refrain from her campaign of online harassment. Please note that Ms J’s latest request for money was £2,000 which we will not honour.

From the hundreds of emails we received, we will publish just one extract that is indicative of Ms J’s state of mind:

 “If [Angela] wants to pay me today, then the trouble stops here.  I have much more planned, and will not stop until she is ruined…If she doesn’t pay, then she gets what is coming to her, believe me it is about to get much much worse…. if she can confirm today that she has paid the money into my account, then I will stop all attacks on her. She will have to be quick though…If she wants me to stop, she needs to pay this afternoon, and quickly!  I will give her until 3pm to transfer the money, and confirm it to me…I am happy to stop if she pays me.  I need confirmation today.  I would need to ring the bank to confirm it has been paid.”

Some people may read that as the words of a wronged patient. Others may call it for what it is: blackmail.

It’s sad that what should have been a routine operation – no different from hundreds of others successfully performed at the same facility – should have come to this. Perhaps, over the course of three years, it was inevitable that one customer would have cause to express dissatisfaction. As the adage goes, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Nevertheless, it hurts to have had our reputation trashed in the press by an individual who has waged a relentless vendetta against Secret Surgery.

No one is perfect. Everybody gets things wrong occasionally. When we err, we have no qualms about holding our hands up and admitting it. We’re certainly not too proud to confess when we’re in the wrong. Looking back at Ms J’s cancelled hospital visit and the subsequent fallout with hindsight, however, there is little we could or would have done differently.

All we can do is tell our side of the story, which is what we’ve done. We’ve endeavoured not to be vengeful, dismissive or scathing of Miss J and her concerns. We would politely suggest that her actions over the past nine months have vindicated the hospital’s original decision not to go through with the scheduled operation. Despite all of the foregoing, however, we bear the individual no ill will.

On a secondary point; It amazes me how many Industry professionals are quick to judge without being fully furnished with the facts. A Doctor would never diagnose a patients illness without having the appropriate Information, test and checks to hand and this scenario is no different. For the record EMC Instytut Medyczny is a multi-award winning and the largest private hospital chain in Poland and I’d go as far to say they’d put their money where their mouth is and openly welcome any Industry professionals to investigate and make an educated critique… You may even learn a thing or too!

Publicity is like poison: it doesn’t hurt unless you swallow it. If you would like to hear Ms J’s side of the story, you’ll find her account in today’s Mail on Sunday. In spite of the many falsehoods and distortions contained within the story, we have no reason to shy away from its existence.

In times of conflict, the manner in which you respond to bad publicity defines you as a company. This is our truth. Thank you for reading.

Angela Chouaib

MD & Founder – Secret Surgery Ltd


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