New data released Monday by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) reveals a 94 percent increase in the number of UK hospitalizations required following cosmetic surgery abroad in three years.
Medical problems requiring hospitalization varied from issues with wound healing, to life-threatening sepsis.
Seventy-eight percent of the corrective medical operations of this type carried out in the UK have been required by patients who had aesthetic surgery procedures in Turkey, the association says.
Patients returning from cosmetic surgery in Turkey account for more than 3/4s of the hospitalizations over the past six months alone, the Association found.
25 Deaths in 58 Months, Turkey
Beyond botched cosmetic surgeries, which may or may not be correctable, there are the deaths.
In the 4 years and 10 months since January 2019, at least 25 Brits have died as a result of medical tourism trips to Turkey, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday, based on information from the Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
“Since November last year, 78% of the corrective operations carried out in the UK have been on people who had aesthetic procedures in Turkey.”BAAPS Cosmetic Tourism Update, November 13, 2023
Marc Pacifico, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons says his organization is not trying to stop Brits from going overseas or elsewhere for cosmetic surgery, but is trying to raise awareness on the risks involved.
“We’re in no position to and nor is this what we’re aiming for,” Pacifico said in a release Monday. “We’re aiming to try and raise awareness, increase safety, ultimately protect patients but also relieve the burden on the NHS.”
American plastic surgeons have likewise warned that flying overseas for cosmetic surgery is a poor and risky choice, if only because one is entirely unfamiliar with that country’s medical system, quality of care, and recourse options.
Cost of Corrective Care Roughly $18,000, Varies Widely.
With a nationalized healthcare system, the botched patients returning home to the UK are treated at tax payer expense, mostly on an NHS dime.
The cost of botched patient care to the NHS hovers around £15,000 or $18,738 dollars per patient, the British association has previously estimated.
It stresses also that this cost varies significantly “depending on the type and the extent of treatment needed.”
Beyond botched cosmetic surgeries that affect individual lives and families, the British Association says it is also strongly concerned about patients returning to the UK with multidrug resistant bacteria “that are hard to treat and may infect other people.”
BAAPs is in talks with governmental departments within UK and abroad to develop ways that the vastly increasing number of botched patients can be cared for in a manner that relieves an already-strained NHS.
“We are only scratching the surface of the true number needing treatment on an already-stretched health service with a record-high waiting list,” BAAPS President Marc Pacifico said.
Glossy Advertising Misleads
BAAPS announced Monday that it is in discussion with the Advertising Standards Authority to address misleading advertisements that suggest “that “having cosmetic surgery in Turkey is no different from a holiday in the sun.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” BAAPS President Marc Pacifico says. “Medical advice and support for people looking to go abroad is drowned and dwarfed by the number of paid promotions and glossy advertisements for the cosmetic tourism market itself.”