There are no statistics that tell exactly how many Australians are travelling overseas for cosmetic surgery each year. Plastic surgery holidays are a growing trend however and it has been estimated that a figure of around 15,000 would be appropriate. The most common procedures being undertaken are either breast augmentation or reduction. The destinations are mostly within Asia with Singapore and Thailand being the most popular. It seems also that with the advent of packaged holidays combining cosmetic surgery with a luxury retreat, that the client is increasingly a twenty something year old woman.

There is no doubt that the major driving factor for this trend is cost. People are seeing that they can have the procedure of their choice combined with an overseas holiday for a price that is significantly cheaper than if the work was done in Australia. And the fact is that if the chosen surgeon is a member of a recognized international surgeon’s society and the hospital is a quality international hospital then the risks of getting complications are probably no different than if the work was done in Australia. It can however be difficult to assess the authenticity of any “quality hospital” claims and the credentials of the overseas surgeons. Regardless of this, it seems that the relative low priced procedures and the lure of a “holiday” are proving to be a successful marketing strategy.

Surgery however is risky by nature and a lot of cosmetic surgery is not minor surgery. The risks of complications such as an infection or an embolism are real. Because of this it is important that people considering plastic surgery do not treat it as though they were buying a product where price is the major driving factor. A lot of factors other than price have to be considered, the most important being the qualifications and the experience of the doctor and the quality of the facilities where the service will be undertaken.

The idea of a plastic surgery holiday sounds ideal. There are sights to see, foods to eat, and in the process, you can have a little work done. But whilst the risks associated with having the actual surgery may not be any different overseas, providing that the doctor is qualified and the hospital is reputable, there are some additional unique risks involved such as:

  • Flying home soon after having surgery can increase the risk of having an embolism
  • If complications arise after coming home then unless you fly back overseas the treating doctor will not be the same doctor who undertook the procedure
  • In addition to the second point, the additional consultations and possible rework will be an extra expense at Australian prices
  • Different country, different food, which can be unsettling in itself and can add to the risk of complications. Whether your body is able to digest the foods, or the toilets are just a little off kilter for your liking, is a layer of new experiences at a time when your body is below its normal fitness level
  • Depending on your health insurance, overseas surgeries may not be covered. This could add another layer of fees that might not be clear upfront

In my opinion it makes no sense to knowingly increase the number of risks that you are exposing yourself to. So for someone who is not price driven, who wants the absolute best in doctor, hospital and after surgery care and who wishes to absolutely minimize the number of potential risks then the best solution is to have their desired procedure in Australia. And why not still have a plastic surgery holiday?

At the Plastic Surgery Hub we can arrange for you to meet and consult with a qualified Plastic Surgeon located on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Here the hospital facilities on offer are among the worlds’ finest and you can be guaranteed premium level care. After surgery we will arrange for pick up and transport to a luxury retreat located at Byron Bay where you will be pampered and cared for during your recuperation. No meals or cleaning to worry about, just relax and give yourself time to recover before heading home to life’s normal stresses. To find out more you can contact us at the hub by email


Bruce currently heads up a team of researchers and writers who are challenging the way people perceive plastic surgery, aiming to break down the stigma and judgments that still exist in the wider community. He also brings a male perspective to the discussions surrounding plastic surgery and in particular the growing trend for males to undergo procedures.

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