The Risk of Overseas Medical Holidays

  • By Mal Peter
  • 04 Jan, 2017

These days, it is common for Australians to take what is called a Medical Holiday to lower the cost of their medical expenses.

A medical holiday involves travelling overseas to a country such as India or the Philippines for a short period of time to receive surgery. The types of surgery that people have on a medical holiday varies from dental surgery to eye surgery, and also cosmetic surgery, which is what I’ll be focusing on.

Below I have outlined some of the issues to consider before choosing whether to have cosmetic surgery overseas.

1.         Lack of Regulation

Cosmetic surgery overseas is often poorly regulated, especially compared to over here in Australia. Here there are strict processes and guidelines which aim to reduce risk for patients, and result in a quality outcome. In order to ensure that patients are looked after at each step of the process, Australian surgeons have multiple meetings with the patient before the procedure to ensure they know exactly what is going to happen, and to ensure that the surgery will be safe for them.

Unfortunately, overseas surgeons are not required to follow these strict guidelines, which can result in a riskier surgery, with a greater chance of unsatisfactory outcomes.

2.         Qualifications and Experience

Because of this lack of regulation, it’s also possible that the person who is performing the surgery on you does not have appropriate qualifications and experience in the field.

I would also like to add here that in most cases, the patient will only meet with the surgeon for a very short period of time before the surgery, and often on the same day. This does not allow the surgeon enough time to properly analyse the patient and ensure that it is safe for them to undergo the surgery.

3.         Communication Breakdown

When getting overseas surgery, you risk experiencing a communication breakdown between yourself and the surgeon. Keep in mind that in many cases, English may be their second or third language.

You should carefully consider whether you want to risk a communication breakdown with the person who is performing surgery on you. In the past, people in this situation have had surgery performed on different body parts than requested because there was an issue with communication at some point in the process.

4.         After-Surgery Care

Something people also need to be aware of when getting surgery overseas is how their after-surgery care will occur. It is assumed that once your surgery is finished, after a week or so, you will return to your home country.

Cosmetic surgeons in Australia will generally perform any check-ups or revision surgery for either a minimal fee or no cost. However if you have had your surgery overseas, and you require further care and in some cases, further surgery to fix any complications, you will need to use an Australian cosmetic surgeon for this. In some cases, this can result in surgery that ends up being more expensive than if you had stayed in Australia.

5.         Implants do not meet Australian standards

Australia have strict standards on the types of breast implants that can be used in cosmetic surgery. The implants that surgeons use overseas may not meet these standards that are in place in Australia. Because of their choice to have overseas surgery, many women today are walking around with implants that may cause them future harm because of the materials that were used in the manufacture process.

As you can see, there are many risk factors to consider when having your cosmetic surgery performed overseas. These can not only affect your appearance after the surgery, but also your overall well-being in the short and long term. In many cases, the patient will end up spending more money to have the surgery performed overseas because of the follow-up care and surgeries after the operation when they return to Australia.

If you are considering taking a medical holiday for your cosmetic surgery, I strongly urge you to approach it with caution and take into consideration the points which I have mentioned above. Consider speaking to a local surgeon first (some offer free consultations) to get a professional opinion, and always research your options thoroughly before making a decision about your body and your health.

– David Topchian

By Mal Peter 02 May, 2017

While it can be easy to assume that if a doctor is a plastic or cosmetic surgeon that they are well experienced, ensuring you are selecting someone who has the right training and surgical history you require can be a difficult task. The fact is, regardless of their title, a surgeon may have never performed the procedure you are looking to undergo before and may not be the right choice for your needs. So how do you go about selecting the right person for the job? Here are some things to keep in mind whilst selecting a surgeon.

Let’s say you are looking to undergo a breast implant procedure, whether through plastic or cosmetic surgery you will want to ensure the surgeon you choose has undergone the right training and experience. The Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery, for example, does allow surgeons to become certified in breast implant surgery. By visiting their website, you can see for yourself what is required by those looking to become certified in terms of experience and training. If a surgeon is certified through the ACCS they need to abide by the college’s code of conduct which may give you extra peace of mind. One inclusion in this code is that a surgeon will need to inform you during the consultation if they have performed the surgery you are undergoing less than 100 times.

For plastic surgeons, you may want to check they are a member of The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and that their qualifications are recognised by the Australian Medical Council (AMC). It is important to note here though that the AMC hasn’t included an assessment, training or expertise in cosmetic surgical procedures. Basically, this means you can still become a qualified plastic surgeon with having no or little experience in cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentation, so it’s important to do your research. Of course, some plastic surgeons will be skilled in these areas and will have extensive experience and/or undergone extra training.

To help you cut through the confusion and work to make an informed decision, here are some questions you should ask a surgeon before you decide on them.

How many times have you performed this procedure before? You are looking for someone who can say they have performed it hundreds or even thousands of times.

How many times in the last 6 months?

(If a plastic surgeon) Did you undergo extra training in cosmetic procedures?

What is your complication rate and how do you go about discovering this?

Do you operate in a licensed hospital or day hospital in Melbourne?

Can I see images of work you have done?

Can I speak to previous patients?

Other things you may want to consider is comparing prices. As a general rule, low costs are associated with the quality you receive. Speak to our team about your options. You may want to also ensure you will have a specialist anesthetist during your operation.

By Mal Peter 01 Mar, 2017
When our patients consider breast enlargement, the first thing which generally comes to mind is breast implant surgery. In reality, however, this is not the only option available to women. Breast enlargement or augmentation through the use of fat transfer is emerging as a popular choice, especially for those who are looking for a minimal, natural looking increase. This treatment is also commonly known as fat grafting.

This fat transfer occurs when a patient’s own fat is extracted using a liposuction cannula from one part of the body (generally the waist, stomach or thighs) and injected into another part of the body to boost the fat volume. While this procedure is not limited to breasts – it can be used for the face and the buttocks as well – Melbourne based patients are turning to this minimally invasive breast augmentation option more and more.

By Mal Peter 27 Feb, 2017

Eyes may be the windows of the soul but sometimes the curtains can get a little faded. As we age and skin loses elasticity, the skin and tissue around the eye can begin to sag and wrinkle. With a simple walk-in, walk-out clinic procedure, you can restore the skin around your eyes to be smoother, softer and add youth to your appearance.

Whether you need eyelid surgery for medical reasons or you are looking for improvement to a problem area, Dr David can walk you through the process and discuss your available options to achieve your desired outcome.

By Mal Peter 23 Feb, 2017
Recent studies have shown a link between textured breast implants and a rare form of lymphoma cancer. Understandably, this is causing concern and worry amongst some of our patients. Dr David uses exclusively polyurethane covered implants, also known as the “super furry” Brazilian implants ,   which are not the ones associated with the research.
By Mal Peter 15 Feb, 2017

Despite what everyone thinks, having breast implant surgery doesn’t necessarily mean weeks of pain and recovery.

Previously, especially with techniques where the implant was placed under the muscle, recovery times were quite prolonged. Today, particularly with the rapid recovery technique Dr David uses, most patients are up and about the next day.

This method was invented by a Texan plastic surgeon who calls it the “Out to dinner breast augmentation”. This might sound a bit optimistic, but it’s absolutely achievable. Dr David has actually had patients that have been able to go out for dinner the same night as their surgical procedure.

As with any surgery, some recovery time is required. However, it is important to stay active after your surgery, because it can help your healing process moving forward. Frequent walks helps prevent any blood clots, deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, but it is important to take it easy in the beginning. Everyone is different, and some people might heal quicker than others.

By Mal Peter 15 Feb, 2017
Pregnancy, excessive weight loss or gain, or just the natural ageing process can all be the cause of your breasts sagging, or losing their volume or firmness. A breast lift procedure with Dr David can restore the volume, size, look and position of your breasts along with your confidence.
By Mal Peter 07 Feb, 2017







By Mal Peter 03 Feb, 2017
Dr David prefers the foam covered silicone gel implant, originating in Brazil, due to its risk minimisation. This means that complications like capsular contracture, which tend to affect up to 19% of women choosing standard smooth or textured silicone implants, could be reduced to between 1 and 2%.
By Mal Peter 25 Jan, 2017

There’s a lot of talk about how   small breasts   can create self-esteem issues in women. Yet there are many women out there experiencing the complete opposite. It’s not uncommon to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious with larger sized breasts as well. Some women may also experience physical challenges or even pain if they have a heavy chest.

Millions of women around the world struggle with having breasts that are too large. These women refer to problems such as back and neck issues, discomfort when exercising, bad posture, bra strap grooves, problems with the skin under the breasts as well as poor self-esteem.

Some women have tried it all – physical therapy, ergonomic changes, special bras, exercises and maybe even pain medication, but nothing seems to give the effect they’re after.

By Mal Peter 22 Jan, 2017

Are you struggling to reshape certain parts of your body? Dieting and exercising for years without achieving the result you want can be very frustrating. Dr David and Associates offer  high quality liposuction surgery, and can help you achieve the body of your dreams.

Over the last 30 years the liposuction techniques and procedures has been refined and developed, to make liposuction a safe, common surgical operation performed on a daily basis. Overall, the advantages of these of improvements have led to less discomfort and risks.

In this article, we will explain some of the  most common questions  we get regarding liposuction.

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