Cosmetic surgery tourists health risk

London: Women who have cosmetic surgery abroad may be risking their health, experts have warned.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons estimate that around 10,000 Britons have operations in countries such as South Africa, Brazil, Malaysia and India each year. Most know little about their surgeons medical qualifications and have little redress should complications occur post-surgery.

The attraction of surgery abroad is that it is usually cheaper than in the UK but many patients have to pay for expensive corrective surgery back home which is not covered by medical insurance.

A tummy-tuck which might cost $10,000 in the UK may cost as little as $3,000 abroad.

Norman Waterhouse of BAAPS said that women needed to be careful when taking up these cheap cosmetic surgery offers, many of which seemed dubious.

Despite the trend to have surgery abroad, the British market continues to grow. In 2004 16,000 operations were carried out – 52 per cent up on the previous year.