WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES: Patients looking for cheap plastic surgery abroad have been returning to the UK with horrifying complications which is costing the NHS millions of pounds to fix
Bargain hunters going abroad for cheap plastic surgery have cost the NHS nearly £5million to fix botched jobs in the past three years.
Taxpayers footed a bill of roughly £15,000 a pop to correct 324 bungled operations, according to a survey by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
Patients returning from surgery in health tourism hotspots like Turkey report horrifying complications – from wounds that will not heal to life-threatening sepsis.
One mum of two told how she felt on the brink of death after a bargain boob job. Claudia Rogers, 28, returned from Istanbul with a raging infection and spent eight weeks in and out of hospital.
She said: “I became really unwell as my wounds started to bleed. I thought I was dying. I was referred to a specialist and had to attend every three days for two months. [Medics] were cleaning and redressing my wounds, and debated if I needed another surgery to close a gash.”
Aesthetics practitioner Claudia, from Wirral, Merseyside, said she picked her surgeon after reading glowing testimonials but got a different one on the day.
She added: “I went ahead as they all assured me I had a ‘specialist surgeon’ but it was the worst decision. I decided to go for surgery in the first place as I was unhappy with my appearance after having kids but everything possible went wrong.”
Four in five UK surgeons now deal with more corrective cases than ever. Some even say it accounts for 40% of their work.
Marc Pacifico, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said: “We are only scratching the surface of the true number needing treatment on an already stretched health service.
“We are in discussions with government in the UK and abroad to develop pathways to relieve the burden on the NHS.”
Stella Vig, national medical director for NHS Secondary Care and Quality, said: “The NHS is far too often left to support patients when cosmetic surgeries abroad go wrong. This puts unplanned pressure on clinical teams who are delivering essential care within the NHS.”