Overseas Breast Augmentation – Understanding The Risks

What about operating overseas?  I have heard that I can have my breast augmentation performed overseas at a much lower cost.

overseas breast augmentation

Yes, that is true.  It is certainly possible to have breast augmentation performed overseas, particularly in South East Asia.  There are two important points to consider before embarking upon this surgery.

The first is that invariably the surgeon’s qualifications are less than clear, and it may or may not be the case that you are being operated on by a qualified plastic surgeon.  In many instances, we have seen people having seen a plastic surgeon and then finding out the operation is performed by someone completely different.

The second point is that the implants may or may not be of Australian standards, and in some cases no implant is used at all. Several patients have presented to us this year having had free silicone injected into the breast.  In all cases the patients were told that they had a silicone gel implant inserted.

Additionally, even if a gel implant is inserted, not infrequently they are of a lower standard to those used in Australia as the product specifications and quality controls are different for South East Asia and Australia.

Finally, and most importantly, you need to have a very clear understanding as to who will be performing your follow-up care.  Even if you can organise someone locally to look after your wounds and your breasts in the early postoperative period, you will need to also ensure that they can manage wound infections, seromas, wound dehiscences, or other small problems in the early postoperative period.  In the longer term that you need to work out who is overseeing you and you implants into the future. This is important because we know from the published literature that up to 20% of all breast augmentations will require some form of revision in the first three years after surgery.  In many cases this is relatively minor, but in almost all cases involves a return to the operating theatre and repositioning or replacement of the implant.

If you have had your surgery done in Thailand, this means that you will need to either return to Thailand to have this surgery performed or you will need to engage another surgeon in Australia to perform this surgery for you.

Our experience is that almost invariably it is a plastic surgeon who is asked to undertake this revisional surgery, as the cosmetic “surgeon” advertising himself as a so called expert is unable to perform this surgery.

If you have had your original surgery performed outside Australia you will almost invariably be asked to pay for any revisional surgery.

In comparison, if you had had your original surgery locally, any revisional work is performed at minimal cost.

In our practice, this revisional surgery is performed at no out-of-pocket expense.

It is the classic case therefore of what may initially seem to be the very cheap option, ultimately ending up being a far more costly, time-consuming, and stressful alternative.

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