Header: Credit: Shutterstock If you’re considering surgery abroad do your research first, although the price maybe appealing or the idea of the cosmetic surgery holiday but be aware! Have you asked yourself “why is this treatment so cheap?” or “Why is this such a great deal?”

Why do people travel abroad for surgery?

Cost was the number one reason people travelled abroad for surgery. Patients who choose to travel to such destinations as Poland, Turkey, and Thailand etc are typically from wealthier counties such as the UK, USA or Australia where the exchange rate makes the cost of the procedure cheaper in less wealthy countries. Along with standards of care, cost should never be your primary focus when it comes to cosmetic surgery see 'Why Pay More' below. NHS waiting time, this list can be lengthy and the waiting times can stretch over years patients become impatient and would rather run the risk of going abroad. Holiday, patients like the glamorous idea of combining a holiday with their procedure which is sometimes referred to as “medical tourism.” This has grown in popularity due to low cost airlines but this isn’t your typical 'holiday' as you can’t lay in the sun or enjoy the pool following surgery as you would run the risk of complications and infection. Range of Procedures, there are certain procedures either not performed in the UK or harder to receive treatment for. One of the most common is gender reassignment surgery (sex change operation). Patients travel to countries such as Thailand where the procedure is carried out frequently and you don’t need to be on the gender reassignment register like in the UK which can result in long waiting times.

Where are people going?

During the 5 year period from 2004-2008 the IPS (international passenger surgery) data suggested that 78% of people who travelled for medical reasons went to European countries and 22% travelled further afield. Popular designations range from Poland, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico and Brussels.

Standards and guidelines

The UK cosmetic surgery industry is highly regulated, standards and guidelines are not as strict abroad and standards are not as necessarily as tightly controlled. MYA openly share CQC (the Independent regulator of health and social care in England) report’s on our website to reassure patients of our transparency as a leader in cosmetic surgery. We also publish our clinical data including revision rates, surgical site infection rates, return to theatre rates and total procedures carried out on our website in a bid to provide patients with all the information required to make an informed decision about their chosen provider.

Surgeon Credentials

There are some highly qualified surgeons outside of the UK but it can prove an issue when trying to check their credentials. In the UK cosmetic and plastic surgeons will be on the specialist register for plastic surgery that is held by the general medical council (GMC) and this can be checked on http://www.gmc-uk.org/ other countries use different systems due to different standards and qualifications so it is not easy to check if an overseas surgeon is fully trained.


Patients also tend not to appreciate the range of risks inherent on traveling abroad for such procedures as breast enlargement, Tummy Tucks or Liposuction. Beccy the MYA clinic nurse in Newcastle explains; “MYA advise post-surgery that you wait at least 2 weeks to fly short haul and 4 weeks long haul. This is important to reduce the risk of developing blood clots or DVT. The concern that patients choose to have surgery abroad then travel home days later is worrying, wounds can take up to 6 weeks to heal, unavoidable post-operative complications can arise weeks following surgery. MYA provide a 24 hour emergency line to all patients and clinics national with highly trained nurses, this is part of MYA’s extensive aftercare. “ Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 10.00.56
I was looking into having surgery abroad but was nervous about things like having no consultations, being abroad for my recovery away from everyone and who would help me if I needed it. I decided to look into UK based companies and MYA out-shone the rest of the companies I looked into from a mile off! Read more

Complications & Extra Cost

Cosmetic Surgery like any surgery has risks involved whether that be in the UK or abroad. However if you have surgery abroad you are more likely to have post-op complications due to the lack of contact and care available when back in the UK. However if complications arise after surgery in the UK it is your surgeon’s responsibility to provide follow up treatment as his/her duty of care. MYA offer an extensive aftercare package with all procedures which includes up to 3 years of surgical aftercare and unlimited post op appointments. (Please refer to your patient guide for full details or MYA’s aftercare) Julie PC/Manager at MYA Newcastle states “Patients whom I have consulted who have previously undergone surgery abroad state they haven’t taken the aftercare into consideration and the fact they are coming to MYA to revise the surgery it ends up costing them more in the long run.”


Policies may vary but in general you can’t rely on holiday insurance to cover you during surgery whist abroad and any major complications could result in costly medical bills and financial strain.

Why pay more to go with a premium brand such as MYA?

MYA is a dedicated large scale cosmetic surgery provider with clinics nationally.
  • MYA provide highly qualified surgeons, free consultations with patient coordinators and your chosen specialist surgeon to allow you to make a free informed decision about surgery.
  • Clinics Nationally, if you move and you require your post op care to be carried out in another part of the country that isn’t a problem
  • MYA are the only cosmetic surgery provider to have an online forum created for patients to research and discuss their procedure openly and freely. Along with a variety of patient stories young to old, breast enlargement to Vaser liposuction, all happy to share their MYA experience.
  • MYA have their own hospital in the country’s capital the MYA Fitzroy Hospital in central London. This means you can have your initial consultation, surgeon consultation procedure and aftercare all under one roof.
  • MYA are committed to the provision of first class products and services for our patients which is why we principally use Mentor Breast Implants. Mentor is part of the Johnson and Johnson a well-established company. Mentor even have 50 years experience in breast implant manufacture.
  • Mentor supply all breast implant patients with the Mentor Patient Care promise in the unlikely even that your implant was to rupture within 10years then they will give you £850 towards a re-op along with lifetime replacement warranty of the implants for a confirmed rupture. Not only that, they will also replace any implant within 10 years of surgery for capsular contractor. Mentor is even a leading provider for the NHS .
  • Conscientious aftercare including 3 year surgical, 5 year from the date of surgery for revision surgery if capsular contracture occurs. Along with a 24hr emergency help line of dedicated nurses to answer your medical concerns.
This MYA Forum patient tells us about her experience having a breast enlargement in Prague then visiting MYA for a removal and re-augmention. Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 10.08.13 Marie-Claire MYA Blephs (eye bag removal) patient tells her story; “I decided to use MYA after previously having cosmetic surgery abroad and feeling very abandoned from the minute I came out of the hospital. This time I wanted someone to talk to from start to finish, someone who could give me really honest opinion on my individual case. I did go in asking for upper and lower blepharoplasty, but my surgeon suggested that only an upper one would be a good idea” For further information on MYA or to book your free consultation call 03330141014 or complete the online enquire form.