Britain’s youngest ever EuroMillions winner, Jane Park, is reportedly fighting for her life having undergone Brazilian butt lift surgery at a clinic in Turkey.
Jane has suspected sepsis, which has worsened since her return to the UK.
She hit the headlines when she scooped the windfall (aged just 17) and, according to sources, has spent more than £50,000 on plastic surgery since then.
Among the cosmetic procedures she’s undergone are a boob job, Botox, liposuction, lip and cosmetic fillers.
But the latest news raises the question of just how safe is it to get a procedure done abroad.
How do we know which plastic surgeon to choose? And why shouldn’t we opt for treatment abroad if it’s cheaper?
With the holiday season upon us, we asked our experts the safest route to surgery.
A well-trained practitioner is only half the story when it comes to plastic surgery procedures.
More specifically, is your surgeon trained in the treatment you want?
You should always ask your chosen surgeon about cosmetic training qualifications and experience.
Aesthetic procedures come with risk and it is advisable to have treatment in a place that can handle any associated risks, with staff who have the necessary knowledge and the proper equipment.
The cost of any cosmetic surgery can seem hefty and, therefore, companies offering surgery abroad can prove tempting.
However, be warned: you may be risking your health in a bid to make those attractive cost savings elsewhere.
There is little protection should it all go wrong and it’s a long way to travel for the necessary check ups after surgery – it’s not going to be easy to fly back to the surgeon and clinic if there are any complications.
Of course, all surgery comes with risk – whether it is performed abroad or in the UK – however, safety must come first, and having robust post-operative safety protocols in place should be mandatory after any major surgery.
Comparethetreatment expert and consultant plastic surgeon Marc Pacifico has seen the results of many a ‘cosmetic tourism’ procedure gone wrong.
He says: ‘There are three reasons why you should never go abroad for cosmetic surgery – safety, safety, safety.’
He explains: ‘Safety issue number one: Be aware it’s not going to be easy to fly back to the surgeon and clinic if there are any complications.
‘Safety issue number two: The risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is greatly increased after surgery and during a flight – so not a great combination. If you are unfortunate enough to have a DVT, then you are more likely to have a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.
‘And finally, safety concern number three: You cannot usually be certain about the background, qualifications and experience of your surgeon compared with the ability to check and confirm these with a UK surgeon (e.g. are they a member of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons), as well as the follow-up commitment the clinic or surgeon will have in the event of a problem.’
No 'butts', the five BIG questions to ask your surgeon
1. What’s your background, training, qualifications and experience? Ensure you see a fully accredited consultant plastic surgeon who is on the specialist register of the General Medical Council as a plastic surgeon, and is also a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). The GMC’s new guidelines are there to protect patients – banning aggressive marketing tactics, insisting on a ‘cooling off’ period, and demanding patients are made aware of risks.
2. What treatment options can you offer? The cosmetic surgeon must be able to explain why they would recommend their preferred option. Be wary of a specialist only being able to talk about one option, as it might suggest they are only discussing the option they themselves can offer, and that might not be the best choice for you!
3. What ‘before and after’ photographs do you have – of your own patients? Ensure the pictures you are being shown are the result of that plastic surgeon’s own work so you can take a view regarding whether or not to proceed.
4. Where will the surgery take place? Establish that the surgery will be carried out at a Care Quality Commission-registered hospital, with all the appropriate facilities, equipment and back-up arrangements. The CQC will soon start rating clinics that offer cosmetic surgery, too, adding another layer of patient protection.
5. What after-care arrangements are planned? It is important you have regular visits arranged in the early post-operative period, and easy access to the surgeon or nurse for any concerns or questions.