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Survey reveals rise in botched holiday surgery

Over 80% of Surgeons Have Seen Problems with Patients Returning from Holiday Surgery

London, UK-18 November 2007- The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (, the not-for-profit organisation established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit, today announced the results of a survey on aesthetic procedures performed abroad on 'holiday surgery' packages. The survey revealed their deepest concerns over the significant growth in problems with cosmetic surgery performed via cheap offers abroad.


A third (33%) of surgeons have seen 'much more' repair work over the last 5 years than previously but 50% have had to perform at least 'a little more' repair work than before

14% of surgeons have seen 9 or more patients in the last year alone with problems resulting from cheap cosmetic surgery abroad packages, but 44% of those polled have seen at least 3-5 cases

The top 3 concerns surgeons have with surgery abroad are: aftercare, language barriers and lower standards of quality in some countries

92% of surgeons said they are most concerned with the lack of aftercare provided

Cheap offers of cosmetic surgery abroad has been a growing concern among the BAAPS, who have in the past warned the public about the risks involved- Douglas McGeorge, BAAPS President and Consultant Plastic Surgeon, states;

"My experience with patients has shown that counselling is inadequate- the individuals have no idea of the standards of care in the country they are visiting and no knowledge of the abilities or experience of the surgeon. Follow-up is difficult. Complications do occur and are usually left to the British system to treat."

The survey also unveiled how many patients surgeons had seen in the last year as a result of problems stemming from 'holiday surgery': 44% of surgeons saw 3-5 dissatisfied patients, 14% saw 6-8 patients and another 14% were shocked to record at least 9 or more dissatisfied patients in the last year with poor results and avoidable complications. Some of the cases seen by BAAPS members included severe infections, a patient with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) from flying too soon after surgery and even a facelift patient who hadn't even had her stitches removed before returning to the UK.

BAAPS surgeons were also asked which countries some of these patients had chosen for their surgery. Over half (53%) of surgeons saw dissatisfied patients from Poland, followed by 44% of surgeons seeing patients from South Africa and 36% of surgeons who have seen problem cases from Belgium. Other countries mentioned in the survey were Hungary, Turkey, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Thailand and Malaysia.

Nigel Mercer, BAAPS President-Elect and Consultant Plastic Surgeon, says;

"This survey has shown how important it is for patients to thoroughly research every aspect of the procedure they are considering- the risks and benefits, the surgeon and their own expectations. Patients should be careful not to base choices on discounts, price and other marketing tactics, they need to make the best choice for their individual needs."

For more information on cosmetic procedures, please visit or contact the advice line on 020 7405 3324.


The BAAPS (, based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter:   and Facebook:

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