Wow. Where do I start with this one? Maybe the best approach is to go through it chronologically. So firstly, you don’t get to have a face to face consultation with your surgeon until you’re already over there and you’ve committed to the surgery. It’s usually the day before the operation. Although seeing your photos may be helpful for the surgeon, nothing compares to a physical, in-person examination and actually hearing firsthand what a patient is trying to achieve. Here at Re, we meet you well before your surgery. You have an opportunity to consider our consultation and recommendations and even come back and see us again if you have any further questions. Two, it’s impossible to understand the qualifications of your surgeon. A plastic surgery fellowship from another country is not necessarily equivalent to an Australian training in plastic surgery. The qualifications or letters after a doctor’s name can sound impressive, but they can be misleading.
In Australia, we have a plastic surgery training program that is robust and rigorous and it’s endorsed by the Australian Medical Council so you know we are all well-trained. Thirdly, you don’t know the standard of the hospital that the surgery’s being performed in. In Australia, hospitals are held to the highest standards in the world. Just because the building looks nice and clean doesn’t make it safe for surgery. Australian standards ensure procedures are in place for patient’s safety, including that all the staff are appropriately trained and there are appropriate numbers of staff to look after you. Also, that equipment is sterilized properly to avoid infection and procedures are in place to deal with problems if they occur. Safety is paramount in medicine. I only work in accredited hospitals held to the highest safety standards.
Number four, the anesthetist. What training have they had? They’re all these also vital. It’s one thing to get a botched operation, but a whole other thing to have a major complication from an anesthetic, that can be life threatening. Number five, postoperative care. Who’s going to look after you following your surgery? Do you have to bring a family member? Do you have to bring a friend? Who pays for that? Whilst recovery from surgery is usually very well tolerated. It’s no holiday. If you want or need a holiday, go on a holiday. This is not an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. The sixth thing would be the longterm followup. All surgery has longterm legacy issues. Who’s going to look after you if you’re worried about something at two weeks, two months, or even two years?
We often see women who’ve had surgery overseas and then have concerns but have nowhere to go. If you’re a patient of Re, then you are always a patient of Re. We are always happy to see our patients, no matter how long ago their surgery was. Seven, is the cost. What is the actual cost when you take everything into account? Is it actually that much of a saving? What about if you need a revision, that is generally more costly than a primary augmentation? Now I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I don’t think it’s a great idea. Thankfully, it’s not quite as common as it was even five years ago.