NHS bears costs of botched Cosmetic Surgery

A Plastic Surgeon has warned botched private cosmetic surgery is costing the NHS in Oxfordshire ‘thousands and thousands’ each year.

Countless people flocking to places like Poland and India for unregulated breast augmentation and tummy tucks are relying on the NHS to pay surgeons when it goes wrong, he claimed. Adrian Richards, who runs Aurora Clinics, said his clinic received a referral every couple of months.

Last night, NHS Oxfordshire, the county’’s primary care trust, said it did not hold figures for how many people who had surgery privately needed NHS help and claimed it did not know how much it had spent fixing ‘botched jobs’.

But Mr Richards, a member of the Fellowship of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said the trust shelled out thousands of taxpayers’  money paying for the corrections each year.

He said:

“We have surgeons here who take referrals from the NHS and we see either a surgery related infection or bad job at least every couple of months.

The most popular types of surgery are ‘tummy tucks’, abdominoplasty, and breast augmentation. “The main things we do see are infections and these tend to be from places such as Poland, South Africa, and India, where sterility standards are not as high and surgery is not regulated.

Much of the time people go abroad for surgery and perhaps don’t get the level of aftercare they need to make sure they recover fully. You can’’t just jump on a plane afterwards because there is a high risk of blood clots.

When someone picks up an infection and becomes very ill after their surgery they’’ll go to the local A&E and in some cases have to be admitted into intensive care. “I would say it costs the NHS hundreds of thousands every year. “And when surgery goes very wrong, the sky’s the limit.””

The average price for a breast enlargement or tummy tuck in the UK is around £4,000. But Mr Richards said patients can save about £1,000 when they go abroad, with packages including a two-week break afterwards.

He suggests this type of routine ‘holiday surgery’ means people are not treating plastic surgery seriously:

“There seems to be an offhand approach to having surgery. People forget it is still surgery and can be dangerous if not done properly.”

Mr Richards said another worrying factor in going abroad to unregulated surgeries was the spread of the new superbug NDM1, which scientists are struggling to find an antidote for:

““The NDM1 virus was brought into this country by people who travelled to India and Pakistan mainly for cosmetic surgery procedures. “My advice to people who are considering having surgery is – do the research. “Make sure there are recognised standards in place and make sure you go and see a responsible professional.””

Categories:  general-news