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Cosmetic Surgery in Spain

Cosmetic Surgery in Spain

Those thinking about surgery for either cosmetic or corrective purposes are often drawn towards considering having the procedure in Spain due to either reasons of finance or personal privacy and recuperation.

However, patients should be wary of these so called “cosmetic surgery holidays" offered by unethical clinics abroad, after recent research has demonstrated the number of people suffering complications on their return home has increased in the past 18 months.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), which represents one in three of all plastic surgeons in the UK, reported that a quarter of all members surveyed had noted a rise in patients complaining of complications due to taking surgery abroad.

The report found widespread unethical marketing tactics by websites offering these packages overseas. It also found that:

• 90% of those surveyed did NOT mention any risks or possible complications from surgery.

• Over 50% did NOT offer personal consultations prior to surgery.

• 39% did NOT include details of the procedures.

- The top five countries from which surgeons reported seeing patients return with problems were South Africa, Poland, Belgium, Turkey and Thailand.

Overall the report revealed Britain's growing enthusiasm for cosmetic surgery. The number of gynecomastia operations – sometimes called “man boob” reductions – has soared by 1,000% over 5 years, largely driven by middle-aged men wanting to be able to bare their chests on holiday. BAAPS reported 22 of these operations being performed in 2003 - to 323 in 2008.

One of the most common “Cosmetic Tourism” procedures is a tummy tuck, yet it is also one of the operations that carries the highest risk – one in five patients report post-operative problems such as wounds being unable to heal properly. Another common operation that takes place overseas is breast augmentation, which carries a 10% risk of problems, such as scarring or loss of sensation.

Unfortunately it seems that unethical websites offering such procedures is set to further increase over the coming years. Nigel Mercer, the President of BAAPS says that his number 1 concern is the poor standard or post-operative care generally received in these circumstances.

A further Professional body for surgeons - the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), has urged the NHS to treat patients suffering complications from surgery abroad - but only when they are in severe pain or have life-threatening conditions.

The rise in popularity of cosmetic surgery abroad has obviously resulted in many unscrupulous websites and clinics rising up to meet this increase in demand. However, it needs to be said that there are many professional clinics that are qualified and experienced in offering a number of procedures.

So once you have made the decision to seek cosmetic surgery abroad, how can you find a reputable, reliable and professional clinic?

• Plan a period of research – don’t just jump straight in and contact the first Clinic that you find

• Ask around for personal recommendations if you can

• Look at the website – don’t be put off it warns you of any risks involved in any procedure.

• Does the clinic offer a personal consultation prior to any procedure ?

• What is the standard of aftercare offered ?

• What are the professional qualification and accreditations of the Surgeon that you will be using ?

• Will the procedure be insured ?

Whilst on balance cosmetic surgery is generally cheaper in Spain than in the UK, the actual cost of the procedure should be perhaps one of the last considerations. Spain is very fortunate in having a number of well respected establishments combined with a fantastic climate for a short holiday to recover and the proximity to the UK, which means that the country has much to offer as a cosmetic surgery holiday destination.

Comment on this Article

Hi Jen, if you Google "AECEP" , this is basically the Spanish equivalent of the British BAAPS, and will list qualified and regulated Surgeries here in Spain. I|f you are looking for a British accredited / regulated surgeon you could try "" and see what they turn up.
Tumbit - Admin - Sun 4th Sep 2016
I live in Spain and looking for a cosmetic surgeon to do a mini face lift. Do you have a register of Spanish cosmetic surgeons who are aproved. Thankyou Jen
Jennifer Cloake - Sun 4th Sep 2016
Very informative post well you are right one should gather detailed information about the cosmetic surgery and the well qualified surgeon and their services while he/she planning to do cosmetic surgery.
Scott Loessin - Fri 11th May 2012
Jane, in order to work in the medical profession in Spain you must first ensure that your UK qualification is validated by the Spanish authorities (You might want to click HERE to read about this) and maybe contact either the issuer of your qualification or maybe even NARIC UK for further info on this.
Tumbit - Admin - Sat 29th Oct 2011
Hi Thank you for the info .... I wondered if you could offer me any advice???? I am moving to Murcia in Spain next year. I am a first level registered nurse in the UK working in Aesthetics in the UK. I would like to continue to practice in Spain when I move there. Please can you inform me what the Law states in Spain for UK registered nurses administering Botox. (Is my registration acknowledged in Spain to continue to do this procedure). And what if any are the conditions/clauses there are for a UK registered nurse to practice in this field. thankyou Jane
Jane Laferla - Sat 29th Oct 2011