Are Cosmetic Surgery Safaris Safe?

Cosmetic Surgery Gaining Popularity in the UK

UK newspaper, the Daily Mail, reports that cosmetic surgery (especially breast surgery) is on the rise with many women who want to enhance their appearance. Around 10,000 breast implant surgeries are performed each year, and this number will likely on continue to rise as technology becomes more advanced. However, this constant demand has done little to change the price in recent years. Only by going abroad can some women hope to cover the expenses of breast augmentation surgery.

Medical Tourism Trips to South Africa

With its great weather, activities, and breathtaking vistas, South Africa has long been a favorite holiday destination for Britons. With the cost of breast augmentation surgery at a UK private hospital reported to be at least US$6,500, more and more women are finding that a “surgery safari” is right for them.

Taking advantage of non-stop flights from London to Johannesburg, many Britons are going south for cosmetic surgery. According to one South African news source, medical tourism in the country is on the rise as Cape Town and Johannesburg compete for travelers by offering packaged vacations, guided tours, and unparalleled medical care. Local doctors say that patients from abroad come most often to cut the cost of procedures like breast augmentation surgery, liposuction, and facial rejuvenation surgery. Some of these doctors have connections with consultation offices in the UK, streamlining the referral process.

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Cosmetic Surgery with a View

To the meet the high demand, many medical tourism travel agencies have sprung up in South Africa. Owners of theses agencies say that patients come because of the combination of sun, wildlife, views, and world-class medical facilities South Africa has to offer. Ingrid Lomas, the manager of a profitable medical tourist agency in Johannesburg, says the bottom line is that people can come to South Africa for surgery and a vacation for less than the cost of the surgery itself in the UK. “It’s a growing phenomenon,” she says. “I’m getting more and more calls.”

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