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Australians Found to Seek Cosmetic Surgery in Thailand

Apr 26th 2012 at 3:44 AM

Cosmetic surgeries do not come cheap. The cost of a procedure is probably one of the main factors considered when deciding to have a cosmetic procedure. In fact, this is why others who do not have much financial resources would save for months or years just to have enough money for it. Also, it has been one of the reasons why cosmetic surgery discount coupons are gaining popularity nowadays. Recently, an investigation conducted by the Sunday Mail revealed that a number of Australians have been visiting Thailand to have cosmetic procedures done at a very low cost. These procedures are done anywhere – from 5-star hospitals to rundown facilities.

The price difference between cosmetic surgery done in Australia and in Thailand is big. The usual price range of breast implantation is from $8000 to $17,000, as compared to $5,000 in Thailand which already includes airfare, accommodation and the surgery itself. No wonder a lot of foreigners have been booking flights to have plastic surgery in this country. Another plus factor is the shorter waiting time. In fact, patients can wake up with a trimmer stomach or fuller breasts a day after they went inside a clinic to have a consultation.

This particular boom in the cosmetic industry in Thailand is happening amidst the first cosmetic surgery tourism research undertaken in five countries by British and Australian researchers. They aim to analyze the changes occurring in the cosmetic industry after much advertisements and tie-ups in the countries involved. Part of this study includes visiting the different hospitals and facilities that offer cosmetic services. Some of the hospitals are among the best; functioning like top of the line machinery with their highly competent and skilled surgeons. There are some facilities that are managed by Australian and American teams that usually attract patients to have more than just one procedure done. For instance, patients would initially come in for a breast implant but would then have Botox treatment, dental jobs or eyelifts done at the same time.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are also shabby establishments that offer the same services for a cheaper cost. One such hospital is the Yanhee International Hospital in Bangkok which can be likened to a fast food joint because of the people lining up to see the surgeon. The attendants even have roller blades on as they whiz along the corridors. To have a personal experience, the Sunday Mail researcher went in to have a consultation and as expected, he went out with a $3,000 breast augmentation offer. However, potential risks from the procedure were not explained.

Another establishment visited is the Pratunam Polyclinic headed by Dr. Thep Vechavisit. He sees himself as the cosmetic industry’s ‘street stall’ because of the cheap cost of his procedures. This rundown facility shares its space with Starbucks occupying the lobby and McDonald’s and a Japanese restaurant located on its second floor. The cleanliness of the area is also questionable since he even swatted a cockroach during the interview. According to him, he caters to a lot of Australians who choose to have breast augmentation for only $1,400. This is a far cry from internationally acclaimed hospitals such as Bumrungrad International Hospital or Phuket International Hospital, which are known facilities that cater to thousands of patients (both local and foreign) in a year.

Due to the cosmetic surgery tourism, the number of foreign patients availing cosmetic surgeries is doubling. Cosmetic surgery operators even charge fees and commission for every patient they get to have a procedure done. This is subject to ethical review, along with other standardized protocols for all facilities.


NOTE : This article is originally posted by cosmeticsurgerynews.

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