Introduction

Popular cosmetic surgery procedures, including botulinum toxin injections, breast augmentation or reduction, nose jobs and tummy tucks, are rarely, if ever, available on the National Health Service. Private cosmetic surgery abroad costs less – across Europe typically 50%, or more, less – than in the United Kingdom and, for many people, even allowing for the cost of travelling to a foreign country, ‘medical tourism’ is still the more affordable option. Consequently, Britons have begun to flock abroad in search of cosmetic surgery procedures that don’t leave them with a mountain of debt but, more importantly, don’t mean that they have to compromise on the quality of the healthcare they receive.

Home versus Abroad

Of course, no cosmetic surgery procedure, at home or abroad, is entirely without risk. Postoperative complications – physical and, in some cases, financial – can arise regardless of where, geographically, a procedure is performed. However, while cosmetic surgery prices in Central and Eastern Europe tend to be lower than elsewhere – hence the popularity of Slovakia and, in particular, Poland as destinations for cosmetic surgery tourists – cosmetic surgery abroad also has other attractions.

Other Cost Considerations

Poland, for example, has one of the strongest economies in the European Union, to which it acceded in 2004 and, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, was expected to attract 19.67 million international tourists in 2018. Flying time from London to Warsaw is around 2 hours 30 minutes and the Polish capital is well served by low-cost, budget airlines, such as Easyjet, Ryanair and Wizz Air, as are other major cities, such as Kraków and Wrocław. The cost of living in Poland is low, which can be a boon if you, and anyone travelling with you, need to book hotel accommodation before and/or after your cosmetic surgery procedure.

Healthcare Quality

The cost and distance of travelling to your destination and the cost of living once you have arrived are obviously important considerations when planning cosmetic surgery abroad, but not as important as the quality of the healthcare, including aftercare, you receive. The good news for cosmetic surgery tourists to Poland is that many Polish healthcare workers – surgeons, doctors and nursing staff – have been fully trained, and certified, in countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States and enjoy an excellent reputation internationally. Many of them also speak English fluently, which can be reassuring if your trip to Poland is your first experience of cosmetic surgery.

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