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Plastic Surgery Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Australia Medical Tourism on the Rise

By Staff Editor
Mar 7, 2014 - 11:52:36 AM

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( - Worse than coming home from vacation with a broken snow globe is a botched nose job, which is the awful souvenir many Aussies are ending up with. Australians have some of the best quality and hi-tech healthcare in the world, so why do they travel to other countries for plastic surgery? The answer comes down to what it almost usually does - the price tag. As a result, South America, Thailand, India, South Korea, and Malaysia have been reaping the benefits of attracting medical tourists with the lure of low-cost cosmetic procedures.

Meanwhile, patients traveling to these countries find out all too often and all too late that the lower cost is not always worth it. After returning they end up spending more than they would if they had stayed in their own country because they have to pay for revision surgery. Breast augmentation revision, rhinoplasty revision, and tummy tuck revision are becoming increasingly popular, much to the dismay of everyone involved... except maybe the primary surgeon raking in the profit.

A Twist in the Plot

Australian plastic surgeons will be the first to admit that procedures performed in the country are much more expensive than elsewhere in the world. President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Dr. Geoff Lyons has said himself, "It is substantially cheaper over there. They can do a breast augmentation cheaper than I can buy the implants in Australia." However, it turns out that you do indeed get what you pay for. And the rest of the world is taking notice.

While Australians are packing their bags and heading to Thailand for their liposuction procedures and breast augmentation, wealthy medical tourists from New Zealand, Asia, and the United States are making their way to Australia, despite the inflated price. According to a study by Deloitte Access Economics, a prominent economic advisory practice in the country, over 10,000 international patients fly in for cosmetic medical care each year, receiving aesthetic treatments like Sydney rhinoplasty and Sydney facelifts, as well as non-cosmetic procedures like knee replacements. For these plastic surgery seekers, the value is in the results.

Surgeons Plea to Australian Patients

Australian plastic surgeons are hoping they can start keeping some of the $300 million spent outside the country on cosmetic surgery each year at home. This would benefit not only local practices, but patients who would save a substantial amount of money by not having to pay for the same procedure twice.

Patients returning to their home country with unsatisfactory results are forced to pay Australian prices anyway, and the surgeons must fix the poor workmanship of other doctors. Having stayed local, all of this could be avoided. Of course, all procedures have their risks, even if they are performed by the world's best surgeons. Revision rates for rhinoplasty are somewhere near 15% under the best of circumstances.

Australian medical societies and the Victorian State Government in particular are pushing not only to gain control of the situation but to encourage more medical tourism to be brought into the country from elsewhere. Although it would certainly have its economic benefits, some people wonder if doing so will lower the quality of care natives receive in local hospitals due to increased demand for resources. Another question that many have is if drug resistant "superbugs," what have become rampant in Asian countries, will make their way to Australia by encouraging these tourists. A scary thought!

Native Australians in need of primary and revision rhinoplasty, as well as local and international patients seeking the best in face, nose, and eye cosmetic surgery, visit Dr. Paul Gerarchi, one of the most renowned rhinoplasty surgeons in Sydney.  The facial aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon is also trained in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. The highest standards of care are maintained whether the procedure is a browlift, face and necklift, nasal reshaping, or anti-wrinkle treatment. To learn more about Dr. Gerarchi's practice, The Face Institute, visit or schedule a consultation by calling (02) 9412 4599.


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