Cosmetic surgery is something that is becoming increasingly normalised in the West, with a wide array of accessible surgeries and treatments now available from high-street aesthetic clinics and private plastic surgery facilities across the country. But, despite this growing popularity, there is still the matter of cost.

In difficult times, Brits are finding it harder to afford cosmetic procedures. Even where they have medical or mental health benefits, and NHS coverage applies, the waiting times can be too long for prospective patients to bear – leading them to look farther afield for treatment. What are the dangers of this?

Hair Transplants

One of the most popular elective procedures, for which a great many travel to Turkey in order to receive, is that of the hair transplant. Hair transplants involve the relocation of hair follicles from one part of the body to another, in order to redistribute hair growth and return confidence to those with bald spots or other hair growth issues. Hair transplants are a purely elective procedure, and not often prescribed by the NHS to begin with – making it the remit of private healthcare organisations and aesthetics clinics.

The prevailing reason for which the journey is made though when it comes to hair transplants, is cost. A number of factors are at play with regard to cost, from exchange rates and local economies to the relative value of certain processes and procedures. In some cases, though, cuts to costs are only made possible thanks to a more relaxed approach to medical procedures.

Put simply, the regulations surrounding healthcare and safety in medicine are less rigorous than with the NHS, a fact that can lead to poorer healthcare outcomes. With this in mind, making a civil claim as a result of potentially negligent care can be more difficult, despite the increased likelihood of negligent care.

‘Turkey Teeth’

The same differences in regulation and standards have enabled another common procedure that invites international custom – this time in the form of dentistry. Dental care was an early victim of privatisation efforts in the UK, and as such is a difficult practice for the general public to invest in. Where serious dental issues emerge, it is often cheaper for Brits to elect for drastic measures than treatment; hence, the high popularity of crowns.

Crowns are custom-shaped teeth, installed onto existing tooth material as a unit or individually. This process can involve the filing-down of existing teeth to create ‘pegs’, onto which artificial teeth are fitted. This can be a wholesale measure to reduce the impact of cracks, decay and discolouration, but can also invite detrimental results.

Additional Barriers

The above examples illustrate some essential differences between the quality of care between the UK and other areas in the world, despite rising standards everywhere. However, outside of the care itself – and in acknowledgement that there are world-leading medical facilities on every continent, not just in the West – there are additional barriers to care that can make treatment and recovery difficult. Chief among these barriers is language, as communicating pain, discomfort or a problem with your results can be near-impossible. This can slow responses to issues, and complicate problems as they develop.

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