Has the price of Breast Surgery come down – or the quality as well?
We have seen a lot of articles in newspapers, magazines and on television last year, talking about the plummeting price of breast surgery. “Anyone can get them now,” the media told us, “even a grandmother on a limited income can afford it!”
What will you get for your money?
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen an explosion of cheap cosmetic surgery clinics in Australia, some being owned and run by business people – not by doctors. The primary objective of all cheap clinics is to make money and they achieve this goal by cutting back on their costs in ways which can seriously compromise patient comfort and safety:
• Typically, their “surgeons” are doctors with little or no qualifications or formal training in cosmetic surgery.
• Procedures are often performed in unlicensed premises rather than in proper surgical hospitals. And because their in-house set-ups are not licensed to use General Anaesthesia, they perform all breast surgery under Local Anaesthesia only. There have been a number of media reports of patients being transferred to Emergency suffering cardiac arrests and convulsions due to the high doses of local anaesthetic used to keep patients still during their surgery. Another patient needed transfer to Emergency with a punctured lung. The Health Commission is currently investigating.
• Breast implants vary considerably in cost. Always check the brand and properties of the implants you’re being offered. Cut-price clinics don’t use the more-expensive implants because they cost more.
If the above isn’t enough to make you think twice about where to go for your surgery, consider that their “surgeons” are under pressure to perform as many breast augmentations as they can in any one day – often taking only 40 minutes compared to the usual 1½-2hrs a meticulous surgeon may take. And interestingly, why are their ‘After’ photos almost always in bras – maybe not out of decency considerations but perhaps the naked appearances of their implanted breasts aren’t all that attractive!
How does this differ from a high-quality Cosmetic Surgery?
High-standard Breast Augmentation is very different. The surgery is performed by an experienced Cosmetic or Plastic Surgeon who has spent years developing their expertise in this highly specialised field. Also, in the best interests of patient comfort and safety, all Breast Augmentations should be performed in an accredited hospital under General Anaesthesia – thereby avoiding the risks of toxicity from excessive Local Anaesthetic dosages as occurred in Sydney several years ago and widely reported in the media. The procedure generally takes around 1½-2hrs, not 40 minutes! Proper after-care and 24/7 availability of your surgeon are important features of high-standard surgery.
It’s worth the extra expense
While many clinics have joined the price war to keep attracting customers, it’s a sad truth that no one can continue to offer great quality surgery at bargain basement prices. Naturally, with cheap price clinics, something needs to be left out in order for those businesses to remain viable – be it no hospital, no anaesthetist, inexperienced doctors or cheaper implants. If you are considering Breast Augmentation, it’s well worth saving up or borrowing the extra money to ensure you get the best possible care before, during and after your surgery.