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I was talking with one of my patients who had her initial breast augmentation performed in Thailand. She became my patient when her implants started to migrate towards her armpit and drop below her breast crease. So-called “bottoming-out” and migration of breast implants is a well-recognised complication of breast augmentation, particularly with smooth implants.

If the operation is performed in Australia, most plastic surgeons work with their patient to correct complications with minimal out-of-pocket expense. This is rarely the case if the original operation is performed off-shore. Unfortunately, correction of complications can become far more expensive than the original operation.

My patient required replacement of her implants and recreation of a pocket to snugly fit around her new implants. She recovered well and to date is delighted because she has achieved what she wanted in the first place.

At her review last week I asked her, “Why Thailand?”

“I was attracted by the advertising, the price and having a holiday whilst recovering. However, the surgeon spent so little time with me and I don’t think he really understood what I wanted. There were also 8 other women lined up for the same operation on the same day,” she said.

She went on, “I was young and didn’t think much about it at the time. I saw the surgeon briefly the day after the operation and that was it. When I was home in Australia and things started to go wrong, they didn’t want to know me.”

I have now heard a similar story several times from unhappy patients.

Breast augmentation is real surgery and any form of surgery has the potential for unexpected outcomes. If that occurs you need to feel safe and know that you can trust your surgeon to work with you to get the very best outcome.

As my patient said, “Now I tell all my girlfriends that if they want to get their breasts done, DON’T go to Thailand. Find a surgeon in Australia who will listen, and has the experience to give you what you want.”

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