Sally Farmer was entranced by the slick e-brochure she received in 2005. Filled with enticing photos of Prague, it promised ‘cosmetic surgery of the highest quality, while taking in the historic, beautiful cities of the Czech Republic’.
Like thousands of women, Sally was unhappy with her face – a small bump in the bridge of her nose had bothered her since childhood.
Plastic surgical tourism is a popular alternative to the more expensive domestic option.
She booked a £2,000 package that included rhinoplasty (a nose job) and ten days at a local hotel for her recovery. In the UK, the operation would have cost about £3,000.
Price is the main allure. In this case a free vacation of sorts was added.
Yet, when the bandages came off, the bump had gone. She was thrilled. Even the fact that the tip of her nose felt soft to touch and almost hollow failed to dampen her mood.
‘Everything will settle,’ Dusan Vlcek, Sally’s Czech surgeon had said when she queried the peculiar sensation. ‘I was due to fly home that day so had to take his word for it,’ recalls Sally.
But it was to be the start of a four-year ordeal that would leave her disfigured and needing two repair procedures – as well as a sizeable bill.
When you go to the cut rate guy, there is risk. In this case, cheap got really expensive. It looks like she needed some tip work that wasn’t really done. Redos can be hard.
John Di Saia MD