How to be a discerning surgery abroad customer

woman-thinkingI use the word ‘customer’ in the title rather than ‘patient’ because it’s important to remember that you’re still a customer of the clinic you choose to undergo your surgery with. In other words, you’re the one who’s paying: so make sure you’re getting what you want out of it.

When you’re considering surgery abroad, it’s important to do your research and find a clinic that you feel confident and comfortable with. This isn’t just about checking that the clinic has done good work in the past, or making sure that their surgeons are well qualified – it’s about finding people you can talk to while you’re there.

You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it makes, being able to chat, ask questions, and be put at ease during your stay and before your surgery. We’ve compiled a list of questions to ask your chosen clinic which should help you to find somewhere which will make you feel, if not at home, then in good hands:

  • Does my surgeon speak English? If not, will there be a translator available?
  • Will I get to meet other British patients during my stay?
  • How much help will I be given when it comes to getting around, shopping, etc.?
  • How nice/comfortable are the surgery facilities?
  • Can I choose my own accommodation?
  • Will I be given a contact to call if I get stuck or upset?

This isn’t a comprehensive list. Have a think yourself about what you think you might need when you’re there, and just ask away – the clinic which ticks the most boxes is likely a good one to go for.

Going for surgery can be scary, and going for surgery in a foreign country even worse. It doesn’t have to be hard, though, with the right support in place. To take the next step and receive a FREE personalised info pack and quote please visit or call 0843 289 4 982 or email

Exclusive Angela Chouaib Interview: Part Two

20121216-0356smallWe recently featured part one of this exclusive interview in our blog. Today, we’ve got part two, and it’s even juicier! Jenny Southan interviewed Angela Chouaib, MD and founder of Secret Surgery, for Business Traveller. Here’s what she found out.

What kinds of procedures and treatment do people from the UK tend to go abroad for? What about people from the US?

The most of my patients fall into the 4 main procedures Tummy Tucks, Breast Lift, Breast Reductions and Face Lift – I believe this is the global trend in patient requests.

What are the advantages of going abroad for medical treatment?

In my personal experience I found it to be less sales driven and money orientated. The surgeon has that good old fashioned doctor/patient relationship where you are never seen as a walking cheque book and the really take the time to understand you long term expectations and manage these in a caring way. I personally couldn’t have afford a UK surgeon with the same level of expertise and standard of private hospital facilities that I accessed in the Poland.

Inside the EMC Hospital in Wroclaw
Inside the EMC Hospital in Wroclaw

What are the risks of going abroad for medical treatment?

At the core of my objectives at Secret Surgery is the desire to help other people achieve an equally positive safe experience of cosmetic surgery. Many risks are managed as effectively as possible for example we ask patients to remain in destination for 7-10 days post procedure, this allows the surgeon to monitor healing, wound management, remove stitches prior to discharging the patient as being safe to fly home. DVT is a big risk on long haul flights (which is why I don’t offer this) On short 1-2 hour flights we can be limit risk by methods such as herapin injections and recommending surgical support socks are worn.

How does the issue of language affect getting medical treatment abroad?

Many nations speak English as their second language and I actually find this a positive instead of seen as a language barrier as medical team a consultation stage take extra time to explain things in more detail than you may get in your native tongue and also this is explained in layman terms (no patient wants to hear long latin words) I haven’t had any real concerns from patient post operative that have identified a language barrier.

So there you are! We’re hoping that this interview will help to reassure any patients with worries about travelling abroad for surgery; there are a lot of common worries about quality and language barriers which our patients often raise with us, and hopefully Angela’s candid answers will put a lot of minds at ease.

To take the next step and receive a FREE personalised info pack and quote please visit or call 0843 289 4 982 or email