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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May 2008, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Brits head abroad for cosmetic surgery
By Tamasin Ford
Newsbeat reporter in Poland

Rhiannon Evans
Rhiannon Evans before and after her rhinoplasty (nose) operation

How far would you go for the perfect nose job or a bit of liposuction on the cheap?

Surgeons in Poland told Newsbeat they're seeing more and more Brits fly out for there for cosmetic surgery.

Some treatments cost half as much as they do in the UK, even with the flights and hotel costs on top.

Pawel Paluchowski is the Vice President of IQ Medica, a cosmetic surgery clinic in Warsaw.

He said: "Mostly we have patients from the UK. The biggest reason why they come here is price and quality."

Low cost surgery

With a flight costing less than 50, and around 5 in a taxi once you get there, for some, cut-price plastic surgery is only a few hours away.

We met 28-year-old Rhiannon Evans, from Llanelli, at a clinic on the outskirts of Warsaw.

She explained why she picked Poland for her nose job.

She said: "Money was obviously a big issue. I was looking at a cosmetic mag back home.

It's breast enlargement, liposuction and in third place it's rhinoplasty
Pawel Paluchowski, Vice President of IQ Medica in Warsaw
"I noticed Poland had a good reputation so I looked at the website and I decided to go ahead with it."

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) claim more people than ever before decided to go under the knife for cosmetic reasons last year.

Recent statistics from market analysts, Datamonitor show the UK spends more on cosmetic surgery than any other European country.

Rhiannon borrowed some money from her parents and then put the rest of it on her credit card.

It was something she had always wanted to do.

Rhiannon Evans
Rhiannon Evans recovers after having her nose job in Poland
She said: "When I looked at pictures it was something that bothered me. I thought 'I'm 28. If I don't do it now I never will'.

"I've got my own house and my daughter doesn't need for anything so I thought I'll do it now while I can."

But Rhiannon's mum Jill wasn't so convinced by the whole idea.

"I was against it. I would have liked her to have kept the nose she was born with, the one her parents gave her," she said.

When Jill finally accepted it was what her daughter wanted, she made sure she was with Rhiannon at every stage of the trip.

She added: "I was absolutely terrified and I was determined not to leave her at all. I think I was the most frightened, she was the most calm."

Popular treatments

Pawel Paluchowski describes the top three treatments that young people go for.

He said: "It's breast enlargement, liposuction and in third place it's rhinoplasty, that's nose corrections."

An estimated 80,000 UK residents opted for cheaper surgery abroad in 2006.

Paul says they're seeing more Brits coming to his clinic than ever before.

"Our main market is the UK. At the moment it's still growing...every month it's bigger," he said.

Surgery advice

But there are warnings about opting for cosmetic surgery treatment abroad.

Last year, Baaps said they'd seen a rise in botched surgery from outside the UK.

Breast augmentation: 6,497
Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): 5,706
Liposuction: 4,572
Face/Neck Lift: 4,468
Breast Reduction: 3,402
Rhinoplasty (nose): 3,021
Abdominoplasty: 2,799
Otoplasty (ear correction): 1,024
Brow lifts: 964
2007 figures from Baaps
The group say there are often problems with aftercare, language barriers and lower standards of care in some countries.

Of course, it represents British plastic surgeons, so you'd expect them to want more people to have surgery rather than abroad.

The advice is simply to research everything thoroughly before you commit to anything.

Rhiannon and her mum have been amazed by the high standard of surgery Rhiannon has received in Poland.

So, does Rhiannon have any plans to get anything else changed?

"My boobs. Maybe I'd like to get that done. But it was really my nose," she said.

"That's what I feel everyone sees first and I just wanted to feel more confident."

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