The pressure for the perfect body and retaining that youthful look causes more women than ever to undergo cosmetic procedures.

‘Having work done’ is considered quite normal for many, but the cost is still prohibitive in the UK.

With cheaper treatments readily available abroad, many are now shunning the UK and search instead on a global basis to secure the treatment they want.

Many procedures offered abroad do not however have anywhere near the standard of regulation in the UK, putting patients at serious risk when things go wrong.

Avoiding the pitfalls is key.

Do the same research as if you were having surgery in the UK. Check the professional credentials of the surgeon and the clinic. What after care is offered in the event of a complication or medical emergency?

Is there a language barrier and how easy is communication?

Ask for testimonials, visit the clinic before you agree to treatment and check the standard of the facilities first hand.

Be honest – tell the clinic of your pre-existing health issues or allergies.  Advise your GP beforehand of what you intend to do. Check with the clinic abroad whether they will need to see your medical records or a letter from your doctor confirming you are fit for surgery.

You should beware of using any clinic or surgeon who has little interest in carrying out basic health checks.

Remember that this is ultimately about your health. Know the risks you are taking. Ensure the procedure is right for you and will be carried out to the appropriate standard. Walk away if in doubt and trust your instincts.

Get it right the first time.

There is no rush to choose the treatment or the clinic.

Remember you cannot undo a procedure.