Asian Britons seek discount plastic surgery in Pakistan

Hundreds of Pakistani Britons are booking cheap plastic surgery in their ancestral homeland, three times the number just four years ago. Nose jobs, tummy tucks, liposuction and breast enlargements are the favoured treatments for many who feel "pressure to have Western features" but who want to pay only a fraction of what they would be charged in Britain.

The women are mostly middle-class professionals who take 10 days out of their time abroad to travel from the small villages where their extended families live to Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi where almost all the country's 70 registered plastic surgeons are based.

Dr Abdul Hameed, the president of the Pakistani Association of Plastic Surgeons, said the trend began four years ago when doctors noticed "waves of British clients" coming during the summer and winter holiday seasons. About 400 women were visiting the country for cosmetic surgery every year.

He said: "These women are mostly educated, with 70 per cent who work and earn independently. Only this week, a woman from Maida Vale in west London came to me for a nose job. She was in Pakistan attending a marriage ceremony. The women know that the waiting lists for good cosmetic surgery in London is maybe three months long. In Pakistan, there is no waiting list. We do them whenever we get them."

About 250 women from Britain undergo liposuction treatment and tummy tucks every year, and Britons comprise about a fifth of the country's rhinoplasty patients.

Ambarina Hasan, the health and beauty editor of Asian Woman and Asian Bride magazines, said the growth could be linked to a career-oriented lifestyle in which Asian women had higher levels of disposable income and were getting married later.

Bollywood actresses, the icons of beauty on the sub-continent, are becoming more like sex symbols in the West, she said. "They are getting fairer with lighter eyes. There has always been a hankering after the Western ideals of beauty. There have been creams for lightening skins and plastic surgery is taking it one step further."

The pressure to look good is even greater if the women are expecting an arranged marriage. "With an arranged marriage, you often size [prospective partners] up in a photograph, so looks are very important," she said.

David Sharpe, a professor of plastic surgery at Bradford University, said he was aware of the trend, but warned against having plastic surgery abroad.

"I would be confident about Pakistani surgeons who have been trained in the UK or have strong connections with training programmes here as being competent," he said.

"But if you are going abroad to have surgery, there is a danger. One in 10 cases of nose reshaping and one in five cases of liposuction require additional work for up to six months, such as an adjustment to the tip of a nose. The patients would need to go back to the surgeon and this work would normally be carried out for free, as it would be part of the package."

Dr Hameed said most British patients were aware of the potential dangers of picking the wrong surgeon and advised clients to do their research before booking.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Life and Style
Sony Computer Entertainment President and Group CEO Andrew House, executive in charge of Sony Network Entertainment, introduces PlayStation Now
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Assistant

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Maintenance Assistant is requ...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

    £32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

    £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

    Day In a Page

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?