Plastic surgery in Dubai

Plastic surgery is big business in Dubai, and more people than you’d think are interested in giving it a try. Fancy going under the knife?

Plastic surgery in Dubai

Time Out thinks you’re beautiful. No really, we do. Everybody is unique, and we like the little quirks and imperfections that make you, well, you. But we acknowledge that not everyone loves how they look. Some people hate their appearance and, with no end of opportunities in Dubai, many decide to do something about it.

This is our guide to undergoing cosmetic surgery safely in our city. Read on for everything you’ll need to know, from the pre-op preparation to the post-op realities.

Getting started

Whether you’re aiming to shed some fat with lipo or get a new look from a nose job, you’ll be undergoing major surgery, which requires proper preparation. Once the decision has been made to have surgery, there should be a fairly lengthy lead-up to the operation date as you set about doing your homework.

First up is choosing the right surgeon, which can literally be a matter of life or death. Just last year, a 27-year-old Emirati woman died after undergoing liposuction in Dubai. A plastic surgeon and four nurses were accused of malpractice.

Dr Amin Hussain Al Amiri, CEO of medical practice and licensing at the Ministry of Health, tells Time Out that health professionals are licensed to work by an emirate’s health authority. He adds that ‘it is the patient’s right to see that licence’. Perhaps most helpfully, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) has an accredited list of plastic surgeons who have been certified in their own country and recommended by fellow ISAPS members. This list can be found on the association’s website, at

But qualifications aren’t everything. ‘What is most important is that this certified surgeon is honest,’ suggests Dr Ashok Govila, a consultant plastic surgeon at Jebel Ali Hospital and the British Medical Consulting Centre on Jumeirah Beach Road. ‘What works is your judgement when you meet them.’

Put simply, a patient needs to feel comfortable with and trust their surgeon. Unfortunately, qualifications do not automatically guarantee scruples, and a handful of surgeons will perform unnecessary surgery for the money.

Trust is best built from the pre-op sessions a patient should have with their surgeon. ‘This is really important,’ says Dr Govila. ‘What often happens is that someone will come to see me one day and want to go into surgery the next.’ He says that as a rule there should be at least a couple of pre-op sessions to discuss expectations, risks and results.

Facilities are just as important as the surgeon. Make sure similar operations to yours are being carried out there; it means staff are au fait with both the procedure and after-care, and should be well equipped if something goes wrong. It’s also important to check the facility is JCI-accredited to ensure it meets international standards.

Finally, don’t underestimate the need for physical and mental preparation. You must be fit and healthy to undergo surgery (for example, heavy smoking and diabetes can produce complications). Dr Govila makes another very valid point: ‘If I’m doing a rhinoplasty, the patient should be aware that it is difficult to accept yourself with a different nose. It changes your face so much. If this has not been stressed enough pre-operatively, you can become disturbed.’

First Steps

1 Choose the surgeon who is right for you. Are they certified? Are they registered with ISAPS?

2 Check out the facilities

3 Discuss possible risks and side effects

4 Manage your expectations – no surgery is perfect

5 Be prepared, physically and mentally

6 Agree a price beforehand

7 What materials – for example, implants – will be used in the surgery?

How safe is plastics surgery in Dubai? Click here to view

The Rise of Medical Tourism Click here to view

Confessions of A Surgery Enthusiast Click here to view

The Realities Click here to view

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