From Medical Travel Patient to Professional: How Personal Experience Inspired the Launch of a Business

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Angela Couaib, Managing Director
In 2009 I had shed 140 pounds through weight loss surgery and was in need of a plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, based on my need for healthcare rather than my ability to pay for it, I was placed on the National Health Service (NHS) waiting list for up to two years. Looking for an alternate route, I found myself in the same position as many other consumers: buried in medical market research and overwhelmed by the countless options available for cosmetic surgery. I mean, did you even know that you can get cosmetic surgery on your teeth to accentuate them; cosmetic dentistry? The world of cosmetic surgery is more expansive than I thought! After taking into consideration the cost of the procedure, safety aspects and reputation of the surgeon, I flew overseas from the UK to a private hospital in Poland where I received precisely the care I needed in a safe, professional manner.
After receiving a tummy tuck, followed by a breast reduction and uplift, as well as Vaser Liposuction to reshape my thighs, I realized patients in the UK were paying astronomical fees for the same level of expertise, safety and professionalism I received in Poland for a fraction of the price. I made it my mission to share my story with others so that they would realize that options other than long waits and exorbitant costs were available. Once I started telling people about my experience, I heard stories of British people going to get rhinoplasty in Michigan. Not only because there was no waiting list, but also because the plastic surgeon had such a good reputation, meaning people travelled there just to see a specific surgeon. I began to speak at various forums, groups and different mediums, allowing me to soon become an information point for other women considering their options. By speaking truthfully I was able to remove the stigma associated with overseas cosmetic surgery, and dismiss the myths perpetuated by the media. It was at this time with great passion, enthusiasm and belief, and as a result of my own journey of transformation, that Secret Surgery Ltd. was founded. Comprised of 15 professionals?all experts in their own fields?Secret Surgery Ltd. strives to ensure that every patient has a positive medical travel experience. The company has established strong relationships with surgeons and qualified practitioners at the forefront of their professions all over Europe to ensure that optimal care is accessible to prospective patients. Our role guarantees that patients have the appropriate forms completed and sent to the proper healthcare provider, and that all pre-operative communications between the surgeon and patient are handled to make sure that a well-informed choice is being made. The patient?s well-being and satisfaction are always the ultimate goal. Although cosmetic surgery is our core focus, we offer assistance with Bariatric surgery, hair transplants, cosmetic dentistry and orthopedics, as well. While we have facilitated other procedures based on patient requests, we prefer not to be all things to all people, but rather a focused and informed specialist in an area where my personal experience lies. I believe it?s that first-hand understanding we bring to every case that is one of the main reasons Secret Surgery Ltd. has risen to be the top-rated medical tourism facilitator on Treatment Abroad?s Review page. In the first year of business, Secret Surgery Ltd. served approximately 50 patients with that number climbing to 150 in the second year. As a growing number of individuals learn of our services through word-of-mouth and social media, we anticipate that we will assist approximately 250 medical tourists in our third year. We’ve even considered using things like this instagram engagement calculator to help us increase our numbers if we can. What we have learnt from this experience is that social media is a great tool to have when it comes to improving and boosting your business, so it’s something that shouldn’t be overlooked and should definitely be used by all business owners if they want to get their business to the top. Even in the face of the British media’s effort to promote UK surgeons and services, Secret Surgery Ltd. continues to grow. We’re happy to provide patients in need with safe, affordable options that allow them to move forward in their lives and improve their physical and emotional health. Address: Green Lane, Rochester, Kent, England, ME3 0DQ Phone number: +44 843 289 4 982 E-mail address: [email protected] Website: