Some things just don’t seem worth the extra money. Surely a bag of sugar is a bag of sugar whether the package says “no frills” or something a bit fancier? In countless cases the generic or “cheap” option is every bit as good as the branded version. But when it comes to a lifelong investment like cosmetic surgery, it pays to dig a little deeper.

What do you get for your money if you go to a premium operator instead of something that presents as a bargain? Cheaper cosmetic surgery options often feature package deals to foreign countries. It can sound quite seductive: for less than you’ll pay for a liposuction or breast augmentation procedure in Australia, you can have a holiday in Thailand, surgery, a bit of downtime and when you get back you’ll be minus a few fat rolls and sporting a deep tan. Sometimes it works out well but not always. You see, surgically altering your body is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make about your appearance and you’ll have to live with the results forever.

Imagine you’ve invested in a package deal and then found yourself in a foreign country. You are about to go under anaesthetic and hand your body over to a surgeon you’ve only just met. His English is pretty good, but you wonder if he has completely understood what you want. After the surgery, the results look quite good. It’s sort of hard to tell though for the first few weeks while the area is swollen and the incision points are healing. By the time you start seeing results you’ve been home a few weeks.

Maybe it’s not as even as you’d hoped. Maybe there’s a hollow where you don’t think it should be. Perhaps there’s some lumpiness and you’re not sure if it’s ever going to settle completely. It would be great to pop back to your surgeon to check that it’s all ok. Or to see if things can be evened up. Except you can’t – not without jumping on a ten-hour flight. Maybe it’s even worse than that, what if there’s an infection or if you’re horribly scarred and the result is nowhere near what you were expecting? What then?

If your surgery was performed in Australia there are protocols in place to make sure you’re protected. If your surgeon is reputable he or she will have informed you – after careful consultation – exactly what to expect. The same guarantees can’t be given overseas.

Much like the temptation to buy a fake Louis Vuitton handbag in an Asian resort town – the lure of cheap cosmetic surgery seldom ends well. That handbag might look almost as good on the surface but often the handles start to weaken within a month or two of use. The logo wears off and the zip breaks and you know it’s not quite as good as the real thing. The salesperson was so convincing and told you it was no different from the real thing, that it was even made in the same factory. But that genuine bag your friend has is going strong five years later and yours is looking a bit shabby and embarrassing after a few weeks of wear.

When it comes to cosmetic surgery; something that will forever change the way you and the rest of the world view your appearance, it’s better to do nothing than to get it wrong.

The money you spend on going to a professional clinic pays for the Doctor’s expertise and insurance, qualified nursing staff, a clean sterile environment, approved medications and most importantly thorough before and after care. Are any of those things you’d consider un-necessary?

By all means, save money on a bag of sugar, but when it comes to luxury purchases consider living without it until you can get it right.

Before you dig into your pockets, you have to dig into your psyche and evaluate why you want to change your appearance. People who don’t do this are left vulnerable to being coaxed by the wrong reasons. Daily deals websites deliver cheap cosmetic surgery options – offered on the proviso you take the offer up quickly. Be wary of anyone who is asking you to make such a big decision on impulse. Why won’t they allow you time to fully consider the offer before you? Impulse buying a dress? Fine.

Impulse buying lasting changes to your appearance? Not such a great idea. If you end up regretting the dress it might make you feel a bit guilty while it gathers dust in your cupboard. If you end up regretting the physical changes to your face or body they are with you and everyone who sees you forever. If the price is tempting – ask for more time to fully think it through. Make sure you meet the doctor who you’ll be placing your trust in before you part with any money.

If it’s too cheap then be suspicious of where they are cutting costs. Remember you pay for what you get.