Cosmetic surgery has become more and more popular over the course of the last decade, thanks to the open and honest discussions high-brow celebrities and well-known individuals are having about their desires to enhance their looks. Whether it is a want for plumper lips, slimmer physique, or a more youthful face, going under the knife or the needle has far less stigma among men and women alike. In the UK alone, more than 51,000 procedures were performed in 2015, representing a 12% increase from the previous year. If you’re in the market for an appearance change, regardless of how big or small it may be, you have multiple options when it comes to selecting your cosmetic surgeon.
Giving the rise in cosmetic procedures performed throughout the world, a quick online search yields countless clinics offering the latest and greatest techniques for improving appearance. However, not all cosmetic surgeons or the facilities in which they work are a sound choice for your specific procedure. There are certain steps you can – and should – take before making an appointment for cosmetic surgery to ensure you receive the highest quality care from start to finish.
Considerations before Surgery
The first step anyone should take when considering cosmetic surgery is understanding the reason behind the procedure. No one is more of an expert on your own appearance than you, and therefore you should be making the decision as to what work you want done without any outside advice from a surgeon, friend, or family member. Consulting with a cosmetic surgeon should involve understanding your options for correcting the issue that causes you concern – not a laundry list of other surgeries that you might want to consider as well.
It is also critical that you have a clear understanding of the risks involved in the procedure of your choice. A cosmetic surgeon will take the time to explain the various options for the concerns you have if there are multiple alternatives, and he or she should review the risks associated with each procedure. Any cosmetic surgeon who states that a surgery bears no risk is not being forthcoming, and so it is in your best interest to find a different provider.
You should always consult with your cosmetic surgeon before scheduling the procedure you want completed. According to a solicitors team that works with medical negligence claims, if the cosmetic surgeon does not offer to provide a no-cost consultation prior to seeing you on the day of your surgery, alarm bells should ring. Although it may be commonplace for a staff member or clinic nurse to take your initial information, only a qualified surgeon should be speaking with you about the risks of the procedure, what recovery entails, and the expectations for the outcome of the surgery. Your provider should share that having a cosmetic surgery of any kind is a serious matter, and as such, complications during or after a procedure can be devastating to you as the patient. Make sure you feel comfortable with the cosmetic surgeon of your choice, as well as the clinic staff with whom you interact.
In addition to the steps mentioned above, you should take the time to understand the qualifications your chosen cosmetic surgeon holds. Do not blindly accept a claim of any surgeon based on certifications on the wall of the clinic or word of mouth from staff or the provider himself. To ensure you are working with someone who is truly qualified, check the General Medical Council registry. Each doctor qualified to practise medicine in the UK is required to register with the GMC, as a method of promoting quality care and safeguarding the public. Additionally, the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) provides a professional qualification to those authorised to practise as a surgeon in Ireland or the UK. Specialty qualifications in plastic surgery are available through the organisation, and these credentials point to a high standard of surgical practice and quality patient care. Finally, highly qualified cosmetic surgeons will also hold a membership with either the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) or the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). Holding membership with one or both of these organisations shows that your cosmetic surgeon of choice is fully trained as a qualified provider.
Although cosmetic surgery may not seem like a major undertaking given its rise in popularity over the last few years, it is crucial that you take the time to evaluate the qualifications of your selected surgeon to ensure your safety before, during, and after the procedure is protected. Make sure you feel comfortable with your provider, recognise the risks inherent in your procedure, and fully vet his or her credentials before going under the knife or needle.