Deciding to have cosmetic surgery is a big decision more and more of us are making. With 40,000 people having surgery in the UK in 2016 making the right choice is key to you being happy with the procedure.
Make sure your cosmetic surgery is in the very best hands with our checklist on how to find the best cosmetic surgeon.
Do your homework
Gather as much information as you can about the procedure that you want to have, the clinics that offer it and that are practical for you to use, and the surgeons who specialise in the procedure you’re interested in. Some recommendations can be found on http://rejuvage.com/recommended-surgeons
Check the register
If you’re having the procedure in the UK, choose a surgeon on the General Medical Council’s specialist register for plastic surgery and make sure they’re insured to carry out the procedure. You can also find properly credentialed surgeons in your area via The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. Make sure that the hospital or clinic you choose is registered with the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health services in England.
Word of mouth
Speak to friends who’ve had successful surgery, and find out which surgeon they’ve used. Your GP may also be able to advise you of surgeons in your area, and let you know if any health issues you have are likely to affect or be affected by cosmetic surgery.
Talk to the surgeon
Always talk to the surgeon who will perform your procedure before you give consent: only he or she will be able to advise you about it. Be prepared to ask a lot of questions – a reputable surgeon will be happy to answer them – and only think about going ahead if you are happy with all the answers.
- Explain your expectations for the outcome: it is important the surgeon understands this so they can give the best advice, and ascertain if your expectations are realistic.
- Ask to see before and after pictures of procedures that they’ve carried out.
- Does the surgeon perform this procedure regularly? How often have complications occurred and what did the surgeon do to correct them?
- Find out where and when will the procedure take place, and how long it will take?
- What exactly does the procedure involve?
- How much evidence is available on the procedure and how reliable is it?
- What type of anaesthetic will you need?
- What are the possible risks and complications, and what can be done to correct them if necessary?
- How long will it be before you see the benefits of surgery?
- What pain can you expect afterwards, how long is the recovery time and what aftercare is necessary following the procedure?
- How long will the results last and is there any possibility the surgery will need to be repeated in the future?
- If you’re having implants, will they meet national guidelines, and will they need to be removed or replaced in the future?
Be budget aware.
Cosmetic surgery is expensive, but be wary of ‘free’ consultations or special offers, and avoid booking fees or non-returnable deposits. Make sure the hospital gives you a breakdown of all of the costs involved in the procedure, and find out if you’ll need to pay if surgery has to be repeated or corrected, or if you’re not happy with the result.
Give yourself a cooling-off period.
Take your time to make a decision: leave at least two weeks after your consultation with the operating surgeon to think things through. You should never feel pressured or rushed into giving your consent, nor be swayed by special offers or discounts. Remember too that you can ask for a second opinion from another surgeon, and change your mind at any point right up until the time you go under anaesthetic.
Think about location.
You won’t feel like travelling following an operation so don’t travel long distances or overseas for surgery unless you are comfortable with the arrangements to follow up, as well as the management of problems or complications which might arise as a result of the procedure.
Finding the right surgeon for you can often be an emotional process, as there are so many options and risks involved in any procedure. So take your time to look into different clinics and surgeons, and choose one whose experience and approach gives you confidence.