When considering cosmetic surgery, it is essential to research and chooses a skilled, experienced surgeon who has the necessary training for your desired procedure. Doing so will reduce the risk of results falling short of expectations.
Whether you’re personally considering cosmetic enhancement or know someone else who is, this six-step checklist can help identify a reliable and responsible cosmetic surgeon.
1. Be clear about what you want
Before you set out to find the right surgeon for your needs, it is critical that you take an honest look at yourself and identify what it is that you are trying to achieve.
If you are considering cosmetic surgery, it is important to answer the question: “What motivated your interest in cosmetic surgery?”. Before beginning your search for a surgeon, take into account whether there might be less risky alternatives both physically, financially, and emotionally.
Talking with a counsellor or therapist may help if your issues involve low self-esteem or negative body image, while also potentially providing alternative solutions – such as non-surgical treatments – that could produce similar results.
2. Get recommendations
If you want to ensure that the goals for your operation are both realistic and specific, consider reaching out to people who have already gone through a similar procedure. These individuals can provide valuable insight into what is achievable with this endeavour.
When it comes to finding a surgeon you can trust, there is no better source of advice than other individuals who have had experience with them. Asking for recommendations and gauging the opinions of others about your desired medical professional will help ensure that they are as qualified as advertised.
You might want to consult internet forums or talk to friends and relatives who have undergone the treatment in question to get their opinions.
Additional reliable information sources include:
- Your GP
- The General Medical Council’s (GMC) specialist register
- British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS)
- British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)
- Royal College of Surgeons
3. Check for qualifications
To find a reputable doctor that meets your criteria, use the checklist below to compare and contrast potential surgeons. Seek out surgeons who are:
- Working for the NHS
- Registered with the GMC
- Listed on the GMC’s specialist register in the area of practice relevant to your procedure
- A member of BAPRAS
- A member of BAAPS
- An expert in the part of the body you want operated on
After you have identified two to three surgeons who meet all the necessary requirements, it’s time to schedule meetings and decide which is the most suitable for your particular situation.
4. Be prepared to pay
When considering cosmetic procedures, it is essential to understand that these treatments can be expensive due to their complexity and the level of expertise required.
Before committing to such a considerable process with potential long-term outcomes, bear in mind that you will need to make an initial payment for meetings with surgeons as part of your research into different options.
If a surgeon offers you an initial consultation at no cost, it’s wise to be cautious and ask why they are making this unusual offer – their time should be seen as valuable, so question why they are giving it to you for free.
If you’re trying to save money during your exploration process, it’s likely that the idea of cheaper overseas operations has crossed your mind. These options are far less safe and could end up costing you more in the long run due to mistakes.
Ultimately, deals that seem too good to pass up usually are. Don’t be fooled by buy-one-get-one-free offers, unusually generous financing conditions or any other financial incentives they may offer – these should all be ignored.
5. Get the answers you need
When you meet with your surgeon for the very first time, it can be helpful to bring along a list of questions and take notes while they answer them.
This will not only help clarify any information, but also allow you to easily review their answers at a later date when comparing surgeons.
Make sure that you are happy with each response provided before moving forward in your cosmetic procedure. Take a look at what questions you should be asking:
- What happens during the procedure – before, during and after?
- Will the results of the procedure match your expectations?
- How many times has your surgeon performed this operation in total? How many of these procedures took place in the last 12 months?
- What are the possible risks, side effects and problems?
- What is the aftercare and recovery time?
- What happens if something goes wrong, or if you’re not satisfied with the result?
- How much will the surgery cost, including aftercare or any follow-up treatments?
- Is your surgeon insured to perform cosmetic surgery in the UK?
- Is your surgeon aware of any and all medical conditions you have, or medications you’re taking?
During your consultation, you should look for a surgeon who:
- Took their time during your appointment and didn’t rush you
- Was specific and realistic about the predicted outcomes of the operation
- Did not try to sell you any additional surgeries
- Fully answered all of your questions to your satisfaction
6. Take your time
Before committing to any surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedures, remember that making an informed decision is essential. We strongly advise waiting at least two weeks after your consultation before going through with the surgery.
Before committing to any surgery that could have a lasting impact on your wellbeing, both physically and emotionally, it is essential to properly investigate all of your choices and fully weigh the consequences.
Your decision can potentially alter your life for an extended period of time; thus, thorough research is paramount before proceeding with such a major step.
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