Finding the right cosmetic surgeon
Inevitably, most people, when seeking a cosmetic surgeon, look online. However, this is a risky approach. Whilst most surgeons are likely to have a website, not all practitioners with websites will be reliable. Basing your decision on the appearance of a website alone is not a good way to go about things.
The NHS advises that your GP is the first person you should speak to. It’s likely that they’ll be familiar with the cosmetic surgeons in the area and will be able to tell you who has a good reputation and who does not. Just as importantly, they’ll discuss your decision with you, helping you to ascertain whether or not cosmetic surgery is the right course of action for you.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Surgeon
Here’s a checklist of things you should think about when you’re selecting the right man or woman for the job.
- Firstly, check online to see whether or not they are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). If they’re registered, that’s an excellent sign, as it means they’ve received 6 years additional specialist plastic surgery training on top of their general training. If they’re a member of BAPRAS or BAAPS, this is also good news.
Any surgeon with the letters FRCS (Plast) after their name is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and has successfully passed specialist exams in plastic surgery treatment.
- Related qualifications. The surgeon may have qualifications in other areas and not plastic surgery, but this isn’t necessarily a problem. For example, if the surgeon specialises in nose surgery, he or she may well be qualified to carry out rhinoplasty.
- Registered practice. It’s also important to check that the practice, whether it’s a hospital, clinic or company, is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC is an independent regulatory body that checks whether or not an establishment is fit for purpose.
- How comfortable you feel. It’s also really important to go with your gut instinct. When you visit the clinic, how do you feel about your surroundings? Do they look professional? Are they clean? How do the staff greet you when you arrive? How does your doctor talk to you? Is he or she happy to answer your questions, or do they just seem focused on signing you up for surgery as quickly as possible? Don’t ignore any concerns or worries that you might have.
- Where are they based? It may be tempting to select a clinic that’s far away from home, based on price or better qualified surgeons. However, it’s important to think in the long-term. After the surgery, how will you get home safely? If you have any problems after the procedure, how easy will it be to get back to your cosmetic surgeon for treatment?
Remember, if you’re having cosmetic treatment abroad, qualifications and regulations may differ.
Asking Questions at Your Consultation
At your initial consultation with a cosmetic surgeon, it’s important to remember that you haven’t signed up for anything yet. If you want to, you can still walk away – and you are well within your rights to do so.
See this initial meeting as a chance to ask the right questions. Before you go, write down the things you’d like to ask – to ensure you don’t forget anything. Above all else, don’t allow yourself to be pressured into making a decision. Take your time and think things through, in a time-frame that suits you, not your surgeon.