Before any cosmetic surgery, you’ll have an initial consultation with your surgeon. This is your opportunity to ask any questions that you might have, and is a really important part of the process.
It’s a sensible idea to think about what questions to ask your surgeon before the appointment itself. If you’re worried that you might forget them, write them down and take your notes in with you.
Here’s a list of Questions to Ask your Surgeon.
1. Who is doing the surgery?
Just because you’re talking to a qualified surgeon, doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be performing the procedure. It may be someone else entirely, or they may be working alongside another surgeon. It’s important to find out who will be performing the operation and what their qualifications are.
2. How long have they been practicing cosmetic surgery for?
Make sure you check how many years they’ve been a practicing cosmetic surgeon. Generally speaking, the more years they’ve successfully been doing cosmetic surgery, the better. Remember to also ask how often they carry out the specific procedure that you’re interested in.
3. Are they fully insured?
Don’t be afraid to ask to see a copy of their insurance, and check that they’re fully insured for the specific procedure that you want. Also, if your surgeon normally operates abroad and has been flown in especially for the procedure, does their insurance fully cover them in the UK? Does the clinic’s insurance cover your treatment instead? If you sense that your surgeon is being evasive or won’t supply the information you ask for, this should start alarm bells ringing!
4. Do they have a standard contract?
Make sure you ask to see the contract and read it thoroughly before signing anything. If you’re unsure about any aspect of it, ask the surgeon to explain.
5. What will happen before, during and after the operation?
Try to find out as much about the operation itself as possible, as this will help to demystify the experience for you. It will also ensure that you have full understanding about what the treatment involves, and how long recovery will take afterwards.
6. What risks are involved?
What specific risks are involved with this procedure and what is the success rate? What can you do after the surgery to minimise risks of developing infection or any other related problems?
7. What aftercare will you receive?
Is there a comprehensive aftercare programme? After you return home, will you require regular check-ups with the surgeon to ensure everything has gone well? What happens if you have any problems after surgery? Who will make sure that any issues are fixed?
8. What pain can you expect?
Any form of surgery is likely to cause some pain or discomfort. Ask your surgeon to be honest about what you can realistically expect after the treatment and what medication you can safely take to help manage the pain.
9. What’s included in the cost?
Does the cost quoted include overnight stays, food and medication, or are there additional costs involved?
After the Consultation
After the initial consultation, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the information you’ve been given. Professor Simon Kay, a consultant plastic surgeon and registered member of BAPRAS, recommends that you ask yourself the following questions before agreeing to the treatment.
Do I have a clear understanding of the procedure?
Are my expectations realistic?
Do I have full understanding of the risks and how I would cope if the worst did happen?
Remember that you are under no obligation to agree to the surgery, even after this initial discussion with the surgeon. If during the appointment you felt pressurised in any way, then this is a definite warning sign. A reputable, qualified surgeon will not seek to force you into any decision you’re not 100% comfortable with.