If you're considering a cosmetic procedure make sure you have all the facts and feel 100% comfortable about your decision before you sign or part with any money!
Read the cosmetic surgery guide before you decide
Check out this cosmetic surgery guide to make sure you stay safe and well informed.
We've teamed up with BAAPS (British Association of Aestetic Plastic Surgeons) to bring you the essential cosmetic surgery guidelines.
1. Make your own decisions:
The real expert on your appearance and any concerns you may have is you.
The only assistance you should need is to decide what, if any, surgery you might need, and you should ensure you get unbiased information regarding what might be technically possible and any associated risks and benefits. Do not let surgeon, nurse or other person talk you into doing anything for which you had little concern before the consultation.
2. Be informed:
Anyone considering any cosmetic procedure should ensure they are fully informed and accept the limitations and risks of any procedure.
The key things to remember are:
- No surgeon or procedure is 100 per cent risk free.
- No results are guaranteed - you may look quite different to how you imagined.
- No implants last forever - all implants will require replacing in the future meaning additional cost and repeated risks.
- Cosmetic surgery is often major surgery - recovery can be painful and everyone heals at a different rate.
3. Be comfortable:
Make sure you feel comfortable with the organization, surgeon and clinic you have chosen.
4. Know your surgeon:
Many practitioners purport to be experts, but many are not even surgeons!!
Practitioners may boast impressive sounding qualifications, but these can have little meaning.
Organizations associated with and preferably based in the Royal College of Surgeons will demonstrate acceptable standards of practice, i.e., those which you can reasonably expect of surgeons and doctors in general.
Hospitals which have strong associations with NHS consultants and practices will also adhere to these standards and so offer some level of reassurance.
The BAAPS can help you find a properly credentialed surgeon in your area visit their Find a Surgeon page before booking a consultation. And check with the governing bodies of any qualifications to ensure your surgeon really is qualified and registered: Better safe than sorry.
Also check if the surgeon is listed on the UK Medical Register - if not, they aren't licensed to perform surgical procedures in this country and should be avoided and reported!
Contact the General Medical Council if you come across a surgeon not registered who is offering surgical procedures! Make a complaint to the GMC.
5. Get the timing right:
Unless the circumstances are exceptional, avoid surgery if you have recently experienced major life events such as moving house, changing job, losing a loved one, the break-up of a relationship or the arrival of children.
6. Beware of ‘free’ consultations and avoid booking fees or non-refundable deposits:
These are a typical feature of many commercial clinics. Nothing is free and if the surgery is right for you then there will be no need for you to be locked into going ahead by any financial cancellation penalties.
A non-refundable deposit should ring alarm bells.
Do not travel a long distance or overseas for any surgery unless you are comfortable with the arrangements to follow up and the management of any problems or complications which might arise.
8. Talk to your GP:
Your GP has no interest other than your welfare, so many doctors are very happy to advise patients and not be judgmental about something which many people feel very sensitive and vulnerable about.
9. You can change your mind:
Hopefully everything will be totally to your satisfaction, but remember you have the option to cancel right up until the time you go to sleep for surgery.
The fundamental reason for the surgery is to make you feel better about yourself, and if this is compromised, surgery should not proceed.
No reputable surgeon would normally impose any penalty for cancellations.
10. Take your time:
Remember that undergoing surgery is a serious commitment and is often life changing. This is a decision to think long and hard about, taking into account all risks: health, financial, and emotional!
Consumers can contact the BAAPS advice line at 020 7405 2234, or visit the Web site at www.baaps.org.uk.
CHECKLIST - the essential cosmetic surgery guide
Make sure you've read and fully understand...
And check that...
- How to prepare for the surgery
- What will happen during the surgery
- The risks and side effects
- The recovery period
- The aftercare policy
- The policy should anything go wrong
- Any costs should revision or repair work be required
- The life span of any implants, i.e. when they should be checked and/or removed.
- Your surgeon is registered with the General Medical Council
- Your clinic adhers to the government welfare standards: Quality Care Commission
- Your surgeon is recommened by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons: BAAPS
And if something goes wrong?
If you have a bad experience with a qualified surgeon then you may wish to take the matter to the General Medical Council: Making a complaint.
sofeminine have worked with the GMC to help track down rogue surgeons and will always strive to help keep cosmetic surgery safe.
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