Cosmetic surgery is a massive decision, whoever you are and whatever the procedure you’re having. You’ll always be able to find scare stories of botched operations and cowboy practitioners that can put you off.
To make sure you are in the best possible hands for your procedure, and so you know what to expect from it all, MyFaceMyBody has put together a Safe Surgery Checklist to follow before you make your decision:
Be prepared with your medical conditions, medications you’re taking and to explain why you feel the procedure is necessary for you. All good clinics will want to run through this with you. Check that your surgeon/doctor is registered with the GMC by calling 0845 357 3456 and with the Care Quality Commission (if they operate in England) by visiting cqc.com.
It’s vital you find out how qualified your chosen surgeon is and the experience they have in performing that specific procedure. Check your surgeon’s qualifications and area of speciality. Ask how many of these procedures they have performed and what the results were. Also check if they’re a member of professional bodies such as the British Association of Plastic Surgeons (which audits its members annually).
You should always ask their opinion on whether you’re a good candidate for the surgery you’re considering, what results are reasonable to expect and how long they will last. Before and after photos can be a good indication of their work too, but bear in mind this is an indication of their skills, rather than what you’ll get – as everyone’s different. It’s also important to be taken through exactly how the surgery will take place, where you’ll be, types of anaesthetic needed, if you’ll feel pain and so on. The point of the consultation is not for you to go in telling a surgeon what procedure you think is right for you but more to go in and let them assess you and advise on what they believe is the most appropriate course of action. Be open minded and listen to their advice – they are the experts and if you have researched your surgeon properly beforehand and they don’t tell you what you want to hear i.e. you are not suitable for the particular procedure you want – heed their warning.
Most surgery has associated downtime so you need to be prepared and plan for this. Make sure you know the length of the recovery period associated with the procedure you are having and plan accordingly. For example, book time off work if needed and make preparations if you need help or assistance during your recovery. Also be sure to ask about the level of aftercare that is offered by the clinic.
Every surgery comes with its own risks, make sure you have these explained to you and that you fully understand them before giving consent to go ahead with the procedure. It can be tempting to skip through the consent forms, but don’t – read them thoroughly. Informed consent is an important aspect of safe surgery. Most importantly, discuss the options available to you if you’re dissatisfied with the procedure.
Along with following this guide, remember to always seek independent advice and learn as much as possible about the treatment you’re considering. Although we’ve done our best to compile these steps, we cannot guarantee they’re absolutely comprehensive, so do make sure you carry out your own research to supplement what’s been advised.