Plan Your Surgery

“Deciding to undergo a cosmetic procedure is a major decision. Patients have often arrived at a decision to get advice on whether an operation is suitable for them after many years of consideration. The decision about surgery is yours to make and you will be the person who knows most what concerns you about your appearance. The assistance you need is to help you decide whether the surgery which might be offered will address your needs appropriately and you will need to balance the benefits against the risks. You should not let anyone talk you into having something done for which you had little in the way of concern before the consultation.

Before an operation you should be fully informed about what is involved and there are many sources apart from a consultation to help you know more about an operation; these include magazines, books and of course the internet. You need to remember however that often web sites are there for advertising purposes and you need to remember that no surgical procedure is 100% risk-free.

You should feel comfortable with the surgeon you have chosen and you should choose your surgeon with care. Qualification and membership organisations can be confusing. There are two organisations associated with the Royal College of Surgeons which have strict guidelines about membership and these are the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). Membership of one or both of these professional bodies will indicate that the surgeon has had advanced training and attained appropriate recognition. You may get further assurance in finding that your surgeon is also a consultant in the National Health Service, as to be appointed to such a post does involve significant additional training and experience. Despite the above this is no guarantee that the they will be the surgeon for you; you must feel comfortable and be allowed to make your own decisions.

You should get the timing of your surgery right and should avoid planning surgery following any major life events such as moving house, changing employment, the break-up of a relationship or the arrival of children.

You should not travel a long distance to have surgery and you need to be sure of what arrangements are made for follow up and the management of any problems or complications if they were to arise. No reputable clinic will charge you a non refundable deposit for booking surgery and you should be able to cancel any procedure up to and including the day of surgery.

You should talk to your GP as he or she will have no interest other than your health and welfare. He or she will be sensitive and non-judgemental about any concerns or aspirations you have.

Never go ahead with any procedure until you are absolutely sure it is exactly what you want.

Aesthetic surgery needs careful thought. The procedures are often complex and you must be certain after discussing with your surgeon and your general practitioner that what issues you have will be helped by the surgical procedure. Whilst overall the procedures are very safe there are many things you need to consider, whether the scars will be acceptable to you and whether the minor drawbacks that can happen with any surgery are worth the risk to achieve what you would like.

If you remain unsure or still have areas of concern make sure that you contact the surgeon so that you understand exactly what is planned.