Cosmetic surgery is a serious undertaking so before a surgeon even picks up a scalpel remember your health is paramount. Any surgical procedure you’re having should be treated with a level of seriousness it deserves and not as if you’re booking a hair appointment. Your hair will grow again- but botched surgery can leave its mark for life.
We always encourage patients to consider the benefits and risks of any cosmetic procedure before committing. For example, we now have a better understanding of the fact that extreme plastic surgery can have a marked negative influence on the patient’s psychological health and overall well-being. This, and other considerations, should be examined by doctor and patient alike prior to any surgery.
If you are thinking about having surgery ask yourself why. Most patients have thought it over carefully, are in good health, have good self-esteem, understand the risks of the procedure they’re considering, and are doing it for themselves. Other people, however, are doing it to try to please someone else — often their spouse or partner — and their hopes go way beyond what the procedure can do.
So ask yourself:
· What is your motivation? Are you doing it for someone else, or for yourself?
· What do you want to change and why?
· How long have you wanted to do this?
· What are your expectations?
· Does your surgeon agree that your goals are reasonable?
Remember, too, that cost is not necessarily a guarantee of excellence – paying less for surgery; fillers, Botox, or laser rejuvenation can result in poor results. We are often asked ‘Why do so many people who have their lips done (or Botox, or face lifts, or whatever) look so weird. Sadly, the answer is many of them probably went for the cheapest treatment, or did not choose their cosmetic doctor carefully. Poor results are not usually down to the filler or surgery technique. These are just “tools” that we are privileged to use to rejuvenate. It is down to the surgeon or doctor who is carrying out the procedure – this is why it is so important to choose who you go to.
Have realistic expectations. Cosmetic surgery won’t change your life. It won’t solve personal problems or make you look like someone else. But it may give you greater self-confidence and add to your sense of well-being.
HOW TO STAY SAFE
All companies who provide cosmetic surgery must be registered with the Healthcare Commission so ask to see a hospital or clinic’s registration. Check whether your surgeon /doctor is registered with the General Medical Council. Also a surgeon’s membership to a professional organisation is one of the many factors in determining the level of qualifications. Also it’s a good idea to talk to your GP, as he or she will be able to give you general advice and raise any health issues you should mention to a surgeon before having the procedure.
*When you are booking a consultation with your chosen clinic, make sure you see the actual surgeon who will be operating on you. Be wary of cosmetic surgery ‘consultants’‘ as they may not offer objective advice or have the necessary medical qualifications. Your surgeon should tell you everything about the procedure the pros and the cons the benefits and the risks. You should also be honest with your surgeon about your health – some patients, such as heavy smokers, are often not suitable for surgery as it affects the way their scars heal and can also affect their health if they are having a general anesthetic, any reputable surgeon would take this into account before agreeing to operate.
* Do your homework about particular surgeons and investigate the amount of experience they have in the procedure you are considering. Before-and-after photographs can give you some insight into the surgeon’s ability, although you must realise that they cannot guarantee the results that you will achieve. You need to remember that every patient has different goals and expectations and therefore results will vary. The surgeon should also provide full details of the procedure including risks.
* As what kind of anesthetic will be used and who will administer it. The sad fact is that most complications following cosmetic surgery are related to complications from the anesthetic rather than the surgery itself. You also need to know what the downsides are, as there’s usually a downside to any surgery.
*What are the facilities like where the surgeon you are having your procedure Do they look professional? Are they clean? Is it a well-respected hospital? Again, do your homework
*The surgeon will need to have a full consultation with you to give an exact price. Good Communication is essential. Make sure you are comfortable with the personal rapport between you and your surgeon. You should always feel that your concerns are being addressed thoroughly. Make sure you’re satisfied with the answers you’ve been given before the consultation is over and you are fully informed about the whole procedure. The surgeon should not pressurise you in any way to make a decision on the spot. If he makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, look for another surgeon.
*Remember there are normally three steps to cosmetic operations, a pre treatment consultation, the operation itself and the follow up consultations, all of these are equally important, and therefore accessibility to you doctor or surgeon at all stages is vital.
*The most difficult decision is when and how much you can afford. Don’t rush to schedule surgery. If someone is offering it quicker and cheaper, there is usually a reason for this.