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Plastic Surgery - A Brief Guide to Choosing a Surgeon

Harley Medical Group
- Harley medical group provide a complete range of cosmetic surgery and non-surgical procedures in clinics across the UK. Treatments offered include breast augmentation (boob jobs), rhinoplasty (nose jobs), laser hair removal, botox, liposuction and more.

Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic or "Plastic" surgery has become more common in recent years and is no longer only for the rich and famous. If there is a part of your body that you have always disliked, such as a prominent nose, cosmetic surgery can boost your confidence and give you the profile you have always desired. However, it is important to remember that all surgery involves risks and recovery time, which should be explained to you at your initial consultation.

Will I need a GP referral?

No, not usually before the initial consultation. However, if you decide to have surgery, the surgeon may contact your GP to get details of your medical history.

How do I choose a surgeon?

  • Ask your GP about cosmetic surgeons in your area.
  • Check out the qualifications of any surgeon that you are considering - make sure that he / she is a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). Membership of this body is only available to plastic surgeons who appear on the GMC specialist register in the plastic surgery section.
  • Don't be bowled over by glossy adverts - the best plastic surgeons do not need to advertise.
  • If you are considering a private clinic as opposed to a hospital, check out what backup facilities there are in case there are unexpected problems.
  • Personal recommendations are useful but should be taken at face value only and not be an overriding factor.

What happens at the initial consultation?

The surgeon should be able to give you a realistic expectation of what the surgery is likely to achieve. He should also ascertain your reasons for requesting surgery and ensure that they are valid. He may show you before and after photos of procedures like yours that he has already performed, although some surgeons prefer not to do this as they feel this breaks doctor / patient confidentiality.

The surgeon should explain to you fully any risks or complications associated with the surgery, any side effects that you are likely to experience, eg scarring, and how long it will take you to recover.

Ensure that your initial consultation is with the surgeon who will be performing the surgery, and not a salesman, as this is unethical. Also, if you approach a surgeon requesting a breast enlargement , beware the surgeon who also suggests having an additional procedure, such as a nose job, at the same time. It is unethical for a surgeon to suggest surgeries to you in areas you had not considered.

Never rush into a decision and get a second opinion if there is anything that you are not happy with.

Make sure you are informed of the total cost of the procedure(s). If the result is not as expected and further corrective surgery is needed, will there be an additional cost?

Coming to a decision - a check list

  • Check the surgeon's qualifications - ideally he should be a member of BAAPS. FRCS on its own is insufficient - it just means a qualified surgeon, but does not indicate a speciality in plastic surgery.
  • How often has the surgeon performed the procedure you are interested in? What is his success rate? What will he do if the outcome is not as expected?
  • If going to a hospital where a number of surgeons operate, it is often a good idea to have a sneaky chat with some of the nurses to ask them which surgeon they would choose if they were to have surgery. Usually the nurses know who gets the best results.
  • What backup facilities does the hospital have?
  • What result will I get and how long will it last?
  • What are the side effects or complications?
  • How long will recovery take. Will I be in pain?
  • Will I need time off work?
  • Are any necessary corrective procedures and follow up consultations included in the overall cost?
Cosmetic Surgery Advice
- Advice on plastic and cosmetic surgery from the body that represents aesthetic plastic surgeons in the UK, with details on surgical procedures including breast augmentation, reduction, and lifting; facial plastic surgery including eye bag removal and rhinoplasty (nose job), liposuction and many more treatments.