For most men and women around the world, there is at least one part of their body they wish would look different. Whether that’s a less crooked nose, a more toned stomach, or a youthful glow of the skin, a cosmetic procedure exists to help alter the way someone looks. More than 51,000 men and women received plastic surgery in the UK throughout 2015, and the numbers are slated to rise over the next decade with greater ease of accessibility and more minimally invasive procedures available. Part of the increase in cosmetic treatments under the needle or knife is linked to the declining stigma surrounding improving or changing one’s physique. Hundreds of celebrities have started to speak openly about the work they have had done over the years, making it less taboo for the average individual.
The growth of cosmetic surgery among the masses has led to an increase in the number of plastic surgeons and clinics open for business. A two-second online search delivers countless options for a cosmetic surgeon right around the corner, but precautions must be taken to ensure the medical professional of choice is qualified to do the work. Here are the most important factors to consider when selecting a cosmetic surgeon in the UK.
Things to Know Before Surgery
Those who are considering getting a nip or tuck to improve their overall appearance have several things to consider before making their way to the operating table. One of the most important aspects of finding the best fit cosmetic surgeon in the UK starts with instinct. People must feel comfortable with the professional they have chosen, as well as the look and feel of the clinic, the staff, and the procedure that is about to be performed. This starts with an initial consultation with the doctor – not a nurse or other staff member.
In the initial consultation, the cosmetic surgeon should take the time to listen to the needs of the potential patient and fully understand the outcome he or she is trying to achieve. Without this insight, it is impossible for a cosmetic surgeon to make recommendations about the type of surgery that will produce the desired results. A team of clinical negligence solicitors that deals with cases involving surgical mistakes explains that if an initial consultation is not offered, patients should take it as a serious red flag. It may be common that a staff member takes the patient’s information at first, but any discussion of possible treatments must be conducted by the doctor who is to perform the procedure, in person. As part of that discussion, patients should feel confident in their understanding of the recommended treatment, the risks involved in going under the knife, and any preparation or aftercare directives provided by the doctor. If these critical aspects of cosmetic surgery consultation are not present, the patient stands to receive less than ideal care which could lead to unfortunate outcomes after the surgery is complete.
Your Surgeon’s Qualifications
In addition to following gut instincts when selecting a cosmetic surgeon, individuals should also do adequate research on a doctor prior to scheduling their treatment. In the UK, there are a number of ways to check the qualifications of a cosmetic surgeon to ensure they are practising in line with the most up to date standards for patient care. The following organisations provide information on doctors offering cosmetic surgery and treatment services to individuals in the UK:
The General Medical Council: through the General Medical Council, doctors are required to register their practice under a special registry after a minimum set of criteria has been met, including specialist training and education qualifications. The purpose of the GMC is to safeguard the health of the public by ensuring standards of medical practise are met for each and every doctor who is registered with the organisation.
Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS): as a professional qualification body, the FRCS enables surgeons located in Ireland and England to achieve and sustain the highest standards in surgical practice through the completion of certain education and training qualifications. Qualified cosmetic surgeons will either hold the FRCS Plast certification or the FRCS in plastic surgery certification.
British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons or British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAAPS/BAPRAS): Both BAAPS and BARPAS offer membership to qualified cosmetic surgeons in the UK who are fully trained based on the FRCS standards. The organisation is meant to advance education initiatives in the world of cosmetic surgery, and any surgeon who has a membership with either organisation indicates he or she is committed to the same.
Anyone in the market for a cosmetic surgery regardless of how major the procedure may be must take the precautionary steps to ensure the doctor of choice provides a comfortable environment to discuss treatment options, the intended results of the selected treatment, and the risks inherent to the procedure. Additionally, individuals should be sure to check the credentials of their chosen provider through one or all of the organisations listed above. Following these guidelines will help lay the groundwork for a successful cosmetic procedure, without the worry of being put in harm’s way from an unqualified surgeon.