Prior to having a cosmetic surgery procedure, you will be required to attend a consultation with your surgeon. This will not only give the surgeon the opportunity to assess whether or not you are an appropriate candidate but allows you to meet the surgeon and ask any question you have about the procedure.
However, once you are in the consultation you may find yourself nervous, or not really sure what questions you should be asking. During any consultation, make sure you ask:
1. Who will be performing the procedure?
At some clinics, you will meet with a different surgeon during your consultation. Some clinics will even have you meet with a patient consultant and not a surgeon. This means you will never get the opportunity to meet the person who will be carrying out your procedure until the day of your surgery. If you never get the chance to meet the surgeon in advance, you may wish to double think whether or not you wish to attend that clinic.
2. Is the surgeon qualified and experienced in performing your procedure?
Any properly credentialled surgeon will have no problem discussing their qualifications and experience with you.
However, you can also research the surgeon’s qualifications online before you attend a consultation. You can look at the General Medical Council (GMC) Special Register for Plastic Surgery. This data will be available to research online. If you cannot find your surgeon on the register, they may not be qualified to perform plastic surgery in the UK.
3. How often have you performed my procedure?
Cosmetic surgeons will often have an area of the body which they specialise in. This means they may have little experience in performing surgeries in other areas of the body. Therefore, it is important to ask your surgeon how many times they have performed this particular procedure in the past. They should be able to provide you with before and after photos of past patients, so you can get an idea of the results they will be able to achieve.
4. What type of anaesthetic is used?
It is important to know whether your procedure will be performed under a local or a general anaesthetic. If it is performed under a general anaesthetic, you will need to know whether your initial quoted price includes the cost of the anaesthetist. Some procedures will also have the option of being performed under general anaesthetic, so if you do not wish to be awake for the surgery, you can have the option of being asleep the whole time. This also gives you an opportunity to ask about the anaesthetist, and what qualifications they have.
5. What are the potential risks and complications?
Every cosmetic surgery comes with risks, and complications may occur. If you are with a qualified surgeon, the risks will be extremely rare. However, it is a good idea to find out what the risks are, and how often they have occurred with your particular surgeon. Make sure you research the risks beforehand and see if your research matches up to what your surgeon is saying. If the surgeon is unable to tell you about the risks or denies that there are any, you may wish to reconsider going to that particular surgeon.
6. What results can I expect to achieve?
To be considered a suitable candidate for a cosmetic surgery procedure, you will need to have realistic expectations about what the procedure can achieve. Knowing about the potential outcome will help to keep your expectations realistic. Make sure you know whether or not the surgery will be permanent, or whether you will have to have further surgeries or treatments. There may also be steps you will need to take to ensure the results of your procedure last longer.
7. Is the aftercare included?
Some clinics will not include aftercare in the initial quoted cost – they will often just quote for the cost of the surgery, minus the cost of an anaesthetist, hospital costs and aftercare. It is important to ensure that you know whether or not aftercare is included so you don’t end up out of pocket if you have to return to the clinic. Having aftercare covered in your initial cost can provide you with peace of mind. If something goes wrong, you will be able to see the same surgeon again and will be able to be checked or have further surgeries.