The Royal College of Surgeons has launched a checklist on its website, designed to help patients make important decisions when considering Cosmetic Surgery.
The website aims to provide advice on common questions such as ‘Your Procedure’, ‘Choosing a surgeon and hospital’, ‘What to expect from a consultation’ and ‘If things go wrong’. Of course our own websites contain many of the answers to these questions, but having a centralised platform where prospective patients can gather unbiased information is a great idea.
When electing to undergo surgery, it is important to do your research, use the RCS site discussed here but there are several other ways you can gain a good understanding of the surgeon that you are considering for your procedure.
As a patient how would you ensure your Cosmetic Surgeon is the right one for you?
First and foremost you should check the GMC register – There is a free of charge search option on there, either type in your surgeons name or his/her GMC registration number. All Surgeons must be registered, ideally you should ensure they are on the Specialist Register also which tells you they have undergone further training in their field of expertise
BAAPS – The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has a procedures page, this will give you detail as to what the procedure is, what you should expect from an outcome and recovery perspective and of course the risks and complications you should be aware of. You surgeon will also advise you of these in your private consultation but it is good to attend your initial appointment with some background knowledge.
Referral – There is no greater accolade than the recommendation from a friend or relative who has also had surgery with the Surgeon you are considering for your surgery. They can give you an account of the advice they were given and an idea of their experience they underwent throughout the patient journey. Remember every experience will vary in terms of the advice given, yours will be personal to you and the outcome you can expect to achieve.
Internet – Search on the internet, some surgeons will be associated to NHS hospitals in addition to their private practice, you can find their own website and you may also find the Surgeons private business on Social Media, from here you can see their loyal following and sometimes reviews from past patients too.
Forums – There are a number of review and discussion sites, realself.com, sofeminine.co.uk, etc. Many patients who do not personally know a surgeon will use these vehicles to ask questions of other patients who are either considering or have undergone surgery themselves. Remember to use these as a guide, a good surgeon will have a frank and honest conversation with you if you come across anything you are unsure of.
Finally and most importantly having done all your research and met with your Surgeon you will make your own judgement. You should come out of your consultation feeling well informed and at ease with your surgeon, that he or she has given you a good indication of what to expect from your procedure and trust your health in his or her hands.