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25 June 2011
How to choose the best cosmetic surgeon
Cosmetic surgery is a big move and it's really important to find a suitable surgeon for the job. So how do you make sure you're making the right choice for your circumstances? Here's some useful hints and tips for finding the perfect cosmetic surgeon for your procedure.
Your GP is a good first point of call. They should be able to recommend someone trustworthy with the necessary expertise. And they'll have an accurate picture of your medical history and any special requirements you might have.
You can't make a sensible, informed decision without talking things through. So make sure you can meet and talk to someone who knows what's what first. If you don't see the surgeon himself or herself the first time round, when you have your initial consultation, make sure you see them personally before your procedure.
Never forget to check they're properly qualified for the job. Cowboys are rare... but they exist. It's never wise to choose a surgeon on price alone, so bear in mind if the cost looks to good to be true, it probably is!
Ask for customer references to make doubly sure. While most cosmetic surgeons are highly skilled and extremely capable, their training isn't currently regulated. Luckily surgeons who set up shop after 2002 are obliged to appear on the General Medical Council's Specialist Register. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons is also a good starting point. If your surgeon isn't a member, it might be best to steer clear.
Last but never least, make sure you ask the right questions... and get sensible answers. Ask how many years' experience he or she has doing your procedure. Check how many procedures like yours they perform per week. Ask whether they think you have realistic expectations. Check if they think there's anything in your medical records that could make surgery problematical. Ask who will perform the surgery and find out what will happen to you during it. Establish how long you'll need to stay in hospital, if at all, and how long the results of your procedure will last. Find out the risks so you're in a position to make a properly informed decision. And make sure it comes at a fixed cost with no hidden extras.