Choosing a Surgeon
Having made up my mind to go ahead with plastic surgery, I am confused about how to find the right person for the job. There are so many clinics advertised on the internet, and in the back of magazines, that I don't know where to start. Despite all the horror stories that you hear about, I see this as a positive step, but I also realise the importance of a good surgeon... please can you help?!
This is a very important issue. Any doctor can call him/herself a plastic surgeon, but this does not mean that they are qualified. It is critical to take the right steps in finding a fully qualified practitioner. First off, you should talk to your GP about the procedure you are considering, he might also be able to recommend a consultation with someone in particular. If you are searching independently, check that the doctor in question is on the specialist register for plastic surgery. This can be done by calling the General Medical Council Registry on 020 7915 3638. Many plastic surgeons in the UK are members of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons (BAPS) and/or the British Association of Aesthetique Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). It is a good idea to use these as a cross-reference, as it's members adhere to a strict code of conduct (www.baps.co.uk). You should meet with several surgeons to make sure that you are satisfied with your choice. In the consultation, follow this guide, set out by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you may find it useful: The surgeon should answer all of your questions thoroughly, in language you can understand.
He/she should ask about your motivations and expectations, discuss them with you and solicit your reaction to his/her recommendations.
He/she should offer alternatives where appropriate, without pressuring you to consider unnecessary procedures.
He/she should welcome questions about professional qualifications, experience, costs and payment policies.
He/she should make clear not only the risks of surgery but the possible variations in outcome. If the surgeon shows you photographs of other patients or uses computer imaging to show you possible result, it should be clear that there is no guarantee that your results will match these.
He/she should make sure the final decision is yours.