Plastic surgery has come a long, long way since the balloon-breast implants (made famous by Katie Price) of the Nineties. It's never been easier to change something you're not happy with, whether that be a nip and tuck here or there or lunchtime Botox, the options are endless. But when it comes to going ahead with ANY type of cosmetic procedure, the only way to get the best from your surgery is to be informed and I'm not just talking a quick Google while you wait for your appointment. It's imperative you enter the operating theatre armed with knowledge and you've come to the right place. Get your research off to a good start with the BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) guidelines for plastic surgery below.
1. Make your OWN decisions
When it comes to exactly how you want to alter your appearance, and indeed any concerns about the way you look, you're the best judge. Your opinion is the only one which matters when it comes to deciding which, if any, type of surgery you want to sign up for. You should ensure you get completely unbiased information regarding what might be technically possible and any associated risks and benefits. Please do not let anyone talk you into doing anything you don't want to - it's completely your choice.
2. Be informed of the facts
Anyone considering any cosmetic procedure should ensure they are fully informed and accept the limitations and risks. Remember, no surgeon or procedure is 100 per cent risk free so it's imperative to know what you're putting yourself through.
3. Be 100% comfortable
Make sure you feel one million per cent comfortable with the organisation, surgeon and clinic you have chosen. Meeting with them regularly beforehand can help make you feel at ease.
4. Get to know your surgeon
Many practitioners may look like experts but beware that many are not qualified medical professionals. Practitioners may boast qualifications that sound impressive but some of these can actually have little meaning. Organisations associated with and preferably based in the Royal College of Surgeons will demonstrate acceptable standards of practice so it's worth doing some background checks for peace of mind.
Hospitals which have strong associations with NHS consultants will also adhere to these standards and therefore you can put your trust in them. The BAAPS website can help you find a properly credentialed surgeon in your area.
5. Get the timing right
Like with most important things in life, it's all about the timing. Unless the circumstances are exceptional, avoid having any kind of surgery if you've recently experienced major life events such as moving house, changing job, losing a loved one, a relationship break-up or the arrival of a child. It's asking too much of your body to combine stresses associated with such events with major surgery.
6. Be aware of ‘free’ consultations and money-making schemes
These are a typical feature of many commercial clinics. It's important to remember that nothing is free, and if the surgery is right for you, you won't be forced into doing something you may regret and are financially penalised for in the future. Read the small print so you know all the terms and conditions of their cancellation and deposit policies.
7. It's all about location
This is majorly important: Do not travel a long distance or overseas for any surgery unless you are comfortable with the arrangements to follow up and the management of any problems or complications which may arise post-surgery. It's much better to have your procedure here in the UK and close to home as it'll make follow-up appointments a lot less stressful.
8. Talk to your GP first
Your GP has no interest other than your welfare so many doctors are happy to advise patients on their chosen procedures, without being judgmental. GPs know that plastic surgery is something which many people feel very sensitive and vulnerable about so there's no need to put this off for fear of being embarrassed about what they might think.
9. You CAN change your mind
Hopefully everything will be totally to your satisfaction, but remember you do have the option to cancel right up until the last moment before they inject the anesthetic. The fundamental reason for your procedure is to make you feel better about yourself and if this is compromised, you should not go through with it. No reputable surgeon would normally impose any penalty for cancellations.
10. Take your time
Remember undergoing surgery is a very serious commitment and often life changing - the results themselves and the knock-on effect on your confidence. This is a decision to think long and hard about, taking into account all the risks: health, financial, and emotional.
You can contact the BAAPS advice line 020 7405 2234 or visit their website: www.baaps.org.uk.
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