1. It’s YOUR decision
You are the best judge of your appearance and will be aware of your own personal concerns and feelings. You should always be provided with unbiased information, be made aware of what is realistically possible, and always informed of the risks and benefits of the surgery you are seeking. The only assistance you should need is to help decide and explain which procedures are suitable for you. Never let anyone ‘talk you into surgery’ if you have any genuine concerns about it. The surgeon who is going to perform the procedure is the person who should explain the risks and benefits to you.
2. Is it the right time for you?
If you have recently experienced any major life-changing events such as losing someone close to you, the break-up of a relationship, moving house, changing job or the arrival of children, let some time pass before deciding if surgery is right for you.
3. Speak to your GP
Your GP has no interest other than your welfare. He / she will be able to advise you personally without being judgmental and can offer you a professional independent view. While it’s not a requirement that see your GP before a consultation at Exeter Medical our surgeons will write, with your permission, to them after your consultation in keeping with the GMC‘s guidelines on Good Medical Practise.
4. Avoid free consultations
Beware of ‘free’ consultations and avoid booking fees or non-refundable deposits (a typical feature of many commercial clinics). Nothing is free and if the surgery is right for you then there will be no need for you to be locked into going ahead by any financial cancellation penalties.
Reputable surgeons will provide up to two or more consultations to review your concerns and answer your questions and it is reasonable to expect to pay a fee for your surgeon’s time. Clinics offering ‘free’ full consultations will build the cost of these consultations into their treatment fees and some clinics may also charge for follow-up consultations. Review consultations before and after surgery are free of charge until such a time as treatment is completed.
Mini-consultations lasting around 5-10 minutes are available at no cost for you to find out a little more about cosmetic surgery. These will always need to be followed-up with a full consultation before surgery so that you are fully informed about all the issues involved.
5. Make sure you feel comfortable, informed and ask questions
If you are considering any cosmetic procedure make sure you are fully informed and happy to accept the limitations and risks of the surgical procedure. No surgical procedure is 100% risk-free and you should always ask for further information or clarification if you are unsure of anything. Exeter Medical can provide you with written information and links via our website to BAPRAS and BAAPS literature so that you are fully informed from on-line reputable sources.
Make sure you feel comfortable with the surgeon and the clinic you have chosen and ask to see results and testimonials from previous patients. Ensure that the surgeon takes the time to answer any concerns you may have.
6. Meet your surgeon and check out their credentials
Your consultation should be with the person who will perform your surgery. Some cosmetic surgery companies use nurse counsellors to provide a free initial consultation. These nurses are generally paid by commission and may even use ‘hard sell’ techniques to persuade you to go ahead with surgery.
Your chosen clinic should have strong associations with NHS consultants. Our surgeons at Exeter Medical are all NHS consultants in plastic surgery and dermatology working in reputable hospitals and clinics such as the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Exeter Nuffield Health and Mount Stuart Hospital (Torbay).
The letters ‘FRCS’ after a surgeon’s name indicates that they are a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Plastic surgeons who have completed specialist training and passed a specialist examination have the letters FRCS(Plast) after their name.
Check to see if your surgeon is a member of The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and / or the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). These surgeons have the highest level of expertise and undertake regular professional development.
7. Location, location, location
Do not travel too far or even overseas for cosmetic surgery unless you are happy with the follow-up arrangements. The logistics of long distance aftercare if problems or complications arise could end up costing you financially.
8. Take your time and remember you can change your mind
You should always have the option to change your mind right up until the time you go to sleep for surgery. The fundamental reason for the surgery is to make you feel better about yourself, and if this is compromised, surgery should not proceed. No reputable surgeon would be likely to impose any penalty for cancellation. Take your time to decide if surgery is right for you. Don’t forget that undergoing surgery is a serious commitment so you need to feel comfortable and not rushed throughout the whole process.
9. You get what you pay for
If you are considering having breast implants it is important to know that not all breast implants are the same. The quality of breast implants vary tremendously and some companies are able to offer cheap breast augmentation surgery because they use cheap implants. Remember, the implants are intended to be in your body for many years. The surgeons at Exeter Medical use only the highest quality breast implants and none of our patients were affected by the PIP implant scandal.
Make sure you check which types of implants are planned and whether there is a warranty that covers an exchange of implant procedure later on.
10. At Exeter Medical our cosmetic plastic surgeons aim to provide care of the highest quality.
Local anaesthetic procedures can be performed in our own minor ops theatre but where a general anaesthetic is required we will give you a choice of local private hospitals including the Exeter Nuffield Hospital and Ramsay Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay.