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Advice for people considering cosmetic surgery

BMI Healthcare : 21 February, 2014  (Technical Article)
BMI Healthcare responds to dramatic increase in demand for cosmetic surgery with advice to those who are considering it
Advice for people considering cosmetic surgery

Consultants and the team at BMI Healthcare are encouraging patients not to rush into cosmetic surgery decisions after the hospital group’s patient enquiry centre experienced a 162% increase in enquiries from patients looking to undergo cosmetic procedures since the start of the year.

The biggest spike in enquiries were 321% for breast augmentation procedures, 320% for neck lift procedures, 313% for facelift procedures, 283% for nose reshaping procedures and a 227% increase in enquiries for breast lift procedures. The growth in enquiries has also led to a growth in the number of appointments, which increased 115% since the start of the 2014.

In reaction to this increased interest, which is likely spurred on by people adopting the “New Year New You” ethos, consultants and the teams at BMI Healthcare are encouraging those looking into cosmetic surgery options to take great time and care when making the decision to go under the knife.

Mr Raj Ragoowansi a Consultant Plastic & Aesthetic Surgeon at BMI Healthcare commented, “Each year around this time we see an increase in the number of enquiries we receive from patients eager to improve their appearance in the New Year with a cosmetic procedure. Therefore, we felt it was important to remind people that having cosmetic surgery is a very serious, life-changing decision and one which should not be rushed or taken lightly. Women and men should not let their eagerness for change overpower their ability to make a responsible choice about their surgeon, hospital and desired procedure.”

Mr Ragoowansi and the team at BMI Healthcare offer the following advice to anyone looking to undergo cosmetic surgery in 2014:

* Check your surgeon’s credentials: Choose a Consultant Surgeon.  Ensure that the surgeon is on the specialist register of the General Medical Council, which ensures quality in medical practice. Look for a surgeon who is a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and who regularly performs the type of procedure you are interested in.

* Do your research: If a price sounds ‘too good to be true’, it generally is. In the current climate it is even more important that patients looking to have cosmetic surgery do not make a decision based solely on price."  Don’t be pressurised into committing to surgery because of a discount or special offer. Look for a Consultant Surgeon who has a proven history in performing the procedure you’re interested in and who works at a trusted hospital group.

* Talk to a past patient: Try and talk to people who have had the procedure that you are considering. Talk to your family and friends who can help you make your decision; it is always good to get an honest opinion from someone you trust.

* Be prepared for your consultation: The consultation is your opportunity to ask any questions you have about the procedure you are interested in/considering. It might be useful to make a list in the weeks before your appointment and bring it with you.  The most important thing in a consultation is to be honest and frank with your surgeon; they need as much information about you as possible in order to make an informed assessment. Your consultation should be with the consultant surgeon who will be performing your procedure. Your consultant will take your full medical history and ask some psychologically probing questions. You will also have an examination to evaluate the best procedure for you. After this your surgeon can advise you as to what the surgery would involve, including the risks and pitfalls.

* Be open-minded: Don’t bring a shopping list of what you want to the consultation. It is much better to explain the problems you are experiencing or the changes you wish to make. It is important to bear in mind that the procedure that you enquire about may not be the most suitable for you in order to achieve the results that you want. Depending on your discussion, the surgeon will discuss the alternatives, along with the pros and cons.

* Meet the team, look round the hospital: Get an idea of where you’ll be treated, the hospital and its facilities.  Ask the surgeon if you can meet the team who will be looking after you. It is important that you gain a visual perspective of where you’ll be staying and who’ll be caring for you.

* See your GP: An important source of advice and information is your GP. It is always a good idea to talk through your plans with your GP as they know your medical history and can talk in general about surgery. Good surgeons will want to work closely with your GP to ensure that they know your medical history and are kept informed about the surgery that you are having and any clinical examinations that have been performed.

* Take your time: Don’t be pressurised by special offers, which demand that you make a booking or commit to having surgery quickly.  Embarking on cosmetic surgery is not something that should be rushed into.  A good surgeon will not take a booking on the day of consultation and will give you a ‘cooling off’ period so that you can thoroughly consider your options and talk to your friends and family to help you in the decision making process. Many will offer a free second consultation if you wish to discuss things in more depth.

* Get a price: The hospital should offer a fixed price package, which should include hospital fees, surgeon’s fees, anaesthetist’s fees, implant costs and all aftercare including dressings.

* On-going support: Find out what kind of aftercare you will get. Ask how many post-operative visits are included within the aftercare package and when they are likely to be. Make sure you’ll have the follow up appointments with the surgeon who performed your surgery.  Ask what happens if things don’t go to plan. In the event of acute complications arising post-surgery, the hospital should be able to resolve them at no extra cost.

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