How to Choose Cosmetic Surgeon                           Important

While most cosmetic operations are performed to high standards by fully qualified consultants, some are not. Since 1990, more than £7 million has been paid out in compensation for cosmetic surgery mistakes. Any doctor can claim to be a plastic surgeon, so it is best to consider the following advice.

Ask your GP who they send people to or contact the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) for a list of their members.

Ask friends who have had cosmetic surgery to recommend someone but remember, different surgeons have different specialities.

Ask private hospitals and clinics for information on the surgeons available.

When you have a first consultation ask for a surgeon’s qualifications. Check he/she is on the General Medical Council’s specialist register. Visit or phone the GMC helpline on 0945 357 3456. GPs will only refer to someone who is on this register. Check whether they have just FRCS, which all surgeons have, or if they have FRCS (Plast), which is a further qualification in plastic surgery. Also check the registration details of a hospital or clinic on the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care website.

At the initial consultation ask what a surgeon’s specialities are and to see their "book" of photographs of similar operations they have performed. Ask how long they have been performing the procedure you want, how many operations they performed in the last year and if any of their patients needed further corrective surgery. Ask if you can speak to some of your surgeon’s previous patients. If you are having a general anaesthetic ask who the anaesthetist will be and check on them with the GMC.

Be clear about what you want to achieve and ask about realistic results, associated risks, side effects, complications and recovery time. You should be given written details of these to study at home.

Ask what is included in the price for before, during and after treatment, e.g. blood tests and x-rays, surgeon’s fees, charges for accommodation, the cost of care if you need to stay longer, treatment of complications and cancellation charges.

Ask what back-up facilities and staff are in place for cosmetic surgery operations.

You don’t need to make an immediate decision. Discuss it with friends, seek further medical opinions and if you decide to go ahead, allow at least two weeks between the consultation and the operation date.


Also see Cosmetic Surgery Questions