Things to consider before making a decision

Plastic or cosmetic surgery of any sort should not be undertaken lightly. It is important to remember that all surgery, including cosmetic procedures, involve risks. To minimise these risks, try to find out as much as you can about the provider and the procedure.

Find out about the provider

  • First and foremost, choose your surgeon, doctor or practitioner on recommendation and do your research.
  • Check that the hospital or clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission, search for their details on the CQC website or ask them to show you their registration certificate. It is very important that you do not sign up for cosmetic surgery at a hospital or clinic that cannot show you that it is registered with the CQC.
  • Remember, if the hospital or clinic is not registered with the CQC, their insurance may not cover them or you if anything goes wrong. This is because they are practising outside of the law.
  • If you are considering plastic surgery, ask your GP to provide a referral to a surgeon. This will also ensure that your GP passes important information about your medical history to the surgeon.
  • If you don’t want to involve your GP, make sure that you choose a qualified and reputable surgeon that has been properly trained in the type of surgery you want. You should also check whether they are on the General Medical Council’s specialist register. See the section locating a plastic/cosmetic surgery specialist.
  • Make sure that the hospital or clinic will provide the care that you will need after the operation.
  • Ask them to give you a copy of their patient’s guide. This is a document that all cosmetic clinics and hospitals must provide. It gives details of all of the services they offer, the costs, and how patients can make comments and complaints.

Be wary of ‘special offers’ which urge you to sign up to a procedure immediately. Cosmetic surgery is a serious decision which needs proper consideration – a good surgeon will want you to be absolutely sure about going ahead. If you feel that you are being placed under pressure to commit to anything before you are ready, walk away!

Making the decision

The decision to have plastic surgery should not be undertaken lightly. Plastic surgery can change your appearance in ways that you might consider desirable but it can be expensive in time and money and, although quite rare, it has been known to result in some changes to your appearance which you may not always find pleasing in the future. It is important that you do not feel pressurised or obliged to have it, nor is it wise to rush into making a choice without extensive research, it should be a decision you make only after a lot of careful thought and self-evaluation.

Being honest with yourself, and making a realistic evaluation about the way you feel and look is the most important part of making such an important and life-changing decision, and a decision over which you have control.

There are millions of people who have experienced the life-changing and positive influence that plastic surgery can bring to their lives, the chances for such successful outcomes really does begin with the right emotional and physiological foundation being firmly in place from the outset. If you are a physically and physcologically healthy adult, with the financial means to afford cosmetic surgery, then cosmetic surgery may be an option for you.