Cosmetic Surgery Buyer's Guide

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  • 1. Cosmetic Surgery Buyer’s GuideYour complete guide to having cosmetic surgery
  • 2. Contents The popularity of cosmetic surgery has you a new personality or instant happiness. grown rapidly in recent years and it is no So before you proceed, take some time toChoosing a hospital or clinic 4 longer the preserve of the wealthy. With think through what you want to achieveYour first consultation 10 alluring articles and programmes featuring from the treatment.What’s included in the price? 14 regularly in the press and on TV, you couldMultiple procedures 15 also be forgiven for thinking that it is as In this step-by-step guide we have tried toCosmetic surgery agencies 15 straightforward as arranging a day at cover the important points you shouldTreatment abroad 15 a health farm. consider before having any type of cosmeticUseful contacts 16 treatment or surgery. This will help youWebsites 17 Of course, if you’re unhappy about an aspect prepare for the initial consultation with yourQuestions and notes 18 of your appearance, cosmetic surgery can cosmetic surgeon so that you ask aboutDid you find this booklet useful? 19 often bring a real improvement and boost what’s important for you – realistic results,Contact details 19 your self-confidence. However, it won’t give time for recovery, associated risks, etc – and can make a well-informed decision. Cosmetic Surgery Buyer’s Guide 
  • 3. Choosing a hospital or clinic • quality of treatment and care If you are in any doubt about a hospital or Do I need to involve my GP? • safety of premises, facilities and equipment clinic’s standards or capability, you should You’ll find that most cosmetic surgeonsWith so many providers to choose from, • clinical risk management ask to see a copy of its latest Healthcare will be happy to see you for an initialyou’ll need to create a short-list of hospitals • information for patients Commission inspection report. The general consultation without a referral letter fromand clinics. If the cosmetic treatment you • medical record keeping manager of the hospital or clinic should be your GP. However, if you plan to go aheadare considering involves an operation, then • hospital personnel able to provide this, or you can obtain it from with a cosmetic operation, the surgeondoing this based on factual information is • patient satisfaction the Healthcare Commission. should seek your permission to contact yourparticularly important. • complaints GP for details of your medical history. This Independent Healthcare Advisory Service is an important safety precaution, especiallyFactors to consider The National Minimum Standards aim to cosmetic surgery standards if your operation means you’ll needHaving narrowed down your options, you provide assurances about the quality of The Independent Healthcare Advisory a general anaesthetic.may want to visit potential providers, or talk treatment and services that patients receive. Services (IHAS) is a membership organisationto them by telephone, before attending The registered hospital or clinic manager representing many of the UK’s independent Although you may not need a referral lettera consultation with a cosmetic surgeon. is responsible for ensuring that clinical hospitals and hospital groups. IHAS, in in order to make an appointment to see a quality standards are maintained and the conjunction with the Cosmetic Surgery surgeon, we recommend that you consultHealthcare Commission registration Healthcare Commission has the power Interspeciality Committee, has produced a your GP at the very beginning of the processand standards to close premises that do not meet booklet, ‘Good Medical Practice in Cosmetic so that you can get their professional advice.In accordance with the Care Standards Act these standards. Surgery’, to support and complement the2000 and the Health and Social Care General Medical Council (GMC) code for How do I go about choosing a surgeon?(Community Health and Standards) Act You can check the registration details of good medical practice. IHAS also operates a As a private patient seeking cosmetic200, all hospitals and clinics in England are a hospital or clinic on the Healthcare comprehensive complaints code for handling surgery, you are able to choose the surgeonregulated by Healthcare Commission), and Commission website or by contacting the patient complaints. Contact details are you would like to treat you. With so manyare inspected regularly against the relevant regional office. Contact details are shown at the back of this guide. surgeons to choose from, you’ll need to giveDepartment of Health Independent shown at the back of this guide. yourself time to research potential surgeons’Healthcare National Minimum Standards. qualifications, reputation and experience.The Standards cover elements of Below are some useful tips when weighingcare such as: up your choice. Cosmetic Surgery Buyer’s Guide 5
  • 4. • Ask your GP’s advice about the specialist • Personal recommendations are always 1. The surgeon should appear on the Surgeons who are on the specialist register surgeons in your area. valuable, but bear in mind that surgeons specialist register of the General Medical but not the plastic surgery section• Private hospitals and clinics should be able tend to specialise in particular types of Council (GMC) Cosmetic operations such as nose re-shaping to give you details of the surgeons cosmetic surgery. Be careful about making Almost any doctor can call him or herself and ear pinning may be performed by Ear, available, their qualifications and particular a judgement based on someone else’s a cosmetic surgeon. Even letters after their Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeons; cosmetic areas of specialisation within the field of recommendation alone – as their situation name, such as FRCS (Fellow of the Royal facial surgery may be performed by cosmetic surgery. may be very different to yours. The surgeon College of Surgeons), don’t mean that the maxillofacial surgeons; cosmetic eye surgery• Some hospitals and clinics run open days should satisfy the following specific criteria surgeon has specialist training or experience may be performed by ophthalmic surgeons or information evenings where cosmetic to give you a level of confidence in their ability. in performing cosmetic procedures. and cosmetic breast surgery may be surgeons give talks about their work. This performed by general surgeons. Although gives you the opportunity to meet the Surgeons who have completed six years of they will not appear on the plastic surgery surgeons and clinical staff on an informal specialist training and have obtained the section of the register, these surgeons basis. However, be wary if you are offered further qualification FRCS (Plast)* are then should have undergone specialist training a special price or discount for making an added to the specialist register – plastic in cosmetic techniques in their area of immediate booking – this practice surgery section. expertise, and they should have experience contravenes the Independent Healthcare in carrying out cosmetic surgery on the nose, Advisory Services’ Good Medical Practice in To check whether a surgeon appears on the ear, face, eye or breast. Cosmetic Surgery guidance. GMC specialist register, you will need to know their full name and, if possible, their In such cases, it is important to check that GMC registration number. You can then the surgeon does appear on the relevant carry out the check for yourself on the GMC GMC specialist register (for example, ENT website or by telephoning the GMC surgery) and you should only consider them registration helpline. Contact details are for cosmetic surgery on the area of the body shown at the back of this guide. in which they specialise. So, if you are thinking about having cosmetic surgery on different parts of the body at the same time, you should only go to a surgeon who is on the plastic surgery section of the register and has adequate experience in all the procedures you are considering. *The FRCS (Plast) qualification is only applicable to surgeons who qualified since 1986 when the qualification was introduced. Cosmetic Surgery Buyer’s Guide 7
  • 5. 2. Other health practitioners offering As a minimum, any doctor or dentist carrying 3. Membership of plastic and cosmetic 4. Healthcare Commission registrationcosmetic treatments out aesthetic treatment should be registered surgery professional organisations Cosmetic surgeons working in hospitals andMany cosmetic surgeons also offer with the General Medical Council (GMC) or clinics are covered by the organisation’snonsurgical treatments such as anti-wrinkle the General Dental Council (GDC), and any British Association of Aesthetic Plastic registration with the Healthcare Commissiontreatment by injection (e.g. nerve-blocking nurse should be registered with the Nursing Surgeons (BAAPS) (see section on choosing a hospital or clinicdrugs and dermal fillers), laser and pulsed and Midwifery Council (NMC) and work Only qualified plastic surgeons who appear on page 4). The hospital or clinic islight therapy. These treatments may also be within its code of conduct. on the GMC specialist register can apply to responsible for ensuring that the surgeonsperformed by other health practitioners, become a member of BAAPS. This organisation working there are suitably qualified andfor example GPs, dentists and nurses. You can check the registration status of any is recognised by the Surgical Royal Colleges practise according to the Department ofNon-surgical treatments are also known as doctor, dentist or nurse on the GMC, GDC or as a legitimate professional body Health Independent Healthcare Nationalaesthetic treatments or cosmetic dermatology. NMC websites, or contact them by phone. representing the field of aesthetic surgery. Minimum Standards. All surgeons working See contact details at the back of this guide. BAAPS members are expected to undertake in hospitals or clinics must participateLaser Class B/4 and Intense Pulsed Light continuing medical education in in clinical performance measurementtreatments must only be given in premises Nerve-blocking drugs are prescription-only aesthetic surgery. arrangements, which are monitored by thethat are registered with the Healthcare medicines, which means they must be Healthcare Commission.Commission. Other aesthetic treatments are prescribed by a doctor or dentist. However, British Association of Plastic Reconstructivenot regulated by the Healthcare Commission. they may be administered by a nurse under and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS)If you are considering nonsurgical treatments the supervision of a doctor. Surgeons on the GMC plastic surgerysuch as wrinkle relaxing injectable treatments specialist register can apply to become a fulland dermal fillers, you will need to check that member of BAPRAS. Most BAPRASyou are seeing a properly qualified specialist. members focus on reconstructive surgery, but they may dedicate some time to performing cosmetic surgery procedures. Cosmetic Surgery Buyer’s Guide 9
  • 6. Your first consultation Make sure you are given a full explanation of Rapport with, and confidence in, your Making an informed decision any risks associated with the operation – in surgeon is vital as you will be putting great Being well-informed will maximise yourThe initial consultation with a specialist terms of expected side-effects (such as pain trust in them. You can really only get a feel chances of being satisfied with yourcosmetic surgeon will help you set realistic during recovery and scarring) and all possible for this at the consultation stage – so it is treatment. It is worth investing time to findexpectations of what your chosen procedure complications. While it is tempting to avoid essential to make sure that you meet the out the answers to the following questionscan achieve for you. The consultation will considering these issues, it is better to be surgeon who would be carrying out your before or during your consultation. You willalso help the surgeon make a professional fully aware of both the risks, and benefits so surgery before you make your decision. be paying for the surgeon’s consulting time,assessment of your motivation for wanting that you can make the right decision. You so don’t be afraid to use this time to askcosmetic surgery, and whether they can offer should be given written information about Don’t let anyone rush you into making up plenty of questions.treatment that will meet your expectations. the operation and associated risks so that your mind. You don’t need to make anYou should expect to be asked a number of you can study this carefully at home. In immediate decision and you may wish to go 1. What qualifications does the surgeon have?questions about your reasons for wanting addition, your consultant surgeon may write away and discuss it with friends or family, Check whether they have just FRCS – whichsurgery and the surgeon should show you to you afterwards, to reiterate the medical gather more information, seek a second all surgeons have – or if they have FRCS‘before and after’ photographs of similar information provided during your consultation. medical opinion, take time to consider your (Plast)* which is a further qualification inoperations they have performed. decision and perhaps return for a further plastic surgery. Be wary of offers of ‘free’ consultations and consultation. If you decide to go ahead, it isYou may find it helpful to bring a friend, if you are offered one, ask about the best to allow at least two weeks between the 2. Is the surgeon on the GMCpartner or relative with you to the credentials of the person you will be seeing. consultation and the operation date – so specialist register?consultation, as there will be a lot of A meeting with a sales adviser is no that you have plenty of time to reflect and You can check this on the GMC website orinformation to absorb and consider. substitute for a consultation with an make sure that you are entirely comfortable by telephoning the registration helpline. appropriate surgeon. If you are offered the with your decision. See contact details at the back of this guide. opportunity to talk to a specialist plastic or cosmetic surgery nurse this may well be helpful – particularly if you have further questions after the consultation with the surgeon. But again, this is no substitute for a consultation with a specialist surgeon. *The FRCS (Plast) qualification is only applicable to surgeons who qualified since 1986 when the qualification was introduced. Cosmetic Surgery Buyer’s Guide 11
  • 7. 3. What professional organisations is the 6. If you will be having a general 11. What results can usually be expected 13. How long will it take to recover andspecialist a member of? anaesthetic, who will be the anaesthetist and how long will they last? what will this involve?A member of BAAPS – the British Association and what are their qualifications? Ask the surgeon to define subjective terms Ask how you should expect to feel and toof Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons – has further The anaesthetist should be listed on the such as ‘significantly improved’. Ask the what extent you will need to ‘take it easy’,specialist training in cosmetic surgery. GMC specialist register. You can check this surgeon if the procedure will need to be as you may need to make additionalA member of BAPRAS – the British on the GMC website or by telephoning the repeated in the future to maintain the childcare arrangements or organise otherAssociation of Plastic Reconstructive and registration helpline. See contact details at result. If you are having implants or fillers help at home.Aesthetic Surgeons – has specialist training the back of this guide. ask how long they will last and if theyin plastic and reconstructive surgery and will need to be removed or replaced at 14. How much time off work shouldmay also perform cosmetic work. 7. How many cosmetic surgery operations a later date. you allow? in total does the hospital or clinic perform4. What experience does the specialist have each year? And how many of the 12. What are the side-effects and potential 15. What are the follow-up arrangementsin performing your procedure? procedure you’re considering? complications of the procedure? at the hospital or clinic if you have anyAsk how many operations they performed in All operations carry risks as well as benefits. worries or feel that your recovery is notthe last year, how they measure their results 8. What quality standards does the hospital The chance of complications depends on the going well?and what proportion of their patients need or clinic have? type of operation and other factors such asfurther corrective surgery. These are your general health. Your surgeon should 16. How much scarring is there after theperfectly reasonable questions to ask and a 9. What medical back-up facilities and explain how the risks apply to you. Ask procedure? Will it change over time?good surgeon will be pleased to explain their staff are in place to support cosmetic about the psychological aspects and howresults and experience to you. surgery operations? most patients feel afterwards – a change in 17. If you are not happy with the results of If you’ll be staying overnight in the hospital appearance can have profound emotional your procedure, what corrective treatment5. Find out if you can speak to some of your or clinic, ask about the resident doctor effects that you may not be expecting. will the hospital, clinic or surgeon provide?surgeon’s previous patients that have had arrangements should any problems arise Will there be a charge for this?the operation you are considering. during the night.Specialist cosmetic surgeons often have a listof previous patients who are willing to speak 10. How can you best prepare forto other patients about their experience. the procedure?For confidentiality reasons, you’ll need to beprepared to give a telephone number, so thatthe patient can contact you rather than youtelephoning them. Cosmetic Surgery Buyer’s Guide 1
  • 8. What’s included in the price? Before treatment Multiple procedures Cosmetic surgery agencies • Consultation with a cosmetic surgeonWhen you approach a hospital or clinic for • Further consultations should you In order to achieve the desired aesthetic Cosmetic surgery agencies act as brokers toinitial information about cosmetic surgery, require them result, more than one procedure is sometimes match up prospective clients with surgeons,they should be willing to give you an • ‘Before and after’ photos necessary. Commonly performed multiple hospitals and clinics in the UK and overseas.approximate price that covers all the • Blood tests and X-rays procedures are abdominoplasty (tummy If you ask an agency to arrange yourtreatment you are considering. However, tuck) with liposuction, and breast reduction treatment, you should be aware that theymost hospitals and clinics will not give you During treatment combined with breast uplift. will be earning a commission from thea firm quotation until you have attended a • Surgeon’s fee surgeon, hospital or clinic – even though theconsultation. This is because the final price • Anaesthetist’s fee if you are having There are benefits and risks associated with price you pay may be the same as if youis often determined by the exact nature of a general anaesthetic having multiple procedures under a single arranged your treatment yourself. If you dothe surgery and the choice of any implants • Hospital or clinic charges for operating general anaesthetic. Depending on the choose this route, you should take extra carethat may be involved. theatre, nursing care and accommodation procedures involved and your general health, to read the terms and conditions of any • Drugs and dressings there may be greater or lesser risk to you of contract you enter into.You should be given a personal written price • Treatment of complications having one longer operation – rather thanquotation and a document explaining the • Cost of care if you need to stay longer than undergoing two or more separate operations.terms and conditions of the contract, which expected in the hospital or clinic Treatment abroadyou will need to sign if you decide to go The responsibility for the decision to carryahead with treatment. After treatment out multiple procedures rests with the The idea of a holiday combined with cosmetic • Follow-up consultations (usually two) surgeon and anaesthetist, who must always surgery may be appealing, but standards ofMake sure that you understand exactly • Treatment of any complications after you act in your best interests, and in care can be very different overseas. You couldwhat’s included in the price you’ve been leave hospital. consultation with you. Their aim should have problems if something goes wrong,quoted. Some or all of the items listed below always be to minimise the risk to you. If you especially once you have returned home andmay be included in the package price, but if You should also ask about any cancellation want to have multiple procedures done at if you need follow-up care. It may be difficultthey are not included, you’ll need to find out charges just in case you want to postpone or the same time, you should expect to to check out the quality standards of thethe additional price of the relevant items. cancel your treatment. You should be wary undergo a comprehensive anaesthetic risk hospital or clinic in advance and you’ll be of hospitals and clinics that charge a high assessment to help your surgeon and unlikely to meet the surgeon treating you cancellation fee, as this may make you anaesthetist decide on the safety of until just before the operation. If you arrive feel pressured into going ahead. this approach. and find you are not comfortable with the hospital, clinic or surgeon, you may feel it is too late to back out of the arrangement. Cosmetic Surgery Buyer’s Guide 15
  • 9. Useful contacts British Association of Plastic Reconstructive Healthcare Commission regional offices Websites and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS)General Medical Council Royal College of Surgeons London and South East England: 020 7448 9200 Spire Healthcare hospitals cosmetic surgery178 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5JE 5–4 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A PE www.spirehealthcare.com/cosmetic Telephone 020 781 5161 East of England: 020 7448 0804Specialist register checks 0845 57 456 Email secretariat@bapras.co.uk Department of HealthEmail registrationhelp@gmc-uk.org www.bapras.co.uk West of England: 020 7448 8158 www.dh.gov.uk/cosmeticsurgerywww.gmc-uk.org Independent Healthcare Advisory Services East Midlands: 020 7448 8188 For further information about havingGeneral Dental Council Centre Point cosmetic surgery in a Spire Healthcare7 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8DQ 10 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1DU West Midlands: 0121 71 8091 hospital, please call us on 0800 44 6644 orRegistration checks 020 7487 264 Telephone 020 779 8598 visit www.spirehealthcare.com/cosmeticEmail gdcregistration@gdc-uk.org Email info@independenthealthcare.org.uk North West: 020 7448 9100www.gdc-uk.org www.independenthealthcare.org.uk Yorkshire and North East: 020 7448 8179Nursing and Midwifery Council Healthcare Commission2 Portland Place, London W1B 1PZ Finsbury Tower, 10–105 Bunhill Row Scottish Commission for the RegulationRegistration checks 020 7 9 London EC1Y 8TG of Care (Care Commission)www.nmc-uk.org Telephone 020 7448 9200 Compass House, 11 Riverside Drive Email feedback@healthcarecommission.org.uk Dundee DD1 4NYBritish Association of Aesthetic and www.healthcarecommission.org.uk Telephone 0182 207 100 Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) Email web.enquiries@carecommission.comRoyal College of Surgeons www.carecommission.com5–4 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A PEEmail info@baaps.org.uk Healthcare Inspectorate for Waleswww.baaps.org.uk Unit C, Caerphilly Business ParkFor written information send a large Van Road, Caerphilly CF8 EDself addressed envelope and two first- Telephone 029 2092 8850class stamps Email information.hiw@wales.gsi.gov.uk www.hiw.wales.gov.uk Cosmetic Surgery Buyer’s Guide 17
  • 10. Questions and notes Contact detailsPlease use this space to write down any questions you would like to ask. Your surgeon Contact number Your nurse Contact number Your physiotherapist Contact number Your occupational therapist Contact number Cosmetic Surgery Buyer’s Guide 19
  • 11. For more information about cosmetic surgeryfrom Spire Healthcare call:0800 434 6644*Visit www.spirehealthcare.com/cosmetic*Calls are free from landlines, mobile providers may charge.Lines are open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, 9am-1pm Saturday.Spire Healthcare15–19 Bloomsbury WayLondonWC1A 2BA A list of our registered hospitals and clinicswww.spirehealthcare.com is available at www.spirehealthcare.comSPIRE and the SS logo are trademarks of the BHS (Holdings) Limited GEN.CBG.A5.1007.D