The question should really be: why don’t some clinics charge for consultations. Cosmetic surgeons, like specialists in any other area of medicine, use the consultation to perform a thorough check-up and discuss with you your reasons for wanting surgery, in order to assess both your physical and emotional well-being.
Once all these checks have been carried out, the surgeon will then propose the options available to you and discuss the pros and cons of each option.
Consultations do not always lead to operations
It may well be that at the end of the assessment, the surgeon decides that s/he will not operate on you – this could be for a medical reason, or because s/he feels that your expectations of surgery are unrealistic, or because s/he is not satisfied that you want the surgery for the right reasons. Patients often decide that cosmetic surgery is not the right choice for them at this current time – but they can only make that decision when they have all the information they require and that is only possible in a thorough, in-depth consultation.
In private medical practice, all specialists charge for their time and their professional opinion, and so it follows that cosmetic surgeons do the same.
Why do some clinics offer free consultations?
If you go for two consultations, one of which you pay for and one of which is free, you will probably notice a big difference.
It is often the big cosmetic surgery groups who offer free consultations, and frequently these ‘consultations’ are not even with the cosmetic surgeon, but with a salesperson who uses the time to persuade you to have the operation.
It is important to remember that although nominally ‘cosmetic’, this is still a surgical procedure, which requires a full and thorough medical assessment beforehand.
If you are planning to undergo a cosmetic surgical procedure, it is advisable to attend at least two consultations beforehand. This allows you to benefit from two professional opinions and weigh up your options before choosing the surgeon you want to perform your operation.