I’m considering having cosmetic surgery, so I decided to do a Google search of surgeons in my area, but there seem to be so many I don’t know where to start! How do I choose one?
This is a common problem in this age where information is so readily available through the internet – when you search online for surgeons or clinics, the number of results can be overwhelming and the temptation is to just go for the first one that comes up.
Remember, however, that the surgeon you choose will be responsible for making a lasting change to your body, and to a certain extent for the period that you are on the operating table, your life is in his/her hands. For this reason, among many others, it is important that you make an informed choice. Here are some things to look out for.
#1 Professional qualifications
This is an important one to look out for. There has been a big crackdown in this area lately, but unfortunately there are still some people advertising themselves as cosmetic surgeons who have little or no formal surgical training.
I wrote a blog post last month about the qualifications to look out for. The most important one to look for is “FRCS”, or ideally “FRCS (plast)”. The former means that s/he has passed all the exams to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, the latter that s/he has passed the exams to specialise in plastic surgery.
#2 Membership of professional associations
Again, I covered this in last month’s post, but some professional associations s/he might be a member of include BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) and BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons).
There are many other professional associations out there – if you see one mentioned on a surgeon’s website that you don’t recognise, it’s a good idea to Google it to find out a bit more.
#3 Before and after photographs
This is another important thing to look out for– most surgeons will have a number of before and after photographs of former patients on their website that they can use to showcase their work. Make sure there are before and after photographs depicting the particular procedure you are interested in, and that you feel the results are of a high quality.
#4 Pick more than one
If you’re feeling torn between two or more surgeons from an online search, don’t worry: go and see both of them. In fact, you should always go and have a consultation with at least two surgeons, ideally three. There are many reasons for this, but not least is that it is important that you feel comfortable with the surgeon who performs your operation.