10 Things To Consider Before Cosmetic Surgery

Deliberating a subtle sculpt, a cheeky plump or the slightest of lifts? Jess Lacey can help you do your surgery homework.

1. Google Is Twisted
Search engines work by ranking the results and a lot of it has to do with forum posts, links and sponsorship, meaning the best clinics aren’t necessarily at the top, just the ones with the flashiest websites. Don’t just stop at the first page of results that pops up.

2. Get Your GP Involved
They will have colleagues that they’ve had good reports on, so go for consultations with the people they recommend. The industry is so vast that a personal recommendation is a great place to begin.

3. Go On A Consultation Spree
You should go on at least three consultations to get a feel of what different practitioners suggest and also for you to digest the information. Statistics show that during a consultation, a patient only takes in a third of what the doctor tells them so the more appointments the better.

Sign our #TakeAGoodLook petition

4. Do Some Digging
Fancy adverts mean nothing – choose the practitioner, not the company. All practitioners have a CV to hand out to patients that states their qualifications, where they studied and what they specialise in. Then check them out with the Care Quality Commission – a regulatory body for the medical industry, who do annual checks on all clinics and every individual who practices.

Next go onto the General Medical Council website to see whether they’re on the register and that all qualifications are current. The GMC has a process called revalidation, whereby medical practitioners are revalidated every five years.

5. Can You Be Friends?
You could potentially spend six months to a year with that doctor and if you don’t get on with them, then that time is going to be difficult to get through. If you’re familiar with the person and can talk easily, it will make the whole experience a lot easier.

6. It’s Never About The Money
Any financial incentive is a no-no in the medical industry, it’s not ethical and against the GMC codes of practice. Reputable surgeons don’t incentivise patients with discounts.

7. There’s No Magicians
Any surgeon that tells you they’ve never had any complications is a liar. A good success rate is around 95%. Get the stats of how many cases they’ve done and how many have had to be re-done. The human body does things in its own way so there’s always a margin for error.

8. Check Your Diary
The body heals at its own rate and that often entails swelling and bruising. Don’t book your procedure for anything less that a month before a big event.

9. Get Real
Accept that all surgeons work on commission and the more procedures they do the better, (they have rent to pay, too). It’s not a crime but don’t allow yourself to be led into further treatments if you’re not sure.

10. Avoid The Needle If You Can
The risk factors for non-invasive treatments are far less and if the results aren’t enough for you, you can always go down the invasive route later on. Many women have fillers for years before committing to a facelift.

Despite following all the above guidelines the cosmetic treatment industry remains largely unregulated, meaning that serious problems can arise for even the most sensible of women. As a result, Marie Claire has launched the Take A Good Look Campaign, which aims to empower and inform women.

As part of our campaign, we want better training for practitioners, a body to be set up that women can turn to if things go wrong as well as a ban on manipulative advertising that preys on vulnerable women.

The #TakeAGoodLook Campaign demands:

• a register for practitioners and procedures
• standardised information for patients
• a ban on special offers and procedures as prizes
• a code of practice for advertising
• training courses for non-surgical procedures
• fillers to be made prescription-only
• a national breast implant registry
• an impartial organisation to turn to when things go wrong

So, please sign our petition if you think women should be empowered, informed and safe about cosmetic procedures.

Sign our #TakeAGoodLook petition here.

Picture credit: Darren Feist

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