Choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon
Choosing a surgeon can be overwhelming. Use these 5 tips to keep you on track and find a cosmetic surgeon who is perfect for you and your goals.
Written by Medical Quality Manager, Clare Vogt , BN (Hons)
Published: Friday, 7 May 2021
Not only does plastic surgery require a significant financial investment, but it’s also a serious medical operation that inevitably carries some risk. For great results, patients are always encouraged to take the time they need to investigate the best procedure, location and surgeon for their needs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the important must-haves to tick off the list when deciding which surgeon to trust with your dream procedure.
The Right Professional Qualifications
With so many to choose from, how can you be sure a surgeon can offer you the very best with your procedure? It’s true that surgeons vary considerably in their skill and experience, but the primary way to confirm their training and put your mind at ease is to check their credentials. Cosmetic surgeons must possess certain qualifications before they can practice as consultant specialist surgeon in the UK. Check that your surgeon has the necessary FRCS (Plast) certification.
To earn this qualification, surgeons have to have held a medical qualification for at least 6 years and prove to the board that they possess skill and experience to the required standard, as well as provide three references from their immediate senior colleagues. It’s a rigorous procedure, so you can be sure that a surgeon with this qualification is trained to offer you safe, effective treatment.
Membership On The Right Boards
In theory, any doctor could call themselves a “plastic surgeon” without possessing the necessary training and experience. Knowledge is power when searching for a surgeon: when doing your research, ask if your doctor belongs to either BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) or BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons).
These are two of the leading organisations for plastic surgeons in the UK, and membership guarantees that your surgeon is highly experienced as well as regularly and extensively trained. If you want to learn more about them, check out our other article here that describes in detail why these two organisations are so important.
A surgeon also needs to hold an FRCS (Plast) qualification to join BAAPS, as well as be on the Specialist Register in Plastic Surgery held by the General Medical Council. Finally, BAAPS membership is endorsed by the Royal College of Surgeons. BAPRAS is a very similar organization with similar goals, and consequently, you’ll see that most serious surgeons are members of both.
Connection on a Personal Level
Of course, proper training, qualifications and experience are essential when looking for your perfect plastic surgeon. But technical skills are only part of the equation. The right surgeon for you will be someone you feel you can trust, personal connection with. Your initial consultation gives you an opportunity to get to know your surgeon better and find out how easy it is to communicate your needs to them.
Take your time and trust your intuition. Do you feel as though your surgeon has truly listened to you and understands the outcome you’re trying to achieve?
Do you feel as though your surgeon is genuinely hearing your unique needs and respecting your limitations? A great surgeon will take the time to make you feel heard and understood. After you’ve confirmed your surgeon’s credentials, having a personal and trusting relationship is essential to feeling confident in moving forward with surgery. Remember that there’s no rush and it’s always an option to keep looking until you find a surgeon you’re truly comfortable with.
Their Aesthetics Match Your Goals
Two highly qualified and experienced surgeons may nevertheless have greatly different styles from one another. Cosmetic surgery is an art as much as a science: each surgeon has their own ideas about what a perfect result looks like.
Even if a surgeon is practising to industry standards, has great reviews and knows how to perform a particular operation, there’s no accounting for what that surgeon believes an ideal outcome actually looks like. Some surgeons are well-known for a particular “look” – but how will their approach translate onto your own body?
Again, crystal-clear communication will make sure that you get precisely the result you want. An excellent idea is to find before and after photos of previous patients who have a similar body type to you, and see how their results compare to your goals for surgery. A good surgeon will also help you visualise the results you can expect, and be encouraging yet realistic about the process.
Check Their Patient Reviews
While no two patients will have exactly the same experience, you can nevertheless learn a lot by reading about the experiences of other patients. After all, who better to gain insight from than a surgeon’s previous patients?
Honest information from patients who’ve undergone the same procedure will help you mentally prepare and get a better idea of what you can expect on the day of your own procedure. Again, it’s useful to find patient experiences from people like you. Look for people of similar age, body type and health status, as well as those who achieved the effect you’re hoping to achieve.
At Medbelle, you’ll be glad to know that we only work with surgeons that tick all these boxes. We want to make available the highest possible quality of care, and we want every patient to trust that they can receive the safest, most up-to-date treatment from the finest and most experienced surgeons. Choosing to have cosmetic surgery is a big decision. Taking the time to ensure you’re only working with top-rated medical professionals puts you on a path to have an exceptional cosmetic surgery journey.
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