The Importance of Planning Ahead

The ins and outs of what to consider when planning your surgery

The Importance of Planning Ahead

Written by Patient Care Team Lead, Jonathan , BN (Hons)

Medical Review by Chief Commercial Officer, Dr. Lizzie Tuckey , MBBS, BA

Published: Friday 7 June 2024

It’s crucial to plan ahead. Juggling your own diary, surgeon availability, and hospital capacity is tricky. So we often tell patients that they should be planning at least six months in advance to make sure they’re on track.

Things to take into account before booking your procedure:

There are many factors that need to be considered when planning cosmetic surgery and it can be easy to underestimate how long it takes to organise their procedure. Some patients can spend months finding a surgeon they really like; others struggle to find the perfect date for their procedure that works with their work and family life schedules - taking the time to plan gives your brain more time to think and make well-informed decisions that will make your life easier in the long run.

Choosing your surgeon:

Finding the right surgeon for you is crucial. An expert and specialised surgeon will be the best person to help you achieve your goals, and getting to know them a little better through consultations will help you test the waters and find the perfect fit for you. All surgeons operate from specific hospitals and clinics, so deciding where the surgery will take place is also important to consider because this may impact your decision on which surgeon you’d like to work with.

In preparing for your procedure, whether you’re on a weight-loss journey, starting to give up smoking or researching all possible risks and complications of your procedure, being prepared for your surgery will help you get the most out of your procedure.

Booking your perfect surgery date:

Once you’ve made it to the consultation with your surgeon, and you decide they are the right fit for you, the next hurdle is finding time in the surgeon's surgical diary that matches up with your schedule and commitments for you to have your procedure. Surgeons’ diaries are booked up months in advance, and it can take months to organise the perfect procedure date. In addition, the diaries of the hospital, the theatre staff and the anaesthetist, all need to be worked out.

Organising time off work for your recovery, childcare and an extra set of hands, whether it be a friend or family member, to assist you in your early stages of recovery, are all part of finding the right date for your procedure. If you’re working towards the date of a special event, planning ahead is even more important - you’ll want to be fully recovered and be able to see your results.

Did you know?

Most patients want to have their surgery around the same time each year. Easter, the summer holidays and the lead up to Christmas are the most popular periods for patients wanting to have surgery. In order to have your procedure during one of these times, it’s crucial that you are well-prepared beforehand to be able to schedule your procedure.

On top of all this, financial planning is another fundamental aspect of organising a procedure. Looking at your saving goals and deciding whether to take up a financing plan to pay for your procedure are easier decisions to make if you have time on your side. Financial obligations are just another part of this process.

Here’s a checklist to show you what you’re in for if you want to move ahead with any procedure:

Before consultation:

☐ What procedure are you going to have that gives you the results you want?

☐ Which surgeon is the best fit for you?

☐ When can you have your consultation? Do you need to travel far?

☐ How are you going to pay for your procedure? Savings? Finance?

☐ Do I need to quit smoking?

☐ Am I still trying to lose/gain weight?

☐ What other commitments do I have, e.g work, a house move, a booked holiday, a wedding etc?

After consultation:

☐ Where will the procedure take place? How far will you need to travel?

☐ Are there other health aspects you need to take into account before having your procedure?

Choosing a date:

☐ When will the surgery happen? Is the surgeon available?

☐ Is there theatre space at the hospital/clinic with the needed anaesthetist and other medical support?

☐ Can you organise the right time off work?

☐ What about childcare?

☐ Who can drive you to and from your procedure and help you in your early stages of recovery?

☐ Is the timing of your recovery important to you?

☐ Are you going away on holiday or working towards a special event?

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