Choosing to have cosmetic surgery is a big decision that you won’t have made lightly. The number of cosmetic surgery procedures is rising year after year and one of the biggest reasons for this is the influence of the media.
One thing that people don’t often realise is that there are a lot of dangers you should be aware of before you go under the knife. Cosmetic surgery negligence is a serious issue – everyone’s seen some of the botched celebrity procedures and heard the tragic cases of people dying due to the use of unapproved substances. However, this hasn’t halted the popularity of procedures like breast enhancements.
The government has said that there will be reforms in the cosmetic surgery industry in order to improve the safety of patients. However, this doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t take precautions when considering cosmetic surgery.
What should you look out for when considering cosmetic surgery and choosing a clinic?
- Any clinic that you’re considering using for your treatment should be licensed with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and if the treatment requires surgery then you should make sure that they’re registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). BAAPS membership means that thorough training has been undertaken and accreditation standards have been met, so you can view this as a real sign of quality. The fact that only 43,000 of the 700,000 cosmetic procedures performed in the UK last year were performed by BAAPS accredited clinicians, shows just how dangerous not doing your research can be.
- Make sure your treatment provider is experienced on the whole, as well as in your proposed procedure. It’s important to ask for some kind of examples of their successes and testimonials from previous patients because there are plenty of surgeons out there who don’t have the relevant experience yet will still conduct whatever procedure you ask them to.
- The majority of trusted, competent surgeons will seriously stress the possible complications of your surgery to you – a lot of them will also show you photographs of the complications that could arise. Typically these complications will include infection, bleeding, delayed healing, scarring and in serious cases gangrene is possible. A good surgeon will always inform you of the risks of surgery more than once, be weary if they play down the risk of surgery, or don’t tell you anything about the possible complications at all.
- Make sure you only give your consent to your surgeon that will be carrying out your procedure. If a nurse or salesperson is tasked with this then insist that you see your surgeon because only once you’ve been given all of the information about your surgery – including the risks – can you give real informed consent to allow them to carry out the procedure.
- Before you undergo treatment you should make sure it’s written in your contract who will be responsible and who will be financially liable should anything go wrong and correction surgery be needed. Currently there’s no legal requirement for surgeons to provide aftercare for patients should they be harmed as a result of their procedure and many individuals end up turning to the NHS for help.
- Although going abroad for surgery may be cheaper, it’s also likely to be much riskier and should definitely be avoided. Although there’s the issue that a lot of the surgeons may not be accredited with proper organisations there’s also a huge problem with aftercare. Quite often, if you suffer from any problems after surgery, it’ll be quite a few weeks after when, if you’ve had your operation abroad, you’re likely to already have returned home.
Although there are talks of tightening regulations with regards to cosmetic surgery, it’s important to remember that this hasn’t happened yet and there are still no hard and fast rules which makes it extremely difficult for solicitors should anything go wrong. Although, if something goes wrong, you should always take on legal help, until laws are changed it’s important to try and protect yourself in any way possible by following these rules.