If you have had it with expensive creams and serums that promise to hold back the years but deliver nothing more than a little extra moisturising, then you are probably about to start researching your cosmetic surgery options. Before you do however, there are a number of questions you should be asking yourself, and any potential surgeon that you are thinking of having a procedure with. The first question you need to ask yourself is ‘Am I prepared to go through an unnecessary operation in pursuit of my looks?’ Any operation is risky and carries with it the chance of complications, such as infection, the final result may not be as you wished it to be, and there is also a small chance of fatality. The problem is, when you are unhappy with your looks and you have made the decision to go ahead with a particular procedure, you just want to get it done and to see the new ‘You’. However, with all the furore surrounding the PIP breast implants this year, it is obvious that more haste and research should be carried out before you consent to any operation on your body. Because once the damage is done, it is then very difficult to rectify it, get someone to take responsibility for it, and it could actually damage your self esteem, rather than boost it. With this is mind, if you are seriously thinking of having a cosmetic procedure, we have put together a list of important questions you should be asking your practitioner, before you consent.
What brands of products do you use?
As previously stated, with the recent outcry of the PIP breast implants, where the actual implants were found to be made of industrial silicon and not meant to be used for cosmetic procedures, finding out what brands your surgeon will be using is now more important than ever. Knowing the product brand means you can investigate it yourself and see whether it conforms to British Standards. Not all brands are of the same quality and you may want to discuss this with a potential surgeon.
Has the product been tested and is it safe?
If you are going to put a foreign object into your body, shouldn’t you know whether it has been researched extensively and how it has reacted in other patients? You need to know whether there have been any adverse effects and what the percentage rate of successful operations are.
Is this product used worldwide?
If it is then that is a sign of confidence in the product, as more people are using it, there is more experience of the product and knowledge of how it performs. If many practitioners are endorsing the product by using it, then this points to a reliable brand that has been thoroughly tested and backed up by research and clinical trials.
Are other patients satisfied with their results?
Ask to see before and after pictures and any reviews of the product and procedure before you commit to an operation. Any surgeon worth his salt will want you to ask as many questions about the risks, what will be required of you and what you can expect from the outcome. You may have unrealistic expectations which the surgeon will want to talk to you about. It is important that both you and your consultant know what is achievable and what is not. Also most consultants will have a portfolio of before and after pictures so it will be very unusual for one to not be able to show off their work.
What happens if things goes wrong?
If you were to be unhappy with the result of your procedure, you will need to know where you go next and whose responsibility it is for any further work or corrections. You may have to sign a disclaimer in your procedure which invalidates any further ‘cosmetic’ work by your surgeon, so read the fine print carefully. As for infections, dodgy implants, wonky breasts etc, where does your surgeon stand if things do go wrong? Will they be happy to continue to treat you or will you have to resort to the NHS?
By asking as many questions before you have your procedure, you will hopefully either ‘weed out’ any charlatans that are not using the correct branded material, or you will end up with a realistic outcome of what you hoped to achieve in the first place.