Plastic surgery - all you need to know
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons answers your frequently asked questions
Q: How much do consultations cost?A: BAAPS surgeons will charge a normal consultation fee just like any other specialist. You are asking for their professional opinion about your problem and after proper consideration they will discuss the range of options available to you and might find that surgery in inappropriate for you.
Q: Will I meet the surgeon who will treat me at the consultation?A: Yes. Only the surgeon who is treating you can give a full and proper opinion about the suitability of an operation. Counsellors and advisors can only give information given to them by commercial clinics who employ them and which is designed to promote the selling of their operations.
Q: How much do operations cost?A: The operation cost is made up of the clinic fee which includes the bed in hospital, the facilities of the operating theatre and any other tests required. This is called the package price. There will be some variation from surgeon to surgeon. The interesting fact is that although BAAPS members tend to have fees considerably larger than less well-trained surgeons, the overall package price is not so very different from those advertised by commercial clinics. This could be because commercial clinics are making large profits but also because they have heavy advertising costs. We feel it is important that you know where your money is being spent and that primarily it should be on the quality of the surgeon (BAAPS member) and the quality of the hospital in which they work.
Q: Do surgeons specialise in particular treatments?A: All BAAPS members are regularly treating patients for the usual procedures of the face, eyelids, nose, breasts, abdomen and liposuction. There are a few specialised procedures which not everyone does and BAAPS members can refer you to these. Although some surgeons have expressed a particular field of interest we cannot say they are any better than any other member surgeon who carries out the same procedure.
Q: Do I need to be referred by my GP?A: We strongly support the view that all patients should be referred by their GP or another consultant. This is to protect the interests of the patient. Your GP will know the specialists in their areas and will be in the best position to choose the one most appropriate to your problem. In addition you will be able to tell the surgeon of any relevant medical treatment or conditions which patients might not otherwise realise might increase the risks of an operation.
Q: I know my GP socially and don’t want them to know about any cosmetic surgery.A: You can still be seen by a BAAPS member who is allowed to operate without telling your GP and during this time takes on the responsibilities of your GP.
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Q: How do we know a surgeon is fully trained in cosmetic surgery?A: The admission to membership of BAAPS is based on peer review of experience in cosmetic surgery. Each new member has to be recommended by two current members who are fully aware of his or her ability and knowledge in the field. The association maintains a high standard of cosmetic surgery training among its members, by means of courses, meetings and international participation of its members.
Q: How do we know if a surgeon not a member of BAAPS is trained?A: All 173 members of BAAPS are also members of BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons). There are some members of BAPRAS who are not members of BAAPS who are nevertheless trained in cosmetic surgery but either chose not to perform cosmetic surgery or simply do not wish to be a member of BAAPS.
Q: Can any doctor call themselves cosmetic or plastic surgeons?A: Yes. Any doctor may call him or herself a cosmetic or plastic surgeon without any specific surgical training.
Be sure about cosmetic surgery
BAAPS’ checklist for those considering plastic surgery:
S: Check your SURGEON’s credentials and qualifications: they should be a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRAS) and have further specialised studies in plastic surgery. Check they are on the GMC specialist register and are a member of BAAPS or other suitable professional organisation.
U: Make sure you UNDERSTAND what’s involved and that you know the potential risks of each procedure, be it surgical or non-surgical.
R: You should be clear about the RECOVERY process and what the long-term implications are of any cosmetic treatment.
E: Most importantly, thoroughly review your EXPECTATIONS, it is essential your hopesare compatible with what can actuallybe achieved.