Cosmetic surgery in close-up

Cosmetic surgery in close-up
Cosmetic surgery
   in close-up
Cosmetic surgery in close-up
Contents                                                             Feeling good
                                                                         about your decision
    Choosing a hospital or a clinic. ............ 4                      We understand you’ll have some important questions to ask
                                                                         before you make any firm decisions about cosmetic surgery.
    Your first consultation.............................. 10
                                                                         To help you get the best from your treatment, we’ve
    What’s included in the price?............. 14
                                                                         produced this step-by-step guide, covering everything you
    Additional information. ........................... 15               need to consider before you go any further.

    Useful contacts................................................ 16   In this way, we aim to prepare you for your initial
                                                                         consultation with your cosmetic surgeon, help you ask the
    Questions and notes................................... 18
                                                                         right questions – and work with you to make relaxed and
    Your cosmetic team..................................... 19           well-informed decisions.

2                                                                                                                                     3
Choosing a hospital or a clinic                                                                                                                                       Do I need to see my GP first?
                                                                                                               If you are in any doubt about a hospital or clinic’s
                                                                                                               standards or capability, you should ask to see         You’ll find that most cosmetic surgeons
                                                                                                               a copy of its latest Care Quality Commission           will be happy to see you for an initial consultation
                                                                                                               inspection report. The registered manager of the       without a referral letter from your GP. However,
                                                                                                               hospital or clinic should be able to provide this,     if you plan to go ahead with a cosmetic operation,
With so many cosmetic surgery providers to             The Essential Standards are designed to ensure
                                                                                                               or you can obtain it from the Care Quality             the surgeon should seek your permission to
choose from, you’ll need to create a shortlist of      that you can expect:
                                                                                                               Commission.                                            contact your GP for details of your medical history.
hospitals and clinics. If the cosmetic treatment you   • to be involved and told what’s happening at
                                                                                                                                                                      This is an important safety precaution, especially
are considering involves an operation, then doing       every stage of your care
this based on factual information is particularly
                                                                                                               Independent Healthcare Advisory Services               if your operation means you’ll need a general
                                                       • care, treatment and support that meets your needs
                                                                                                               cosmetic surgery standards                             anaesthetic.
                                                       • to be safe                                            The Independent Healthcare Advisory Services
                                                                                                                                                                      Although you may not need a referral letter in
                                                       • to be cared for by qualified staff                    (IHAS) is a membership organisation representing
Do your search properly                                                                                                                                               order to make an appointment to see a surgeon,
                                                       • your care provider to constantly check the quality   many of the UK’s independent hospitals and
Having narrowed down your options, you may                                                                                                                            we recommend that you consult your GP at the
                                                        of its services                                        hospital groups. IHAS, in conjunction with the
want to visit potential providers, or call them                                                                                                                       very beginning of the process so that you can get
                                                                                                               Cosmetic Surgery Interspeciality Committee,
before attending a consultation with a cosmetic                                                                                                                       their professional advice.
                                                       The Essential Standards aim to provide assurances       has produced a booklet, ‘Good Medical Practice
                                                       about the quality of treatment and services that        in Cosmetic Surgery’, to support and complement
                                                       patients receive. The registered manager of the         the General Medical Council (GMC) code for good
                                                                                                                                                                      How do I choose a surgeon?
Care Quality Commission                                                                                                                                               As a private patient seeking cosmetic surgery, you
                                                       hospital or clinic is responsible for ensuring that     medical practice. IHAS also operates a
In accordance with the Care Quality Commission                                                                                                                        are able to choose the surgeon you want. With so
                                                       Essential Standards are maintained and the Care         comprehensive complaints code for handling
(Registration) Regulations 2009 and the Health                                                                                                                        many surgeons to choose from, you’ll need to give
                                                       Quality Commission has the power to close               patient complaints. Contact details are shown
and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities)                                                                                                                       yourself time to research potential surgeons’
                                                       premises that do not meet these standards.              at the back of this guide.
Regulations 2010, all hospitals and clinics in                                                                                                                        qualifications, reputation and experience. Overleaf
England providing cosmetic surgery are regulated       You can check the registration details of a                                                                    are some useful tips when weighing up your choice.
by the Care Quality Commission, and are inspected      hospital or clinic on the Care Quality Commission
regularly against the Essential Standards of           website. Contact details are also shown at the
Quality and Safety set by the Care Quality             back of this guide.

4                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5
• Ask your GP’s advice about the specialist               1. The surgeon should appear on the                                  Surgeons who are on the specialist register           2. Other health practitioners offering
    surgeons in your area.                                 specialist register of the General Medical                           but not the plastic surgery section                   cosmetic treatments
                                                           Council (GMC)                                                        Cosmetic operations such as nose re-shaping and       Many cosmetic surgeons also offer non-surgical
• Private hospitals and clinics should be able
                                                           Almost any doctor can call him or herself                            ear pinning may be performed by ear, nose and         treatments such as anti-wrinkle treatment by
    to give you details of the surgeons available,
                                                           a cosmetic surgeon. Even letters after their name,                   throat (ENT) surgeons; cosmetic facial surgery may    injection (eg nerve-blocking drugs and dermal
    their qualifications and particular areas of
                                                           such as FRCS (Fellow of the Royal College of                         be performed by maxillofacial surgeons; cosmetic      fillers), laser and pulsed light therapy. These
    specialisation within the field of cosmetic
                                                           Surgeons), don’t mean that the surgeon has                           eye surgery may be performed by ophthalmic            treatments may also be performed by other health
                                                           specialist training or experience in performing                      surgeons and cosmetic breast surgery may be           practitioners, for example GPs, dentists and nurses.
• Some hospitals and clinics run open days                cosmetic procedures.                                                 performed by general surgeons. Although they          Non-surgical treatments are also known as
    or information events where cosmetic surgeons                                                                               will not appear on the plastic surgery section        aesthetic treatments or cosmetic dermatology.
                                                           Surgeons who have completed six years of
    give talks about their work. This gives you the                                                                             of the register, these surgeons should have
                                                           specialist training and have obtained the further                                                                          In England, the Care Quality Commission only
    opportunity to meet the surgeons and clinical                                                                               undergone specialist training in cosmetic
                                                           qualification FRCS (Plast)* are then added to the                                                                          regulates cosmetic treatments involving surgery.
    staff on an informal basis. However, be wary if                                                                             techniques in their area of expertise, and they
                                                           specialist register – plastic surgery section.                                                                             If you are considering non-surgical treatments such
    you are offered a special price or discount for                                                                             should have experience in carrying out cosmetic
                                                                                                                                                                                      as wrinkle relaxing injectable treatments, dermal
    making an immediate booking – this practice            To check whether a surgeon appears on the GMC                        surgery on the nose, ear, face, eye or breast.
                                                                                                                                                                                      fillers or non-surgical laser and intense light
    contravenes the Good Medical Practice in               specialist register, you will need to know their
                                                                                                                                In such cases, it is important to check that the      treatments such as hair removal you will need
    Cosmetic Surgery guidance of the Independent           full name and, if possible, their GMC registration
                                                                                                                                surgeon does appear on the relevant GMC               to check that you are seeing a properly qualified
    Healthcare Advisory Services.                          number. You can then carry out the check on
                                                                                                                                specialist register (for example, ENT surgery) and    specialist.
                                                           the GMC website or by calling the GMC
• Personal recommendations are always valuable,                                                                                you should only consider them for cosmetic surgery
                                                           registration helpline. Contact details are shown
    but bear in mind that surgeons tend to specialise                                                                           on the area of the body in which they specialise.
                                                           at the back of this guide.
    in particular types of cosmetic surgery. Be careful                                                                         So, if you are thinking about having cosmetic
    about making a judgement based on someone                                                                                   surgery on different parts of the body at the same
    else’s recommendation alone as their situation                                                                              time, you should only go to a surgeon who is on
    may be very different to yours. The surgeon                                                                                 the plastic surgery section of the register and has
    should satisfy specific criteria to give you a level                                                                        adequate experience in all the procedures you are
    of confidence in their ability.                                                                                             considering.

                                                           *The FRCS (Plast) qualification is only applicable to surgeons who
                                                           qualified since 1986 when the qualification was introduced.

6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         7
As a minimum, any doctor or dentist carrying out    3. Membership of plastic and cosmetic               4. Care Quality Commission registration
aesthetic treatments should be registered with      surgery professional organisations                  Cosmetic surgeons working in hospitals and clinics
the General Medical Council (GMC) or the General                                                        are covered by the organisation’s registration with
Dental Council (GDC), and any nurse should be       British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons   the Care Quality Commission (see section on
registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council   (BAAPS)                                             choosing a hospital or clinic on page 4). The
(NMC) and work within its code of conduct.          Only qualified plastic surgeons who appear on       hospital or clinic is responsible for ensuring that
                                                    the GMC specialist register can apply to become a   the surgeons working there are suitably qualified
You can check the registration status of any
                                                    member of BAAPS. This organisation is recognised    and practise according to the Essential Standards
doctor, dentist or nurse on the GMC, GDC or NMC
                                                    by the Surgical Royal Colleges as a legitimate      of Quality and Safety. All surgeons working in
websites, or contact them by phone. See contact
                                                    professional body representing the field of         hospitals or clinics must participate in clinical
details at the back of this guide.
                                                    aesthetic surgery. BAAPS members are expected       performance measurement arrangements, which
Nerve-blocking drugs are prescription-only          to undertake continuing medical education in        are monitored by the Care Quality Commission.
medicines, which means they must be prescribed      aesthetic surgery.
by a doctor or dentist. However, they may be
administered by a nurse under the supervision
                                                    British Association of Plastic Reconstructive
of a doctor.
                                                    and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS)
                                                    Surgeons on the GMC plastic surgery specialist
                                                    register can apply to become a full member of
                                                    BAPRAS. Many BAPRAS members focus on
                                                    reconstructive surgery, but they may dedicate
                                                    some time to performing cosmetic surgery

8                                                                                                                                                             9
Your first consultation                                                                                      How to make an informed decision?
                                                                                                             Being well-informed will maximise your chances
                                                                                                             of being satisfied with your treatment. It is worth
                                                                                                                                                                                  3. What professional organisations is the
                                                                                                                                                                                  surgeon a member of?
                                                                                                                                                                                  A member of BAAPS – the British Association of
                                                                                                             investing time to find out the answers to the                        Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons – has further specialist
The initial consultation with a specialist             associated risks so that you can study this           following questions before or during your                            training in cosmetic surgery.
cosmetic surgeon will help you set realistic           carefully at home. In addition, your cosmetic         consultation. You will usually be paying for the
                                                                                                                                                                                  A member of BAPRAS – the British Association of
expectations of what your chosen procedure can         surgeon may write to you afterwards, to               surgeon’s consulting time, so don’t be afraid to use
                                                                                                                                                                                  Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons –
achieve for you. The consultation will also help       reiterate the medical information provided            this time to ask plenty of questions.
                                                                                                                                                                                  has specialist training in plastic and reconstructive
the surgeon make a professional assessment of          during your consultation.                                                                                                  surgery and may also perform cosmetic work.
your motivation for wanting cosmetic surgery,                                                                1. What qualifications does the
                                                       Rapport with, and confidence in, your surgeon is      surgeon have?
and whether they can offer treatment that will
                                                       vital as you will be putting great trust in them.                                                                          4. What experience does the surgeon have in
meet your expectations. You should expect to be                                                              Check whether they have just FRCS – which all
                                                       You can really only get a feel for this at the                                                                             performing your procedure?
asked a number of questions about your reasons                                                               surgeons have – or if they have FRCS (Plast)* which
                                                       consultation stage – so it is essential to make                                                                            Ask how many operations they performed in the
for wanting surgery and the surgeon should                                                                   is a further qualification in plastic surgery.
                                                       sure that you meet the surgeon who would be                                                                                last year, how they measure their results and what
show you ‘before and after’ photographs of
                                                       carrying out your surgery before you make your                                                                             proportion of their patients need further corrective
similar operations they have performed.                                                                      2. Is the surgeon on the GMC
                                                       decision.                                                                                                                  surgery. These are perfectly reasonable questions
                                                                                                             specialist register?
You may find it helpful to bring a friend, partner                                                                                                                                to ask and a good surgeon will be pleased to
                                                                                                             You can check this on the GMC website
                                                       Don’t let anyone rush you into making up your                                                                              explain their results and experience to you.
or relative with you to the consultation, as there                                                           or by calling the registration helpline.
                                                       mind. You don’t need to make an immediate
will be a lot of information to absorb and consider.                                                         See contact details at the back of this guide.
                                                       decision and you may wish to go away and                                                                                   5. Can you speak to some of the surgeon’s
Make sure you are given a full explanation of          discuss it with friends or family, gather more                                                                             previous patients that have had the
any risks associated with the operation – in           information, seek a second medical opinion, take                                                                           operation you are considering?
terms of expected side-effects (such as pain           time to consider your decision, and perhaps                                                                                Specialist cosmetic surgeons often have a list of
during recovery and scarring) and all possible         return for a further consultation. If you decide to                                                                        previous patients who are willing to speak to other
complications. While it is tempting to avoid           go ahead, it is best to allow at least two weeks                                                                           patients about their experience. For confidentiality
considering these issues, it is better to be fully     between the consultation and the operation                                                                                 reasons, you’ll need to be prepared to give a
aware of both the risks and benefits so that you       date – so that you have plenty of time to reflect                                                                          telephone number, so that the patient can contact
can make the right decision. You should be given       and make sure that you are entirely comfortable                                                                            you rather than you calling them.
written information about the operation and            with your decision.
                                                                                                             *The FRCS (Plast) qualification is only applicable to surgeons who
                                                                                                             qualified since 1986 when the qualification was introduced.

10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    11
6. If you will be having a general                       9. What medical back-up facilities and                   12. What are the side-effects and potential            15. What are the follow-up arrangements
anaesthetic, who will be the anaesthetist                staff are in place to support cosmetic                   complications of the procedure?                        at the hospital or clinic if you have any
and what are their qualifications?                       surgery operations?                                      All operations carry risks as well as benefits. The    worries or feel that your recovery is not
The anaesthetist should be listed on the GMC             If you’ll be staying overnight in the hospital or        chance of complications depends on the type of         going well?
specialist register. You can check this on the GMC       clinic, ask about the resident doctor arrangements       operation and other factors such as your general       Ask how you will contact the hospital in the event of
website or by calling the registration helpline.         should any problems arise during the night.              health. Your surgeon should explain how the risks      a concern and whether you will be able to see the
See contact details at the back of this guide.                                                                    apply to you. Ask about the psychological aspects      same surgeon that performed your original operation.
                                                         10. How can you best prepare for                         and how most patients feel afterwards; a change
7. How many cosmetic surgery operations                  the procedure?                                           in appearance can have profound emotional effects      16. How much scarring is there after the
in total does the hospital or clinic perform             This will depend to some extent on the type of surgery   that you may not be expecting.                         procedure? Will it change over time?
each year? And how many of the procedure                 you are having. Ask the surgeon for more details.                                                               This will depend on the type of surgery you are
you’re considering?                                                                                               13. How long will it take to recover and               having. Ask the surgeon for more details.
The registered manager of the hospital or clinic         11. What results can you expect and how                  what will this involve?
should be able to provide you with this information.     long will they last?                                     Ask the surgeon how you should expect to feel          17. If you are not happy with the results of
                                                         Ask the surgeon to define subjective terms such as       and to what extent you will need to ‘take it easy’,    your procedure, what corrective treatment
8. What quality standards does the hospital              ‘significantly improved’. Ask the surgeon if the         as you may need to make additional childcare           will the hospital, clinic or surgeon provide?
or clinic have?                                          procedure will need to be repeated in the future to      arrangements or organise other help at home.           Will there be a charge for this?
You can check clinical quality standards by requesting   maintain the result. If you are having implants or                                                              Occasionally, there are times when patients are not
a copy of the last Care Quality Commission report        fillers ask how long they will last and if they will     14. How much time off work should                      happy with the results of their surgery. It is
from the registered manager of the hospital or clinic    need to be removed or replaced at a later date.          you allow?                                             important to have realistic expectations of what
or by checking the Care Quality Commission website.                                                               This will depend on the type of surgery or treatment   surgery can achieve, however you should ask what
Some care providers also publish clinical outcome                                                                 you are having. Ask the surgeon for more information   corrective treatment will be provided if you are
information on their own websites.                                                                                so you can arrange time off in advance.                unhappy and whether you will need to pay for this.

12                                                                                                                                                                                                                           13
What’s included in the price?                                                                                     Additional information
When you approach a hospital or clinic for initial         During treatment                                       Multiple procedures                                    Cosmetic surgery agencies
information about cosmetic surgery, they should            • Surgeon’s fee                                        In order to achieve the desired aesthetic result,      Cosmetic surgery agencies act as brokers to match-
be willing to give you an approximate price that           • Anaesthetist’s fee if you are having a general      more than one procedure is sometimes necessary.        up prospective clients with surgeons, hospitals and
covers the treatment you are considering. However,          anaesthetic                                           Commonly performed multiple procedures are             clinics in the UK and overseas. If you ask an agency
most hospitals and clinics will not give you a firm        • Hospital or clinic charges for operating theatre,   abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) with liposuction,          to arrange your treatment, you should be aware
quotation until you have attended a consultation.           nursing care and accommodation                        and breast reduction combined with breast uplift.      that they will be earning a commission from the
This is because the final price is often determined        • Drugs and dressings                                                                                         surgeon, hospital or clinic – even though the price
                                                                                                                  There are benefits and risks associated with having
by the exact nature of the surgery and the choice          • Treatment of complications                                                                                  you pay may be the same as if you arranged your
                                                                                                                  multiple procedures under a single general
of any implants that may be involved.                      • Cost of care if you need to stay longer than                                                               treatment yourself. If you do choose this route, you
                                                                                                                  anaesthetic. Depending on the procedures involved
                                                            expected in the hospital or clinic                                                                           should take extra care to read the terms and
You should be given a personal written price                                                                      and your general health, there may be greater or
                                                                                                                                                                         conditions of any contract you enter into.
quotation and a document explaining the terms                                                                     lesser risk to you of having one longer operation –
                                                           After treatment
and conditions of the contract, which you will need                                                               rather than undergoing two or more separate
                                                           • Follow-up consultations (usually two)                                                                       Treatment abroad
to sign if you decide to go ahead with treatment.                                                                 operations.
                                                           • Treatment of any complications after you leave                                                             The idea of a holiday combined with cosmetic
Make sure that you understand exactly what’s                the hospital                                          The responsibility for the decision to carry out       surgery may be appealing, but standards of care
included in the price you’ve been quoted. Some or all                                                             multiple procedures rests with the surgeon and         can be very different overseas. You could have
of the items listed below may be included in the           You should also ask about any cancellation charges     anaesthetist, who must always act in your best         problems if something goes wrong, especially once
package price, but if they are not included, you’ll need   just in case you want to postpone or cancel your       interests, and in consultation with you. Their aim     you have returned home and if you need follow-up
to find out the additional price of the relevant items.    treatment. You should be wary of hospitals and         should always be to minimise the risk to you. If you   care. It may be difficult to check out the quality
                                                           clinics that charge a high cancellation fee, as this   want to have multiple procedures done at the           standards of the hospital or clinic in advance and
Before treatment                                           may make you feel pressured into going ahead.          same time, you should expect to undergo a              you’ll be unlikely to meet the surgeon treating you
• Consultation with a cosmetic surgeon                                                                            comprehensive anaesthetic risk assessment to help      until just before the operation. If you arrive and
• Further consultations should you require them                                                                  your surgeon and anaesthetist decide on the safety     find you are not comfortable with the hospital,
• ‘Before and after’ photos                                                                                       of this approach.                                      clinic or surgeon, you may feel it is too late to back
• Blood tests and X-rays                                                                                                                                                 out of the arrangement.

14                                                                                                                                                                                                                            15
Useful contacts
British Association of Aesthetic and            Department of Health                  Independent Healthcare Advisory Services   For further information about having
Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)                        Web                     Centre Point, 103 New Oxford Street,       cosmetic surgery at a Spire Healthcare hospital,
The Royal College of Surgeons                                                         London WC1A 1DU                            visit
                                                General Dental Council
35–43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields,                                                           Tel 020 7379 8598
                                                37 Wimpole Street,
London WC2A 3PE                                                                       Email
                                                London W1G 8DQ
Tel 020 7430 1840                                                                     Web
                                                Tel 0845 222 4141
                                                Email          Nursing and Midwifery Council
                                                Web                    23 Portland Place, London W1B 1PZ
British Association of Plastic Reconstructive                                         Tel 020 7333 9333
                                                General Medical Council
and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS)                                                       Email
                                                3 Hardman Street,
The Royal College of Surgeons                                                         Web
                                                Manchester M3 3AW
35–43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields,
                                                Tel 0161 923 6602                     Scottish Commission for the Regulation
London WC2A 3PE
                                                Email                  of Care
Tel 020 7831 5161
                                                Web                    The Care Commission, Compass House,
                                                                                      11 Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY
Web                           Healthcare Inspectorate Wales
                                                                                      Tel 0845 603 0890
                                                Bevan House,
Care Quality Commission                                                               Email
                                                Caerphilly Business Park, Van Road,
National Correspondence,                                                              Web
                                                Caerphilly CF83 3ED
Citygate, Gallowgate,
                                                Tel 029 2092 8850
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA
Tel 03000 616 161

16                                                                                                                                                                                  17
Questions and notes                                                        Your cosmetic team
Please use this space to write down any questions you would like to ask.   Your surgeon

                                                                           Contact number:

                                                                           Your nurse

                                                                           Contact number:

                                                                           Your physiotherapist

                                                                           Contact number:

                                                                           Your occupational therapist

                                                                           Contact number:

18                                                                                                       19
For more information about cosmetic surgery
from Spire call your local Spire hospital
or visit

SPIRE and the SS logo are trademarks of Spire Healthcare (Holdings) Limited   GEN.CPG.A5.1210.T
You can also read
NEXT SLIDES ... Cancel