Cosmetic surgery has been a regular part of my work since my appointment as a consultant in 2005. I have visited different surgeons, and hospitals across Europe, America, and Australia to improve my clinical skills and judgement.
Cosmetic surgery is discinct from other types of surgery. Patients should be fully informed of the likely implications of the operation, the downtime, costs, and risks (with particular attention to how the risks would affect that individual patient). Nobody needs to have cosmetic surgery. Patients should be comfortable with their choice of surgeon and hospital.
Cosmetic surgery consultations can last up to one hour, many patients will return for a second consultation at no charge. I will ask you about your previous medical and psychological history including hospital admissions, medication, operations, and any overly high levels of pre-occupation and rumination with a particular physical feature (suggestive of body dysmorphic disorder).
All correctable sources of risk should be minimised before surgey, for example, a patient must stop smoking, and should have a healthy body mass index. At the consultation I will explain that despite careful planning, the risks associated with cosmetic surgery, cannot be fully eradicated. A prospective patient should ask herself or himself: "how will I cope if something goes wrong, how will I cope if this operation does not meet my expectations?"
I will ask you what led you to consider cosmetic surgery. I will listen to your aspirations and concerns, answer questions, and give you honest advice. Sometimes this can mean being told news that you do not expect to hear: for example I might suggest that you don't have surgery, or don't have surgery now, I might recommend use of a different implant or technique, or a less extensive procedure. I might recommend a non-surgical technique.
Cosmetic surgery can be physically and psychologically demanding: I might recommend the support and opinion of a psychologist.
I will show you images of women or men who have cosmetic surgery under my care: these images will show a range of results.
I would recommend that patients consider coming with a friend or family member.
I will provide you with a written summary of our consultation. If you decide to go ahead with surgery, I will need to inform your general practitioner.
The Royal College of Surgeons of England website has helpful and easy to understand information for patients considering cosmetic surgery. I recommend that you read this before you come to see me.