Cosmetic surgery remains popular in the UK, with hundreds of thousands of people going under the knife each year to correct perceived flaws. Surgery of this kind can be profoundly consequential, and it’s often undertaken for the wrong reasons – or without full consideration of what’s actually going to happen.
If you’re considering undergoing cosmetic surgery, then you’ll want to spend at least a bit of time thinking about what’s going to happen afterwards.
Are you doing this for the right reasons?
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons maintains a list of Consumer Safety Guidelines. The first of these is that you should make your own decision to undergo aesthetic surgery. If you’re being pushed into the decision by another person, or in an attempt to satisfy another person, then it’s extremely likely that you’ll regret the decision later. It’s your body; you should decide what to do with it.
If necessary, you might talk to a psychiatrist, and determine what problem you’re looking to solve, and whether surgical intervention is an appropriate solution.
Cosmetic surgery means leaving time afterwards for recovery. You can’t undergo surgery and then be living life as normal the following day. In fact, you might find that you’re housebound for weeks. Your surgeon should be able to talk you through the recovery timetable. If you have other commitments, like a home life and children to look after, then you will need to make arrangements to ensure that everything is taken care of.
What will you do if something goes wrong?
In a minority of cases, the surgery can go wrong. Sometimes, a failure can leave the patient permanently disfigured. Every precaution should be taken to avoid this – but if it does happen, you might have grounds for a medical negligence claim. This might allow you to reverse the damage – but since the damage is often irreversible, proper care and vetting before going under the knife is critical.
Choose a reputable surgeon
If you’re entrusting your body to a medical professional, then you’ll want to make sure you’ve vetted them thoroughly. In the UK, you can reasonably expect that every surgeon you encounter will be qualified and skilled. If you’re heading to a foreign country to make the procedure more affordable, then you won’t enjoy these protections. BAAPS provides guidance for those looking for a surgeon.