Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Mr Baljit Dheansa from McIndoe Surgical Centre in East Grinstead is a BAPRAS registered NHS trained plastic surgeon on the GMC specialist register. His advice, if you are a researching a cosmetic surgery procedure, is to make sure you are fully informed and have power through knowledge to ensure that you are choosing the right procedure, at the right time, in the right place.
WHAT SHOULD SOMEONE CONTEMPLATING
COSMETIC SURGERY BE ASKING
● Am I considering cosmetic surgery because I would really like something improved or is it in response to somebody else’s comments? It is really important that any patient is very clear about what concerns them and not to depend on other people’s opinions.
● Am I in the right frame of mind to have surgery at this point?
Often patients who are going through a difficult time for instance after a divorce or recent bereavement may consider cosmetic surgery but it is usually more appropriate to consider such surgery at a less stressful or difficult time to make sure that any decisions are the right ones.
● Am I sure that the person I wish to see is fully aware of all that I would wish to have done and understands my concerns?
It is always important to be happy that your surgeon understands everything that you have told him or her and that you feel confident about their assessment of your needs.
● Have I received enough information about the procedure, risks and potential outcomes of the surgery before making a decision?
It is important that your surgeon gives you a good idea of the necessity for the surgery as well as any potential risks. It is also vital that you understand what is required of yourself post operatively and to have ample opportunity to ask all relevant questions in this regard.
● Have I given appropriate consent through discussion over at least two stages?
It is important to understand that consent for any surgery is a process and should not be based on one single point of discussion. Often one needs to have at least two weeks to make that decision.
● Is any decision that I have made regarding surgery my own, or have I been inappropriately cajoled or induced into having such surgery?
Patient’s can sometimes be pressured into having surgery and if this is the case, it is best to seek an opinion elsewhere to be sure that any intended surgery is appropriate for you.
Many of these questions should be answered during any interaction with a surgeon and the hospital where treatment is likely to occur. If you have any concerns, it is best to ask these questions specifically and ensure that you get an appropriate answer. If you have any doubts, it is best to have a discussion with an appropriately qualified surgeon.
QUESTIONS THAT PATIENTS SHOULD ASK OF THE
CLINIC AND THE SURGEON
Various important bodies have produced checklists and suggested questions that patients should either be asking themselves or their surgeons before undertaking any cosmetic surgery. The most recent report produced by the national confidential enquiry into perioperative deaths, NCEPOD, called “On the Face of it”, summarises much of this advice. First of all, anyone contemplating cosmetic surgery should ask themselves the following questions:
● Does the surgeon regularly perform the surgery contemplated and does the hospital where it is to be performed have appropriate nursing and auxiliary staff to be confident of managing your case?
● Does the surgeon have an NHS Consultant appointment and if so, where?
● Is the surgeon on the GMC specialist register for plastic surgery?
● Is he a member of the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons or the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAPRAS and BAAPS)?
● If the operation requires a general anaesthetic, is the consultant anaesthetist appropriately trained and does he or she hold an NHS consultant appointment with an appropriate listing on the GMC specialist register?
● Is the hospital where I intend to have surgery registered with the Care Quality Commission for the appropriate level?
● Is there appropriate back up in terms of emergency access and support should anything go wrong? If so, will I be given this information in a written form with appropriate telephone numbers and contact points?
● Will there be a financial penalty if I change my mind about having surgery? If so, what will that be?
● What is the general opinion of previous patients at the clinic/by the surgeon? Have any patients complained and what were the complaints about?
If you would like to talk to McIndoe Surgical Centre in more detail about a procedure you may be considering you can call the helpline on 0800 917 4922 or visit the website at www.mcindoesurgical.co.uk