Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cosmetic Surgery Advice

So, you have decided to look into cosmetic surgery to improve some aspect of your body. Maybe you think that your breasts are too small...maybe they are too big or just too droopy. Perhaps you don't like the shape of your nose or perhaps your ears stick out too much. Maybe you don't like the effect that the ageing process has had on your face and you think that you could do with a bit of a lift or have those eye bags looked at. It might even be that you can't shift that last bit of fat around the stomach or love handles, despite sweating your guts out at the gym 3 times a week and following a healthy eating plan to the letter and you fancy having a bit of liposuction. It could be that you have an excess of skin around the tummy following childbirth or weight loss and would like a nice flat tummy again so that you feel more confident about yourself. Maybe you are very overweight and have tried every diet under the sun and are so despondent that you are considering the possibility of weight loss surgery.

OK, so now what do you do? After all, there are all those horror stories that you read in magazines and see on television about surgery that has gone wrong. Who do you trust with your body...? It might not be the body of a catwalk model but it's the only one you've got and you don't want to end up worse than when you started, right?

Well, there are many sources of information that can provide you with details about cosmetic surgery. The obvious one is the medium that you are using now to read this. There are hundreds, if not thousands of pages about plastic and cosmetic surgery as well as weight loss surgery on the Internet. Lots of different companies, all offering their services with flashy websites and tempting testimonials from their many past "delighted" patients.

Some based in the UK and some that are trying to tempt you to go abroad with massive savings. Perhaps one of your friends or co-workers may also have shared their cosmetic surgery experiences with you. Television and magazines offer story upon story, some good, some bad about new techniques and advances in cosmetic surgery. But the most valuable time you will spend is during the consultation with your surgeon. During this consultation, you will gain specific information about the surgery, the surgeon, the recovery and the results. Equally importantly, you will get a sense of your comfort level with the surgeon, his or her skills, and bedside manner. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to meet the actual surgeon straight away and not just a "patient advisor" or "nurse councillor", who are often simply glorified sales people. You can normally expect to pay for the time of a good consultant plastic surgeon, which is usually between £100 and £150. Companies offering free consultations tend to use the "patient advisor" approach. If you are happy discussing your surgical needs with a salesperson then that's fine but most people would prefer to meet the actual surgeon who would perform the procedure if they decided to go ahead with cosmetic
surgery or weight loss surgery.

During your consultation, the surgeon will listen to your needs and concerns relating to cosmetic surgery or weight loss surgery and ensure that you have realistic expectations as to what can be achieved. Try to be as specific as possible when explaining to your surgeon what you would like to have changed, and why. The surgeon will examine you and assess your anatomy, specifically, the skin, muscle, fat, bone and supportive structures where relevant. They will take into consideration your medical history and any previous surgery as well as your age and health status, and your desired outcome. Together, you and your surgeon can then formulate a plan that fits your specific needs and lifestyle.

During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to ask questions. The following questions can be used as guideline to ensure that you are well informed before making the important decision of whether or not to proceed with surgery.

# Where and when did you get your medical training?
# At the very least, are you registered with the General Medical Council as a specialist in plastic surgery?
# Do you belong to BAPS or BAAPS? These are the higher governing bodies for plastic and aesthetic surgery for the more experienced plastic surgeon?
# Do you routinely perform the operation I want?
# How many of these procedures have you performed?
# Can I have my operation here in this hospital where this consultation is taking place or will I be expected to travel along way before and after my operation?
# What surgical techniques are you going to use, and why?
# How long will the procedure take?
# How much pain or discomfort is involved, how is it controlled and how long will it last?
# Where are the incisions made and what will the scar look like?
# What type of anaesthetic is used?
# Do you use proper hospitals with full facilities or just clinics?
# What are the possible risks and potential complications and what can I do to minimise those risks myself?
# How long is the stay in hospital?
# How long will the swelling and bruising last?
# When can I have a shower or bath after the operation?
# When am I allowed to drive again?
# How long must I stay off work?
# When will I look "normal" again?
# Do you have any "before and after" pictures of what YOU have done before?
# How long will the results of the operation last?
# Will the results be obvious?
# Will the operation ever need to be repeated?
# How much does it cost and what do the fees include?
# What is not included in the fees?
# Is there a discount if several procedures are performed at once and how much can I have performed safely in one session?
# If I want to proceed how do I reserve a date for surgery?
# When is my payment due?
# What payment methods do you accept?
# Do you offer finance or is it cheaper to go to my own bank?
# Cosmetic surgery is a major decision. Make sure that you pick the right surgery provider. After your consultation with the surgeon, ask yourself.. Did I feel comfortable with surgeon who would operate on me?
# Did he take the time to explain the procedure properly or did I just feel "sold at"?
# How receptive was the surgeon to my questions?
# Were all of the people that I have dealt with so far friendly and cooperative?
# Did I provide all information, completely and honestly that I was asked for to allow my surgeon to make a proper assessment and advise me accurately?

Once you have had all of your questions answered, you will be more prepared to make a decision. It may be that you decide not to have surgery at all, or to postpone surgery for a while. On the other hand, now may be the right time to embark on a journey to a more beautiful you. Either way, do not be bullied into making a decision by salespeople, though ideally you should not be dealing with sales people at all! To them you are simply a contribution to next month's pay packet but to you this is an extremely important decision. Do not make it lightly or without the full details provided by the person qualified to do so, the consultant plastic surgeon.

About The Author: Landauer Cosmetic Surgery (http://www.landauercosmeticsurgery.co.uk) is one of the UK's leading specialist providers of cosmetic, plastic and weight loss surgery procedures. We offer a full range of cosmetic surgery procedures for men and women, including breast enlargement and breast reduction.

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