Questions to ask before Cosmetic Surgery

With every new year comes new resolutions and an attitude to address problems we’re not happy with. For many of us this might entail going to the gym or eating healthier for a while, but not everyone has problems that can be solved through this alone.

If you’re considering a cosmetic treatment, it can be overwhelming to think of everything you want to ask your surgeon or clinic during consultations.  We’ve created a handy checklist to make sure you address all the important issues on safety and what you can expect. Use this as a starting point, but don’t forget to think of your own concerns relevant to  your treatment.

Those who are considering treatment abroad may also find it useful to consult this list too.

cosmetic surgery questions for plastic surgeons

Questions to ask about the clinic

It’s perfectly normal for clinics to perform out of external hospitals for some, more serious procedures. This means they have all the necessary facilities, both for your immediate care and in the rare circumstance anything goes wrong. However, making sure that you’re clued up on these facts before you commit can make sure you’re not disappointed if you find out your hospital is somewhere completely different to where you thought.

  • Is the treatment performed in-house at the clinic? If not, where is it?
  • Is there a choice of where the procedure will be performed? Does this change the cost?
  • Are there back up medical facilities in case anything doesn’t go to plan?
  • What insurance does the clinic have?
  • Are consultations free? What are the costs if not?
  • What is the policy regarding contacting the clinic? Do they have 24 hour assistance?
  • What registrations do they have? Are they CQC (Care Quality Commission) certified?
  • What is their aftercare policy? How long does it last and what does it include? Will you have to pay for follow-up appointments after a certain amount of time?
  • What happens if there are complications? Does the clinic pay for corrective surgery or will you have to?

Questions to ask your surgeon

When it comes to surgery, the person performing it is probably the most important thing you should consider – no good surgeon would risk their name working for a bad clinic. Make sure you get to know your surgeon and feel comfortable with them – you’ll be undergoing a huge journey with them and you need to be able to trust them.

  • What qualifications does the surgeon have? Are they able to show certificates if you asked?
  • Where was their training? If abroad, how does the qualification differ from those of surgeons here?
  • Are they a member of any professional bodies? Can you take their names and do some research on them too?
  • What is their experience? How long have they been doing the procedure and can they tell you about the previous work they’ve done?
  • Do they have any before and after images they could show you? Or can they put you in contact with any past patients to chat about the treatment?
  • How often do they perform the procedure? How many have they performed?
  • What is their success rate? Is there any way of knowing if it is true?
  • What are the risks and complications involved with the procedure? What are their likelihood and what is the surgeon’s protocol if they occur?
  • What is their post-operative infection rate? Is there anything in particular you can do to avoid it?
  • What does the price include? Will you have to pay more for compression garments or massage sessions afterwards, for example? Ask them to make it clear exactly what is and isn’t included in the cost of the procedure.

Questions about the procedure

  • Are there any pre-surgery checks required? E.g. breast screenings or medical tests. If so are they included in the cost of the treatment?
  • What are the risks and complications of the treatment?
  • What should your realistic goals be? Are the aims you’ve got achievable with this treatment, or should you consider something else?
  • Is the treatment performed under local or general anaesthetic?
  • Will you have to stay in hospital overnight? Is this cost included in the initial price?
  • Is there any material about the treatment and recovery you can refer to? If not, where can you go to research?
  • What post-op care is required? Will this be included in the price or will there be extra costs for things like compression garments?
  • What equipment is used? For breast implants, what brand of implant is used? And what shape and placement will the surgeon use?
  • If the treatment is much cheaper than others, why is it so cheap? How can they afford to have a lower price?
  • What will your recovery be? Should you avoid things like flying and sports? If so, for how long? (Our Recovery Guide might also help you here)

This is by no means a full list. Each treatment comes with its own questions and problems, and you should always think heavily about potential risks and procedure-specific ideas that might be relevant. The most important aspect of any treatment is your safety – if you don’t feel you can trust the clinic, or have doubts about their reputation don’t go ahead.

The Private Clinic

With over 30 years of Harley Street medical excellence behind us, we know there’s only ever one secret to any cosmetic procedure – you. Every aspect of your treatment is focussed around precisely that; from the highest standards of safety, to the most experienced staff who will work with you to achieve the results you desire. We provide a range of treatments because we know everybody is different – you’re not the same as any other person, and your procedure shouldn’t be either. Talk to us about your aims and goals, we’re there to help you find the best way to achieve them:

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