You've made the decision to undergo plastic surgery and get your wonky nose/uneven
boobs/wobbly belly fixed ... now what? Your next step is to choose your surgeon and with
thousands out there, that's often a difficult decision to make. Here are some tips to finding your
1. Talk to your GP
Although most surgeries aren't covered by the NHS, some are; people who have lost certain
amounts of weight, for example, may be eligible for surgery to reduce excess skin that has been
left as a result of weight loss. But even if your GP can't offer you a free surgery, it's worth
consulting them. They know your medical history and can advise whether any of your existing
medical issues are likely to be exacerbated or affected by cosmetic surgery.
2. At home or abroad?
A quick search on the internet for cosmetic surgery holidays will yield thousands of results for
holidays to faraway destinations with a free nip-tuck thrown in. But beware: while the notion of
saving 70% of the cost of your chosen surgery may be undeniably tempting, the reality of opting
to undergo surgery abroad might not be quite so dreamy. If you choose to venture abroad, you
might find yourself in a place that doesn't have the same rigorous health and safety or
cleanliness standards as here in the UK, leaving you open to infection. It's also worth bearing in
mind that regardless of how skilled your surgeon is, there's a chance that the surgery could go
wrong in some way. The chance of your surgery taking a turn for the worst in the UK is likely to
be significantly lower than if you chose to go abroad, but the risk is still there. If the worst were
to happen here, you could discuss the issue with your surgeon and make a complaint to the
Healthcare Commission to reclaim costs or undergo reconstructive surgery free of charge. This
option will not be available to you if you were to experience a problem abroad and fly back to
the UK; the best case scenario would be that a UK-based surgeon would agree to take on your
case, but you'd have to foot the bill.
3. Check your surgeon out
It's recommended that you select a surgeon who is registered with the GMC (the General
Medical Council). You can do this by looking your surgeon up on the GMC register. While you're
at it, you should also check that the company under which they practice is also registered with
the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of all health services in England. If you
visit a company, ask to see their CQC registration certificate. There are a range of different
surgeons across the UK with great reputations, for example Gary Ross’ Plastic Surgery in
Although official stats are helpful, first-hand reviews of a company are often the most
informative; try searching for reviews of the company you're looking at and seeing what people
have said. If the comments are mostly negative, you're probably better off looking somewhere
4. Speak to your surgeon
It's important when undergoing any medical procedure - whether it be cosmetic or otherwise -
that you feel safe in your surgeon's hands. You need to be able to discuss your procedure
openly and in detail and feel confident that the advise you receive is correct. Make sure that
when you have a consultation at a clinic, you queries are answered by the surgeon who will be
operating on you. Don't be afraid to ask questions - a reputable surgeon will be happy to listen
to you and advise. Key questions you'll need to ask will be:
- What will my procedure entail? How long will it take, what anaesthesia will I need, what risks
are associated with it?
- What level of care can I expect after the operation? How much pain am I likely to be in? How
long will the recovery last?
- How much will the operation cost, including aftercare?
- What happens if something goes wrong, or if I am not happy with the result?