Difficulties when choosing a surgeon

Who your plastic surgeon is will greatly affect the final result. It is therefore of great importance that the surgery is performed by a person with the correct competence and experience for the task. As strange as it may sound not all surgeons that do plastic surgery have this. We have tried to highlight the main reasons for this.

1. The balance between profit interest & treatment quality

The British industry for plastic surgery procedures has a total market value of £536 million and is experiencing a significant growth. This in turn increases the amount of private actors in terms of cosmetic surgeons/clinics competing for market share.

Normally a market exposed to competition involves advantages for the consumer since it leads to increased quality and lower prices. However, within healthcare in general there is a well known conflict between profit interest and treatment quality. The plastic surgery industry is no exception.

Difficulties when choosing a surgeon

2. Cosmetic surgeon or Charlatan?

In addition to the fundamental conflict between private profit interest and treatment quality, the British plastic surgery industry suffers from deficiencies in state regulations. These deficiencies are based on the fact that currently any registered doctor can offer and perform plastic surgery. The problem is that fundamental medical knowledge is not enough to perform many plastic surgery procedures in a safe and satisfactory manner.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has long called for greater regulations in cosmetic surgery in the UK. Fortunately they have now been offered the possibility to provide key-input in a newly established committee in Brussels in order to finally establish Europe–wide standards in this industry. Therefore we can hopefully expect to see greater standards in the future.

The UK, as many other countries, has so far failed to put in place adequate regulations or standards to protect the public from unscrupulous providers who are mainly preoccupied with profit. Therefore I will be delighted to join the new Project Committee for Aesthetic Surgery Services and help design a solid Europe-wide framework which will ensure patients can rely on safe treatment and facilities wherever they might be. (BAAPS President Nigel Mercer)

3. Everyone says different things!

Other than the prevailing conflict of interest and the insufficient state regulations it is also hard as a consumer to find trustworthy information about the different procedures risks and possibilities. Based on the contradictory information the clinics and other sources provide, especially the internet, it is not easy to decide which clinic and surgeon to choose.

Put together these facts make it difficult for a person with only consumer knowledge of cosmetic surgery to determine who one can safely turn to in order to undergo a plastic surgery procedure. Resulting in many patients feeling insecure about undergoing plastic surgery in general and particularly when choosing a surgeon and clinic.

The good news

The good news is that British plastic surgery in general holds a very high standard and there are many competent British cosmetic surgeons and clinics. It is even so that many British clinics regularly receive visiting celebrities for whom “only the best is good enough”.

Thus the above implies that the conditions for undergoing successful plastic surgery, with minimum complications, and the best possible surgical results are very good if performed in the UK. It is very much about choosing your surgeon with care. You will learn how to do that here.

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