What questions should you be asking when visiting other clinics?
When researching a surgical procedure you are considering it is important to be asking the right questions when visiting various clinics and meeting with your surgeon. We have put together 6 key questions to make sure you get all the information you need from a clinic to make an informed decision on your chosen surgery.
1. Will I meet my surgeon at the consultation?
At any consultation, you should always meet the surgeon who will be carrying out your procedure, not a sales person or other employee. Only a surgeon will be properly qualified to answer questions relating to your procedure, so if you won’t get to meet one before booking your surgery, think carefully before going ahead.
2. Is the consultation free of charge?
Some clinics offer free consultations, others may charge. This is at the discretion of the individual clinic, so it’s always a good idea to ask in advance so you know what to expect.
3. Is the hospital near the clinic and will it be the same team throughout my care?
For your safety and reassurance, continuity of care is very important, so ask if you will be treated by the same people throughout. And as your consultation will usually be taking place at a different location to your surgery, it’s also worth confirming the location of the hospital where surgery would take place. You need to know it can be reached easily, both for you and any family or friends who will be helping you.
4. Are all your surgeons BAAPS/BAPRAS registered?
Membership of one, or both, of these professional bodies is the ‘Gold Standard’ for Plastic Surgeons operating in the UK. It means they are fully trained Plastic Surgeons who are regularly audited, and listed on the Specialist Register maintained by the General Medical Council. You can double check if a surgeon is a member of BAAPS or BAPRAS by visiting their websites.
5. Will any payment be taken at my consultation?
Beware of price offers and time-limited discounts, which may be used to pressure you into making a decision at your consultation. Surgery is not a decision to be rushed into. If you and the surgeon are both happy after your consultation, you may want to pay a deposit to secure a date for surgery. But legally, the clinic must offer you a two-week ‘cooling off’ period so that if you change your mind in that time, you’re entitled to receive all your money back. Ask them if this is their policy.
6. What is your aftercare policy?
Is there a limit to follow up appointments and would they be with my surgeon? After any surgical procedure, your surgeon should be available to you 24 hours a day in case you have any concerns. Make sure the clinic will provide you with emergency contact details and give you a detailed explanation of the aftercare required.
You can also find more impartial information and advice on the NHS website.