When deciding whether to undergo cosmetic surgery, the consent process is a crucial part of the process. From a legal standpoint, your surgeon should be providing you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision on whether to go ahead with the surgery. This should include the risks of the procedure, however small, and an honest discussion about what can realistically be achieved.
However, the consent process is not a one way street; you should be asking your surgeon lots of questions. They are used to this, and expect it. How many times do they perform this operation each year? How frequently do their patients require revision surgery? Is there an alternative procedure that could give a similar result? By asking questions, taking notes and being well–researched, you are helping to protect yourself, from a legal standpoint, in the unfortunate event that things go wrong. Don’t be embarrassed to ask silly questions. Surgery is often life changing so challenge your surgeon and make sure that you feel that you are in safe, competent hands.
You should always be provided with an adequate ‘cooling off period’ following an initial consultation. Don’t allow a surgeon and/or cosmetic clinic to put you under pressure to make a decision/pay a deposit. If that happens, alarm bells should start ringing. Why are they using the hard sell? My experience is that the best surgeons don’t use such pressure tactics as they are in high demand and have solid reputations.
If you are thinking about whether to have surgery, or have further questions following a surgical consultation, the Beauty Tracker App provides information relating to all types of cosmetic procedures including the most common risks of each. It also allows you to diarise consultations and record what information you are told by the surgeon. It is a must-have app for anyone considering cosmetic surgery.
Mandy Luckman is a Safety in Beauty Advisory Panel Member, leads a Cosmetic Law team and has experience of all forms of cosmetic interventions, such as: surgical, non-surgical, cosmetic treatment abroad, product liability issues, and dental negligence.
She frequently appears in the press commenting on the cosmetic field and has been quoted in the Sunday Times Magazine and the Daily Mail. Mandy has also been interviewed about the industry on BBC 5 Live and BBC Breakfast, and works with the Botched-Up Bodies TV show. She most recently featured in a Sky TV documentary about cosmetic surgery called Life is Beauty-Full.