Four factors all patients should consider before having cosmetic surgery

Are your patients clear about what to expect before having cosmetic surgery? We have picked four key factors that require some thought from the potential patient before they commit to going ahead with a procedure.

Before and after photos may look great, but they can be misleading, setting patients’ expectations unrealistically high. Anyone considering a procedure should be under no illusion as to what is entailed, especially when it comes to invasive surgery. Managing patient expectations should therefore be a key component of the initial consultation with any potential patient.

Here are four questions your patients should be asking before having cosmetic surgery, that you need to be able to answer for each of the specific procedures that you offer.

What factors should patients consider before having cosmetic surgery?

1. Is there a risk?

While advancements in cosmetic surgery have boosted safety considerably, (read our post on safer surgery here), there are no guarantees; all invasive surgery carries a risk and even with the increasing availability of non-invasive cosmetic procedures, things sometimes go wrong. As with any surgery, complications such as excessive bleeding or infection can occur.
Full disclosure of the patient’s medical history and any medication they are taking can help prevent any unexpected problems. If you or the patient is still concerned following a consultation, they should be encouraged to speak to their GP.

2. What will the results be?

Patients should be fully informed as to the limitations of a procedure so that they are not left disappointed by the result and their expectations are realistic. The human body is complex and unique, and individual patients will, therefore, react or recover in different ways. No matter how skilled a practitioner you are, there is always a chance of unexpected issues arising.

3. Will there be scars?

While non-invasive laser treatments help rid a patient of scars, more invasive procedures will often result on some scarring, despite expert incision closures and camouflaging. This could be an influencing factor for any patients who are models, or for patients involved in other profession that might require them to show a lot of skin. Other visible imperfections including swelling and discolouration should disappear, but this can take time.

4. How long until I recover?

It may take a year for the treated area to heal following a major procedure as the tissue settles in. Recovery time depends on the procedure, but patients need to be absolutely clear as to how long it is likely to be so that they don’t inadvertently impede the healing process. Following any initial discomfort, it may be that further restrictions on movement are necessary to avoid additional months of recuperation. A long recovery time may be enough to put a patient off a procedure altogether, so it is important that the patient knows this before having cosmetic surgery.

The importance of carrying out a thorough consultation for patients before having cosmetic surgery

A thorough consultation should address all the above issues and ensure that clients are well-informed about what they should consider before having cosmetic surgery. Should a client ever decide to take action against you following a procedure, insurance can help cover the costs of defending a claim and subsequent damages if you are found liable. However, a thorough consultation will reduce the likelihood of this happening in the first place.

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