If you are thinking about having cosmetic surgery it’s important to do your homework thoroughly. Surgery of any kind is not to be undertaken lightly and plastic surgery is no exception.
There are always risks attached, whatever the medical procedure. We appreciate that consideration of the legal position isn’t particularly sexy, but it is nevertheless essential if potential problems are to be avoided. Of course, if surgery goes wrong and someone is to blame for it then specialist lawyers like us are here to help. However it is far better to avoid a legal dispute arising in the first place.
Medical negligence lawyer, Oliver Thorne, specialises in plastic surgery cases and deals with victims of negligence on a daily basis. His legal practice includes cases involving all 3 main types of surgery: body, face and breasts, as well as non-surgical procedures. Many of the cases he has seen might have been avoided if the patient had taken some simple precautions before going under the knife.
“Some of the claims I deal with involve circumstances which the patient could not have avoided, no matter how much care they had taken before undergoing surgery. However, a reasonably large number of them are ones that might never have arisen if the client had been more aware of the common pitfalls prevalent in the cosmetic surgery industry. People tend to think that standards in the medical profession are uniformly very high across all aspects of the sector, with extensive and robust regulatory frameworks in place. However, the reality is rather different. Aesthetic plastic surgery is surprisingly under regulated. This poses dangers to unwary members of the public and requires patients to undertake their own enquiries before taking the plunge into the world of cosmetic surgery.”
So what sort of enquiries does Oliver have in mind?
To help people who are contemplating having some work done here is Ollie’s 7 step legal guide to cosmetic surgery:
Choose your surgeon carefully. Make sure they are properly qualified to perform the procedure you require. Don’t be shy to ask them how many similar cases they have dealt with and what their patient satisfaction rate is. Look on the BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) website to see if your surgeon is listed.
Be cautious about discounts or promotions being offered. And remember, if something sounds too good to be true it probably is!
Is your surgeon adequately insured? Ask for a copy of their certificate of insurance.
If considering surgery abroad, think about what would happen if something goes wrong. Will you be able to seek recourse in the English courts for instance?
Be crystal clear about what you want to achieve from the surgery. If there is a particular ‘look’ that you’re after then spell this out. Make sure your surgeon fully understands your expectations and agrees that these are realistic. Confirm all of this in writing and use diagrams and pictures to ensure the surgeon knows what it is you really want.
Gain an understanding of the risks involved with the procedure. Discuss these risks with your surgeon and undertake your own research. Don’t rush into surgery and don’t be bullied into agreeing to anything before you have had time to think whether it is really what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your surgeon.
Obtain written details of the cost of your surgery and precisely what the surgeon will be doing for that fee. You should budget not only for the procedure itself but also the cost of any revision procedures or dealing with possible complications.
By following Ollie’s 7 step guide we hope your cosmetic journey will be a safe and happy one.
Cosmetic surgery lawyer Oliver Thorne operates a FREE legal helpline. You can call him on 0808 139 1592 or email details of your case to him at firstname.lastname@example.org