Your initial consultation for cosmetic surgery will consist of a review of your medical history, clinical examination and a full discussion of your particular concerns and expectations.
Photographs may be taken to assist the discussion as well as to complement your clinical record. Written information is available about individual operations and you will also receive information and advice relating to the anaesthetic and hospital. Photographs of typical results will be available for you to view. A friend or relative is always welcome to accompany you should you wish during your consultation regarding surgery or a non-surgical cosmetic procedure.
You may want to take time to consider your decision before proceeding with cosmetic surgery and returning for a second consultation is often helpful. The Practice employs a specialist nurse who is highly experienced in all aspects of the care of plastic and cosmetic surgery patients. She will be closely involved with your aftercare and you will also meet her beforehand when considering cosmetic surgery.
Injectable treatments such as botulinum toxin and fillers are usually delivered in the consulting rooms as an outpatient.
The Aesthetic Surgeons undertake plastic, reconstructive and craniofacial surgery for patients with health insurance. It is your responsibility to ensure that your policy will cover the cost of the proposed surgical procedure. When considering plastic and cosmetic surgery that is not covered by health insurance you will be given an account proposal detailing the total cost of the proposed procedure. This comprises the surgical fee, the anaesthetic fee and the hospital package price. The hospital package will be a fixed price for the stated length of stay and is paid directly to the hospital on the day of admission. Upon discharge the hospital may make an extra charge for some take-home medicines and dressings as well as any x-rays, blood tests or extra night stays that you may have required. The surgical and anaesthetic fees are payable ten days in advance of surgery and these fees will include post-operative care and any follow-up consultations. Re-admission to hospital for any reason may incur a further charge.
Aesthetic surgery is elective. This means that it is not done as an emergency but should be done at a time of choosing when both your own health and life are at an optimum. The reason for this is that it helps with the recovery and will also reduce the chance of any complications. For many of our patients undergoing elective surgery, we will carry out tests before the operation to ensure that your health is maximised. This may include blood tests, x-rays and heart tracings. This can help identify underlying medical conditions which have not been identified to date and can be optimised prior to going forward for your elective surgery.
In terms of physical health one of the most important things is to stop smoking if this is a regular habit. Smoking has been shown to reduce wound healing and this is very important in some operations such as face-lifting, abdominoplasty and breast surgery. Smoking reduces the blood supply to the skin and tissues by narrowing the blood vessels. It is the nicotine within smoke that does this, and on this basis nicotine replacement products should not be used either. A reduction in the blood supply to the tissues can reduce healing, result in blistering and tissue loss and also increase the chance of infection.
One of the most important aspects of undergoing aesthetic surgery is to be in a good state of mind. It is well documented that patients having personal problems or conflict in their lives at the time of surgery potentially have a poorer outcome than those that are at peace. It is therefore not a good idea to have any form of aesthetic surgery if you are in the midst of relationship difficulties, bereavement, divorce, financial difficulty or conflicts at work.
We would generally recommend a reduction or stopping alcohol prior to surgery for at least a week and ideally a reduction in the consumption of red wine as this can thin the blood. The aim of this is to reduce the dehydrating effect that alcohol can have on the body.
A well balanced diet is important in the approach to surgery with plenty of fruit and vegetables, which would ensure your vitamin levels are optimised. Vitamin supplements are not usually necessary and it is important to let your surgeon know if you are taking any other supplements such as garlic, ginkgo, glucosamine or fish oils as these can thin the blood and therefore increase the chance of bleeding at the time of surgery. For young women, a pre-operative blood test will check the red blood cell level and rule out anaemia. This is relatively common due to menstrual bleeding and may occasionally need iron supplementation or an increase in iron containing foods such as kale and spinach in the diet.
Physical fitness is also important in the run up to surgery and it is important to be mobile and active. This should be combined with keeping well hydrated by drinking plenty of clear fluids and hopefully this will help reduce the chance of a deep vein thrombosis.
Patients seeking cosmetic surgery must be aware that complications can occur. When offering any cosmetic surgical procedure the benefits must outweigh the risks. These will be discussed with you during your consultations. Complications fall into a few categories:
You will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire. Please provide full answers especially about medication, psychiatric problems and previous operations. Some conditions that you may consider irrelevant can have a bearing on the outcome.
If you require more information on any surgical or cosmetic procedure, please call us
on 020 7636 4073.