FAQs

Frequently asked questions about plastic surgery

  1. How much do consultations cost?
  2. Will I meet the surgeon who will be treating me at the consultation?
  3. How much do operations cost?
  4. Do surgeons specialise in particular treatments?
  5. Do I need to be referred by my General Practitioner?
  6. My General Practitioner is not interested in cosmetic surgery.
  7. I know my GP socially and do not want him to know about a cosmetic operation.
  8. How do we know that a surgeon is fully trained in cosmetic surgery?
  9. How do we know if a surgeon who is not a member of BAAPS is fully trained?
  10. Can any doctor call themselves cosmetic or plastic surgeons?
1. How much do consultations cost?

BAAPS Surgeons will charge a normal consultation fee just like any other specialist. You will be asking him for his professional opinion about your problem and after consideration he will discuss the range of options available to you. One option may well be that surgery is inappropriate. You will find that some of the advertising clinics do not charge as they are using the consultation to promote their treatments.

We feel strongly that cosmetic surgery is not like the cosmetics industry where products are actively promoted and sold without regard as to their true worth. A cosmetic surgery problem remains a medical problem for which you need an independent professional opinion from a properly trained specialist.

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2. Will I meet the surgeon who will be treating me at the consultation?

Yes. Only the surgeon who is treating you can give a full and proper opinion about the suitability of an operation.

Counselllors and advisors can only give information given them by the commercial clinics who employ them and which is designed to promote the selling of their operations.

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3. How much do operations cost?

The operation cost will be made up of the clinic fee, which will include the bed in the hospital, the facilities of the operating theatre and any other tests which are required. This is called the package price.

There will be some variation from surgeon to surgeon and it is an interesting fact that although BAAPS members tend to have fees considerably larger than less well trained surgeons and the clinics in which they work are equipped to a very high standard of safety and comfort, the overall package price is not so very different from those advertised by commercial clinics.

This could be because these cosmetic clinics are making large profits, but also because they have very heavy advertising costs.

We feel that it is important that you know where this money is being spent and that primarily it should be on the quality of the surgeon (BAAPS member) and the quality of the hospital within which he/she works.

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4. Do surgeons specialise in particular treatments?

You will find all BAAPS members are regularly treating patients for the usual procedures of the face, eyelids, nose, breasts, abdomen and liposuction. There are a very few specialised procedures which not everybody does and our members will be happy to refer you on to the appropriate surgeon.

Some surgeons have expressed a particular field of interest . As an Association however we cannot say that surgeons that have a particular interest are necessarily better than any other member surgeon who carries out the same procedure.

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5. Do I need to be referred by my General Practitioner?

We strongly support the view of the General Medical Council that all patients should be referred by their GP or another consultant. You should therefore approach your GP for referral letter. This to protect the interests of the patient. Your GP will know the specialists in their areas and will be in the best position to choose the one most appropriate to your problem. In addition, you will be able to tell the surgeon of relevant medical treatment and past medical histories so that these can be taken into account. Sometimes patients do not realise that a particular medical problem which they might have suffered fro in the past, could increase the risks involved in an operation.

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6. My General Practitioner is not interested in cosmetic surgery.

There are sometimes difficult situations like this and one can understand the GP who is busy looking after ill patients who feel that the healthy asking for enhancement are not part of his/her practice. In these circumstances it is still possible for you to be seen by a BAAPS member. The surgeon is allowed by the General Medical Council to operate without telling the GP, but during this time takes on the responsibilities of the GP.

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7. I know my GP socially and do not want him to know about a cosmetic operation.

There are sometimes difficult situations like this and one can understand the GP who is busy looking after ill patients who feel that the healthy asking for enhancement are not part of his/her practice. In these circumstances it is still possible for you to be seen by a BAAPS member. The surgeon is allowed by the General Medical Council to operate without telling the GP, but during this time takes on the responsibilities of the GP.

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8. How do we know that a surgeon is fully trained in cosmetic surgery?

The admission to membership of the BAAPs is based on peer review of experience in cosmetic surgery.

Each new member has to be recommended by two current members that are fully aware of his/her ability and knowledge in the field of cosmetic surgery. The association maintains a high standard of cosmetic surgery training among its members, by means of courses, bi-annual association's meetings and international participation of its members.

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9. How do we know if a surgeon who is not a member of BAAPS is fully trained?

All 173 members of BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) are also members of BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstrucitve and Aesthetic Surgeons ). There are some members of BAPRAS who are not members of BAAPS who are nevertheless fully trained in cosmetic surgery, but either choose not to perform cosmetic surgery or simply do not wish to be a member of BAAPS.

BAAPS members cover the whole range of cosmetic surgery and are on the General Medical Council Specialist Register in Plastic Surgery. There will be specific areas within our field which are also covered by other specialists. Thus some Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeons on the Specialist Register of ENT Surgery will be trained to carry out cosmetic operations on the nose. It is unlikely that physicians and surgeons in other fields would be trained in plastic surgery even though they were on the Specialist Register in their own field.

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10. Can any doctor call themselves cosmetic or plastic surgeons?

Yes. Any doctor may call him/herself a cosmetic or plastic surgeon without any specific surgical training. The GMC requires only that a doctor should have specialist training in order to be on the Specialist Register.

Hence, for a surgeon, being on the specialist register does not imply being on the specialist register for Plastic Surgery.

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