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Frequently Asked Questions

  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 a cosmetic or plastic surgeon?

1. How much do consultations cost?

BAAPS Surgeons will charge a normal consultation fee just like any other specialist. You will be asking for a professional opinion about your problem/need and the surgeon will provide a range of options suitable for you, which may also include surgery not being appropriate. You will find that some of the more commercial clinics that do a lot of advertising do not charge as they are using the consultation to promote their range of treatments.

We strongly believe that cosmetic surgery is not simply a product or service to be promoted and sold without due regard for its long-term impact on the patient. A cosmetic surgery problem will always be a medical problem first and foremost, 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 and all BAAPS members always carry out their own consultations with patients.

Counsellors and advisors who carry out consultations in commercial clinics will usually only be able to provide generic information about procedures which is focused on promoting sales of their products, and not on informing patients on their suitability for a procedure or the medical complexities of it.

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3. How much do operations cost?

The total operation cost will be made up of the consultant fee, any additional Specialists fees like Anaesthetists, the clinic fee which includes your stay in hospital, the facilities of the operating theatre and any other tests which are required. This is called the package price.

There will be variation in costs between surgeons and although some BAAPS Members may have higher fees than less experienced surgeons, it’s important to remember they have completed extensive training and had their work scrutinized in great detail in order to be accepted into the association. So, by choosing a BAAPS Member you will be receiving advice and care from a highly skilled and well respected surgeon who is operating in the very best hospital facilities.

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4. Do surgeons specialise in particular treatments?

You will find all BAAPS members are regularly carrying out procedures on the face, eyelids, nose, breasts, abdomen and performing liposuction. There are a small number of more specialised procedures which may only be done by a few surgeons, and in this case our Members will be happy to refer you to the appropriate contact.

Some surgeons may have a particular field of interest, meaning they have more experience in this area, you can select procedures in the ‘Find a Surgeon’ section, but the BAAPS does not personally recommend any one surgeon over another for procedures.

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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 medical consultant. Your GP will have access to details of relevant specialists in your area and will be able to advise you on who is most appropriate for your needs and provide you with a referral letter.

Involving your GP in the process also ensures that your full medical history can be easily accessed by your surgeon, and that any previous medical issues are highlighted and taken into account. Often patients do not realise that a historical medical problem could actually increase the risks involved in an operation.

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

Situations like this can arise and in these circumstances it is still possible for you to be seen by a BAAPS member. The guidelines from the General Medical Council state that a surgeon can carry out an operation without telling your GP, but during this time must take on the full responsibilities of the GP.

We would also advise that you do notify your GP after having any surgery, so that your general medical records can be updated should you need any further care at a later date. Most surgeons can provide you with a letter to pass on to your GP practice.

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

This is a relatively exceptional circumstance, but when it does happen the patient should still have access to support from a GP if they want it. In this situation, you can request to see a different GP within your practice by explaining your concerns, each practice will be different but most will be happy for an alternative GP to offer advice and support.

If you choose to go ahead without involving anyone from your GP Practice then you can approach a BAAPS Member directly, as detailed in question 6 above.

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

All surgeons offering cosmetic procedures should have the FCRS (Plast) qualification and to become a BAAPS Member a surgeon must be peer reviewed on their cosmetic surgery experience, and recommended by two current Members who are fully aware of their ability and knowledge in the field of cosmetic surgery.

All BAAPS Members are also listed on the Specialist Register in Plastic Surgery held by the General Medical Council, this list can be accessed here.

The BAAPS also expects its Members to maintain a high standard of training throughout membership by attending regular courses, association meetings and international conventions.

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

A fully qualified plastic surgeon will be on The Specialist Register for Plastic Surgery with the GMC and should have the FCRS (Plast) qualification. You can check the register here.

Surgeons who are not BAAPS Members may instead be a member of a similar association called BAPRAS (British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons). Both BAAPS and BAPRAS are endorsed by the Royal College of Surgeons and therefore offer similar reassurance to patients in terms of surgical training, best practice and patient care.

Currently all our BAAPS Members are also members of BAPRAS.

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

In theory yes, any doctor could call themselves a cosmetic or Plastic Surgeon without any specific surgical training in this area, but this does not mean they are qualified to carry out the procedures. It is therefore vital to check the credentials of any surgeon you consult before proceeding with any surgery.

The GMC holds a Specialist Register that requires a doctor to have specialist training to be included, and there is an additional Specialist Register for Plastic Surgery and only surgeons fully qualified in cosmetic surgery can be listed here.

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