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Cosmetic surgery continues to be an increasingly popular choice for people in the UK keen to improve their looks and appearance, with figures showing more than 51,000 people went under the knife last year.
It marked a 13% rise in surgical enhancements from 2014, with all cosmetic surgery procedures seeing an increase in demand, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
Procedures rising most in demand for women included liposuction (up 20%), face and neck lifts (up 16%) and Rhinoplasty (nose job – up 14%), all procedures which could possibly be considered by many to be more ‘minor’ in terms of invasive surgery.
However, as specialists in handling compensation claims relating to cosmetic surgery, our team at Hudgell Solicitors would urge caution before choosing any form of surgery, as it can be life-changing and some procedures can be irreversible.
Surgery is far different from a quick beauty treatment before a night out, and any decision must be thoroughly considered, researched, and carried out with a full understanding of the possible outcomes.
Research recently conducted on our behalf revealed some interesting attitudes to cosmetic surgery across the UK, in that less than half of those questioned said they’d ask what would happen to them during the surgery, or how they would feel afterwards, as a priority question when discussing the matter with a cosmetic surgeon.
A third of those questioned simply said the most important factor to them would be the final cost.
Current cases in which we are representing clients have highlighted that cost should not be the sole factor considered, as the price you pay does not always guarantee the result you want.
In fact, the high cost paid by some simply makes it a double-whammy of woe afterwards for some patients, given they’ve been left bitterly disappointed, and in significant pain and distress.
A current lack of clear legislation, allowing doctors and surgeons to perform procedures they have little experience or qualifications in, make it a dangerous industry for patients, meaning detailed research and questioning is key for anyone choosing to go under the knife.
Expensive prices certainly don’t guarantee experience and expertise at present, so these are details patients must check out before choosing a surgeon.
Our current cases have also highlighted the need for clarity between a surgeon and patient in terms of what can be expected from the cosmetic surgery procedure they will undergo, the dangers involved, and what will happen afterwards in terms of possible side effects and aftercare support.
Expectations must be discussed and clearly agreed. How can a patient claim their procedure has been below standard, or that their surgeon has let them down, if there’s no agreed specific result at the start?
Detailed consultation between surgeon and patient at the outset is therefore crucial. Patients shouldn’t ever feel rushed, pressured, or unsure when they go for surgery. They should always be fully supported after the operation also.
There must also be a very clear, agreed reason for the surgery taking place, and an agreed, detailed objective of the outcome. This agreement needs to be documented, to ensure there is no grey area of dispute at the end of the surgery.
So, whilst there is a growing boom in people choosing surgical enhancement, I wonder how many actually go under the knife without really knowing what they’re expecting the final result to be, or if the surgeon knows exactly what they want?
It’s a situation we see all too often as specialists in handling cases of cosmetic surgery errors and negligence.
First and foremost, ask yourself ‘what am I expecting?’ and ‘what will make me happy?’
These two simple questions should automatically lead you to consider what you’d be unhappy with, and what would make you come away from the experience feeling let down.
With managed and agreed expectations, a full understanding of the risks, and most importantly the right specialist provider who is properly trained, accredited and able to put you at ease over your concerns, you should be safe when going under the knife, and hopefully come out with the results you wished for.
If not, we know it can prove a very painful, traumatic and distressing time, from which you may need specialist legal advice.
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Many thanks to the author of this blog Dimple Raja is a specialist in all areas of medical negligence and dental negligence.
She has handled a wide variety of clinical negligence and dental negligence cases but has a particular interest in claims relating to birth injuries and the nervous system.
She also has experience in fatal accidents and is developing her expertise in gynaecological and oncology cases, particularly the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer.
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