In the UK, tens of thousands of people elects to undergo cosmetic surgery every year. In many cases, cosmetic surgery can be the right choice for people who feel unhappy with certain aspects of their appearance. However, it is also a serious choice, and therefore one deserving of serious contemplation.
Before you elect to go under the knife, it’s worth first asking yourself a few tough questions.
What to Ask Yourself
Why exactly do you want cosmetic surgery? Are you doing it to please yourself, or to please someone else or other peoples opinions? This other person might be a spouse, or it could be a circle of friends, or it might be society as a whole. Social media can be terrible these days for encouraging people to improve their looks.
Worse yet, it may be a distorted impression of society that you’ve garnered from your social media feed. Body dysphoria is a real phenomenon suffered by a surprising number of people, and exposure to unrealistic (and often digitally manipulated) images can exacerbate it.
What do you want to change about yourself, and why do you want to change it? If you can’t easily specify your goals, then it might be that you have a deeper underlying problem, beyond what cosmetic surgery can address. Have you wanted to do this for a long time, or is it an impulse decision? What do you expect the surgery to accomplish, and what would success look like?
Remember there are also some incredible beauty devices and products out there that can work wonders on fixing issues you may have, like anti-aging or skin complaints.
You should discuss your goals with your surgeon, and get their opinion on whether those goals are reasonable, and achievable through surgical means. If it looks as though you’re heading into the procedure for the wrong reasons, it’s the ethical duty of your surgeon to challenge you, or even in some cases to refuse to perform the operation.
The Duty of Care
A cosmetic surgeon is no different from any other doctor working in the NHS, and that they have a duty of care toward their patients. This doesn’t just cover the surgery itself, but all the consulting stages that lead up to it. In the case of cosmetic surgery, you’re also likely to have entered into a contract with the surgeon, which obliges them to offer you a certain standard of care.
Your surgeon should also have made you aware of any potential side effects that might occur as a result of the procedure – that way, you can undergo the surgery while being fully cognisant of the risks attached.
If they fail to offer this at any point, they may be guilty of medical negligence. If you believe that you’ve been a victim of this, then you might appoint one of the many medical negligence solicitors, who’ll be able to extract compensation on your behalf.
For example, they should have taken steps to ensure that you are sure that you want to do it, and this process should include a cooling-off period. Life-changing decisions should not be taken on impulse, and thus there should be a period of time between the initial consultation and the actual surgery, which will allow you to really think about whether you’re sure about the surgery.
Often, it’s during this period that your doubts may begin to express themselves.
Remember to fully give the option of cosmetic surgery a long, hard think before you jump in. There can be complications and risks, and it’s your responsibility as well as the company undergoing the procedure to really give it as much thought as possible.