Nowadays, physical appearance is a key factor that influences our lives and trends promoted by celebrities, socialites and the fashion industry determine a large number of people to go under the knife to achieve the desired look. Trends come and go and if rhinoplasty and breast implants were the most popular ten years ago, now fillers and Botox are all the craze, as the selfie culture makes everyone long for a picture perfect face.
Even if people are crowding to perform body modifications, do not rush to the first recommended doctor if you plan any changes. With the high demand of cosmetic surgeons, many have started to treat patients without obtaining many qualifications. In some countries, regulations fail to properly protect people from private practitioners who advertise themselves as much more qualified than they actually are.
In the UK, The Medical Defence Union paid huge amounts of money to compensate errors performed by the doctors it insures, around half of the total from this country. Often clinics did not offer suitable supervision post-surgery, did not respond to patients’ complaints and let doctors with insufficient experience perform surgery on clients. How is that possible? There, surgeons can work outside their specialty.
In June 2012, a health scandal made headlines as thousands of women across the world found themselves with French sub-standard implants. The UK government published later the Keogh Report about the situation of cosmetic surgery and treatments. A lot of troubling information came to surface at that moment: low-quality products and patient care, irresponsible post-operatory surveillance and deceitful advertising of interventions and medicine.
Cosmetic surgery can have implications as serious as any other type of intervention and it can lead to severe complications and even death. Private clinics aggressively market their procedures and treatments and many women, who represent 90% of the customers of this industry, often fall for testimonials, false statistics and the inaccurate information provided for them.
New laws need to accurately control the activity of private practitioners and standardize the procedures for the safety of patients, who pay heavy money without any certainties at the moment.
If you decided to have some adjustments made to your body or face, thoroughly look for reliable information. Forums like realself.com have patient stories to help you understand the implications of a procedure and the aftermath of a certain intervention. The information provided is linked to the identity of the surgeon. Take, for example, Dr Joseph Ajaka reviews which contain reports from patients that extend to as much as two years after the surgery. Even if you have a lot of good feedback from previous clients, you should still ask details about the risks of the intervention, possible side effects, the duration and implication of recovery time.
Also, try to find as much as possible about the quality and origin of the materials and treatments used and the certifications they have. You should always have the freedom to opt for some other products that have more recognition. What is more, do not fall for a low price, because it may come with a compromise that you will not be informed about.
Until stricter regulations will apply to the private sector of the cosmetic industry, each patient has to do research before appealing to the services of a clinician. Prevention is better than cure, so carefully consider your options and dangers before acquiring your most desired change.
Michael Sanduso lives in Toronto, Canada. He is a freelance writer and editor, tech geek, and stay at home father.