Money, medical history and ‘need versus want’ – our A-Z guide to cosmetic surgery continues


Marc Pacifico is a UK consultant plastic surgeon and expert. Here, he continues his exclusive A-Z guide to seeking safe – and successful – cosmetic surgery with the letters M, N, O and P

Money. Any form of cosmetic surgery is a complex and highly skilled clinical procedure that demands much training and experience. Any clinic that offers ‘cheap’, ‘buy now at half price’ or ‘two-for-one’ monetary enticement regarding aesthetic treatments contravenes all GMC guidance. Before parting with any hard-earned cash, there needs to be a consultation process with the surgeon of your choice. You need to fully understand what’s involved, what result to expect as well as any associated risks and recovery time before payment in discussed. If this is not part of the immediate process, then walk away.

Medical history. Sometimes, a surgeon may refuse treatment based on your medical history. If there is anything that suggests there is a huge risk involved in you having surgery, he or she will advise accordingly. Not all of us are suitable for aesthetic enhancements and contradictions may be physical or psychological. These can include body dysmorphic disorder, depression, heart problems, allergies, arthritis, high blood pressure or diabetes. A discussion with the surgeon about your aesthetic goals and how best to achieve them may highlight issues for them – and you – and alert them to possible medical complications. This could mean you having to reconsider your first choice of procedure or not being able to have treatment at all. Do be prepared for a lengthy consultation – and if plastic surgery isn’t for you, remember: it’s in the best interest of you and your health.

Need versus want. Before you even set foot inside a plastic surgeon’s clinic, you need to consider why you are seeking the aesthetic surgery that you want. You need to consider your reasons, the benefits that the results will bring but also the risks involved. You need to ask a whole list of questions of your potential plastic surgeon before any work is carried out. Additionally, what changes you want to make to your body may not marry up with the surgery you need and your cosmetic surgeon should guide you on this. Why you desire plastic surgery will also determine whether a surgeon will agree to operate on you or not.

Over promise and under deliver. Any good plastic surgeon should handle any unrealistic expectations. There are a multitude of reasons why we seek cosmetic treatments and, if you’ve done your research properly, the clinician who explains why a particular procedure will NOT address your cosmetic concerns or desires is undoubtedly an honest one. Don’t be tempted to look elsewhere until you find one that does agree to your demand for a specific treatment. You’ll only be disappointed with the results. Not everyone can achieve their ultimate aim – whether it is breast size or facial enhancements – so there will be times when a surgeon will simply say no if he or she thinks what you want is unattainable with surgery. At the end of the day, a surgeon would always rather under promise and over deliver.

Procedures. If you get your plastic surgery information solely from internet media sites, with sensationalist stories about procedures, you need to have a rethink. Your plastic surgeon will talk you through the cosmetic procedures in detail but do take time to look at some of the more factual websites to get an idea of what to expect. Here at, we offer a comprehensive description of cosmetic treatments. The BAAPS website is also a safe and educational source of information. Importantly, you need to understand what’s involved post-procedure so you can plan for any necessary lifestyle changes after undergoing any plastic surgery.


Similar Articles