The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has released a YouTube video in a bid to get us thinking about the stark realities and costs of going under the knife.
The animated film features two characters – Maria and Mark – with Mark advising Maria on exactly what she needs to consider when it comes to plastic surgery.
The idea is to encourage us all to think seriously about why we want our chosen cosmetic procedure before we forge ahead with it, as well desired outcomes.
The RSC says: ‘If you are thinking about having cosmetic surgery, there are some important questions that you should ask yourself to help you make the decision that is right for you.’
Key questions brought up in the short video include ‘what do I want to change?’ and ‘what is the overall cost?’.
In the colourful animation, Marks suggests to Maria that she chooses a surgery that’s ‘right for her’ and that she is clear about what it is she exactly wants to change about herself.
Other advice includes being realistic about expectations and making sure the surgery can deliver the results we want.
And when to comes to cost, Mark tells Maria that she needs to be aware that there’s more than the initial operation to think about and that additional appointments and repeat operations may need to be factored into the financials.
Surgery is different for everyone, he suggests, ‘so write down exactly what successful surgery means to you’.
In fact, the RCS supports this message in its recently published guidance to help surgeons understand the shift in the law about gaining patient consent, underlining the fact it is the specific need of each patient that’s key to a safe and successful treatment.
The publication of the new guide, Consent: Supported Decision-Making – A guide to good practice, is in response to the ruling of the UK Supreme Court in the case of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board in 2015 that changed the practice of consent, shifting the focus of the consent discussion to the specific needs of each patient.
Last year, more than 51,000 of us underwent cosmetic procedures, which equated to a 12.6% hike in invasive treatments on the previous year, according to statistics supplied by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
With ‘cooling off’ periods following any consultation a must-do and two-for-one offers on treatments and other aggressive marketing ploys banned, associations for aesthetic surgeons, such as BAAPS and BAPRS, and comparethetreatment.com are all aiming to ensure our safe route to cosmetic treatments.
By reading informed and expert advice from leading practitioners, it’s hope that many of will avoid the pitfalls of poor surgery and the cowboy surgeons who offer it and enjoy safe and considered treatments, with the outcomes we desire.