Top 5 tips for safe cosmetic surgery

A primary concern for many people considering cosmetic surgery is safety. Here are five questions to help you make a responsible and safe decision.

1. Are you fully informed about your cosmetic surgery procedure?

By undergoing cosmetic surgery you are making permanent changes and asking a lot of your body so it is vital that you know exactly what is involved. Read up on the procedure, talk to other people who have had it, and ask plenty of questions of your surgeon. (Mr Tariq Ahmad suggests that prospective patients come to his Cambridge cosmetic surgery consultation with a prepared list of questions.)

2. What do you know of your cosmetic surgeon?

When putting your health and your looks in the hands of a surgeon, you will want to feel confident that you can trust them. It is therefore imperative that you meet the surgeon you will be performing the procedure at the consultation stage; steer clear of an arrangement where you meet a representative instead. Check that your surgeon is registered with the GMC and that they are recommended by BAAPS.

3. Where will the cosmetic surgery take place?

Does it meet the government welfare standards set out by the Care Quality Commission? In Cambridge’s top private hospitals where Mr Tariq Ahmad performs cosmetic surgery you can be sure you will be in the care of highly skilled and qualified doctors and nurses.

4. How can you best prepare your body for cosmetic surgery?

All surgery carries a risk but there are things you can do to minimise this. Follow your surgeon’s pre-operative advice to the letter and quit smoking in the run up. A high BMI increases the risk of complications so, if you need to, lose some weight.

5. Is it this your decision?

Finally, it must be your choice to go ahead with surgery. No reputable cosmetic surgeon will put pressure on you to commit to something you are uncertain about. If you feel at all coerced, find another surgeon.

Top 5 cosmetic surgery procedures for women

Cosmetic surgery is increasingly popular among women in the UK with 45,365 procedures performed in 2013; this was a 16.5% increase on 2012. So what are the most popular types of aesthetic surgery?

1. Breast augmentation

It’s perhaps not surprising that ‘boob jobs’ are the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery in the UK: in 2013, 11,123 women had a breast augmentation. Each one will have had their individual reason for seeking such surgery, but Mr Tariq Ahmad sees two distinct groups in his Cambridge breast augmentation clinic: younger women keen to have larger, fuller breasts, and an older group who hope to regain the breast contours of their youth, before age and gravity, or pregnancy and breastfeeding had an impact. For both groups, a breast augmentation can have fantastic results, boosting both volume and confidence at once.

2. Blepharoplasty

A surgical procedure that tackles the signs of ageing (folding, bagging, pouching) on the eyelids by removing excess skin and fat, and by strengthening slackening muscles, this is often performed at the same time as a facelift.

3. Face/neck lift

This cosmetic surgery procedure also continues to rise in popularity, with an increase of 13% in 2013. By tackling the loss of definition around the jawline, and repositioning sagging muscles and tissue, facial rejuvenation surgery can be an effective and subtle way of turning back the clock.

4. Breast reduction

For those women whose overly large breasts cause discomfort, and sometimes pain, a breast reduction can be a liberating procedure; 4,680 women had this cosmetic surgery in 2013.

5. Rhinoplasty

Nose jobs are increasing in popularity faster than any of the above: the 2013 figure of 3,841 is a 19% increase on the year before. Cambridge-based Mr Tariq Ahmad, a rhinoplasty specialist, has a wide range of techniques with which he can make subtle changes to the shape of your nose, effecting natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing results.

5 ways to get the most out of your cosmetic surgery

1. Come prepared to the cosmetic surgery consultation

The Cambridge cosmetic surgery consultation is an invaluable part of the whole experience. It is your chance to have any unanswered questions answered, any doubts addressed, any fears confronted – so it is useful to come with a prepared list of things to ask. Mr Tariq Ahmad will also ask what you hope to gain through surgery, and he will explain how achievable those goals are. Mr Tariq Ahmad finds that his patients who go into surgery with realistic expectations are much happier with the end result.

2. Intending to lose weight? Do it before surgery

Fluctuating weight is often the cause of the problems Mr Tariq Ahmad’s sees in his cosmetic surgery clinic, be it through pregnancy, or a dramatic weight loss. Weight gain stretches the skin, but the process is not necessarily reversed by weight loss. Therefore, to preserve the effects of the cosmetic surgery, it’s a good idea to be as close to your ideal weight before going ahead.

3. Plan for your recovery time

How long before you can resume normal activities will depend on the type of cosmetic surgery you have, but you will need some down time. Book time off work, fill your freezer with meals and your fridge with nourishing food and drinks, maybe ask someone to come and stay for a couple of days to help you out.

4. Follow the aftercare instructions

Mr Tariq Ahmad sends his Cambridge cosmetic surgery patients home with comprehensive advice on taking care of themselves after surgery, including instructions on bandages, scar care, when you can resume exercise, and when to call the doctor.

5. Give yourself time

Any surgery puts a strain upon your body; accept this and allow yourself to heal. The more you do this, the sooner you can start enjoying the results.

Top 3 common fears about cosmetic surgery

Making the decision to have cosmetic surgery is not an easy one and lengthy research and reflection is advisable. One of the principal purposes of a cosmetic surgery consultation is for both surgeon and patient to be sure that everyone is comfortable with the decision and feels confident about the process. Here are three of the most commonly voiced concerns that Mr Tariq Ahmad hears in his Cambridge cosmetic surgery clinic.

1. I’m nervous about a general anaesthetic

There is a growing range of cosmetic procedures that can be performed under a local anaesthetic or heavy sedation, and the benefits include a quicker recovery. This tends to be used on more straightforward procedures so, depending on the type of surgery, this may be appropriate for you. However, more complex procedures are best performed under a general anaesthetic. Surgery under general anaesthetic is very safe, especially when conducted in Cambridge’s top private hospitals by a highly qualified medical team, and one that includes an experienced anaesthesiologist.

2. I’m worried about scarring

This of course depends on the procedure, but ever-improving surgical techniques have led to increasingly imperceptible scarring. Where possible, the incisions are made in discreet locations – for example, the hairline, or inside the nostrils. Position of incisions coupled with a surgeon’s skill can leave you with scars that are barely discernable. During your Cambridge cosmetic surgery consultation, Mr Tariq Ahmad will be candid about scarring and he can show you photos of previous procedures so you know what to expect.

3. Will I be disappointed with the results?

During your cosmetic surgery consultation with Mr Tariq Ahmad, you will share your expectations. After a thorough physical examination and unhurried discussion about what you want to achieve, Mr Ahmad will advise you on how realistic this is. Cosmetic surgery can produce some brilliant results but being realistic about the limitations of surgery is vital to a patient’s ultimate satisfaction.

Three reasons to have cosmetic surgery in the UK

There are many tempting deals on the market that offer cosmetic surgery combined with a holiday abroad, all at a seemingly competitive price. Before you think about travelling overseas for treatment, consider these points about choosing surgery in the UK.

1. You will meet your cosmetic surgeon before making a financial commitment

Choosing a clinic in the UK means access to your surgeon beforehand – a vital part of a reputable clinic’s service. Mr Tariq Ahmad sees his potential patients personally in his Cambridge cosmetic surgery consultations at least once before the surgery itself where every aspect of surgery is discussed at length. Patients who seek treatment abroad may meet a sales rep in the UK; once they have met their surgeon, they are financially committed and are in the foreign country. It is useful to have a bit of time to think after meeting the surgeon who will carry out the procedure; cosmetic surgery is a big step so you must not feel obliged or pressurised into going ahead.

2. You can check your cosmetic surgeon is fully qualified

In the UK, the GMC has a Specialist Register of Plastic Surgeons. You can be confident that a surgeon who is on this register is fully qualified; additionally, members of BAAPS commit to training that keeps their skills up to date, operate in reputable clinics (such as Cambridge’s top private hospitals) and submit an annual safety audit. If you travel abroad for surgery, you will have to find out about that country’s standards and regulations.

3. You have access to aftercare

Should complications arise after a cosmetic surgery procedure in the UK, the surgeon has a duty of care to their patient to provide follow-up treatment. The overseas clinic may have someone in the UK who offers aftercare in the event of a problem but it is not a given.