Top 3 useful contacts when researching cosmetic surgery

For many people, making the decision to have cosmetic surgery is tough enough – and then finding the right provider is even more difficult. When working through your options, here are three ‘agencies’ you can call upon to give you confidence in your decision-making.

Your GP:

While it isn’t compulsory to go via your GP, it is advisable. Even if you haven’t needed to visit your GP often over the years, they are better placed than anyone else to comment on your medical history and if that presents influencing factors. You can ask your GP for a letter of referral and they may have advice on a reputable provider. Additionally, talking to them about your intentions to have cosmetic surgery may be useful as they can offer an impartial ear – something friends and family can’t always promise.

The British Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons:

BAAPS is the place to go for advice on WHO performs your cosmetic surgery. Members of BAAPS are listed on the General Medical Council’s Specialist Register of Plastic Surgeons so you can feel reassured that they have the highest qualifications. As a member of BAAPS, Cambridge cosmetic surgeon Mr Tariq Ahmad has not only gained the requisite qualifications, but as a condition of membership is committed to continued training and the annual submission of a safety audit. Further to this, BAAPS members only practice in reputable clinics such as Cambridge’s Spires and Nuffield hospitals.

Care Quality Commission:

The CQC is the regulating body for WHERE the surgery takes place: a provider is legally obliged to be registered. Before committing to cosmetic surgery, check the CQC website for your provider or ask them to show you their licence. If something goes wrong and they are not registered, their insurance may not be valid as they would be practising outside the law.

3 ways to get the most out of your cosmetic surgery consultation

The cosmetic surgery consultation is one of the most important steps in the whole process. Here are three things you can do to ensure its worth.

1. Do your research before the cosmetic surgery consultation.

If you know what is involved then you also know what you don’t understand and you can ask about it. You will also have a good idea of what is going to worry you and you can seek reassurance from your surgeon. Write all these things down and take your list with you.

2. Take a pen – and a friend.

Many people find they leave a consultation room and when asked the particulars of a suggested treatment, they go blank. This is extremely common – but there are ways to avoid it. Take a pen and paper to note down answers to your questions; even better, take a friend who can act as scribe for you so that you can concentrate on talking to the surgeon and assessing whether you feel confident in their abilities and manner.

3. Articulate yourself.

Can you explain what it is you don’t like? Years of experience of performing a variety of procedures has shown Cambridge surgeon Mr Tariq Ahmad that those who are able to be specific about their expectations are on the whole more satisfied with the results. More importantly, that those who are realistic about the limitations of cosmetic surgery and to what extent it is going to ‘change’ their situation, emerge happier than those who are simply seeking a one-stop solution to all of life’s ills.

Each person – each body – is different and the cosmetic surgery you have needs to be tailor made to you. During your Cambridge cosmetic surgery consultation, Mr Ahmad will conduct a thorough physical examination and, after listening carefully to your objectives, will make a bespoke surgical plan to get you as close as possible to these goals.

Top 4 financial questions asked about cosmetic surgery

1. Is cosmetic surgery available on the NHS?

Cosmetic surgery is rarely available through the NHS and reserved for cases where there is a major physical or psychological reason for surgery. Even if you intend to choose a private provider, you should speak to your GP and ask them to refer you to a reputable cosmetic surgeon. Your GP knows your medical history and will be a good sounding board.

2. What is included in the quoted cost?

It is vital to understand how the costs break down and what is and is not covered – you do not want to be surprised by an additional bill further down the road. ‘Package’ prices quoted by members of BAAPS (the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) are made up of the clinic fee, which will include the bed in the hospital, and the facilities of the operating theatre. While many providers will publish approximate fees on their website, an accurate quote can only be given after a consultation when the surgeon can assess the extent of the procedure required. Mr Tariq Ahmad’s policy is to discuss all that is involved in his Cambridge cosmetic surgery consultations and to confirm all fees prior to the commencement of treatment.

3. Do I have to pay for the cosmetic surgery consultation?

Some clinics offer free consultations, often because it is an opportunity to promote their other products. Cosmetic surgeons, such as Cambridge-based Mr Tariq Ahmad, who are members of BAAPS, charge a consultation fee just as any private specialist would. BAAPS’ advise, “a cosmetic surgery problem remains a medical problem for which you need an independent professional opinion from a properly trained specialist.”

4. Why would I choose a more expensive surgeon?

When undergoing any kind of medical treatment, it is inadvisable to let cost dictate your decisions. Choose your surgeon according to their qualifications, continued training, experience and where they operate.

4 final checks before proceeding with cosmetic surgery

You’ve had your consultation, agreed on a cosmetic surgery plan and you’re booked in, but before you can fully relax and look ahead to enjoying the results, do you know everything you need to know? Here is a final checklist to help find peace of mind.

1. Do you know what is included in the price?

It is imperative that you are fully aware of what is – and, crucially, what is not – included in the price you have been quoted. Are there any hidden costs? With regard to aftercare, are the follow-up appointments included? What about if there are complications and you require unforeseen medical treatment? And what about your chosen surgeon’s revision policy: if you are dissatisfied with the results, who bears the cost of further cosmetic surgery?

2. Where will the cosmetic surgery be performed?

You should have met your surgeon at your consultation and will no doubt have checked out their qualifications, experience and patient satisfaction record, but what of the clinic where the procedure will take place? As a member of BAAPS, Mr Tariq Ahmad is committed to operating only in reputable clinics; indeed, the Nuffield and the Spires are Cambridge’s top private hospitals and there he has the support of a highly trained and experience team.


3. Are you able to take time out?

At your cosmetic surgery consultation, your surgeon will advise you on what recovery time you should expect to need. Are you able to take that time off work or your other duties? Do you have help lined up?

4. Are you and your cosmetic surgeon on the same page?

It is vital that there is honesty between patient and surgeon and that their aims are what you are expecting the outcome to be. Have you had a conversation about realistic objectives? During your cosmetic surgery consultation, Cambridge-based Mr Ahmad will always discuss your goals and offer candid guidance on how best to achieve them.